An interesting and plausible suggestion that the Henry S. Whitehead story “No Eye-Witnesses” (pub. August 1932) might have had its ideas influenced by Lovecraft. In terms of: the protagonist’s “visit with his ageing father in Brooklyn” (specifically Flatbush, where the ‘old gent’ Lovecraft had lived); the New York City subway (which came to nauseate Lovecraft); and the time-travel idea (favourite Lovecraft daydream theme). The circa Q1-Q2 1932 writing date (copyright was registered 1st July) is also very congruent: Lovecraft had an extensive stay with Whitehead in summer 1931, during which they co-wrote “The Trap” and likely discussed his New York City breakdown. The H.P. Lovecraft Encyclopaedia notes the two worked on another story with a broadly similar ‘time slip’ approach…

In the spring and summer of 1932 HPL appears to have assisted Whitehead on another story, apparently titled “The Bruise.” [later “Bothon”, according to Joshi] This story (about a man who experiences strange visions after receiving a blow to the head) had been rejected by Strange Tales as too tame, and HPL devised an elaborate plot involving the man’s access to hereditary memory, so that he sees in his mind his distant ancestor’s experience of the destruction of the Pacific continent of Mu 20,000 years ago.”

“No Eye-Witnesses” is available in the new Wordsworth budget paperback and Kindle ebook Voodoo Tales: The Ghost Stories of Henry S. Whitehead. The Kindle version is currently available at half-price on Amazon UK.

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