“The Necronomicon? No man, it’s a real book. I own it. See?”
Yes, I see. Of course, I then proceed to try and explain to the individual that what he owns is in fact a book published during the 80’s, written by someone named “Simon” who was trying to exploit the name and cash in on the Lovecraftian legend. The individual receiving this explanation usually looks at me with pity for my ignorance, or demands proof. Eventually they see the light.
What is more significant to me is how the mythology of The Necronomicon has taken a life separate from the work of its creator. Even folk unfamiliar with Lovecraft (yes, a few of them are out there) may have heard of the book in question, even if only through popular culture references such as Raimi’s Evil Dead, where the main protagonist, Ash, finds a book bound in human flesh and written in blood, containing information for creating a rift between worlds.
Perhaps the greatest confusion regarding the existence of The Necronomicon is its name suggests a connection with the very real Egyptian Book of the Dead, primarily funereal rites and hymns recorded for the entombment of people of distinction. Then, there’s something which has come to be known as The Tibetan Book of the Dead, a primarily religious tract dealing with religious concepts and states of existence. Nowhere in the above two volumes will one find any reference to Cthulhu or even Yog-Sothoth. Go figure.
Perhaps the allure of The Necronomicon is the promise of hidden knowledge. It’s the same allure that has fueled interest in the occult for generations.
Still, separating fact from fancy is never an honest cure for the romantic. Even knowing the true origin of The Necronomicon, there isn’t one of us who hasn’t found something curious in a used bookstore somewhere, and flipped through musty pages, hoping and wondering. And fearing.