Necronomicon Hoaxes

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The Necronomicon as a real book

Though Lovecraft insisted the book was pure invention (and other writers invented passages from the book in their own works), there are accounts of some people actually believing his Necronomicon to be a real book. Even during Lovecraft's life he received letters from fans inquiring about the Necronomicon's authenticity. Occasionally, pranksters listed the Necronomicon for sale in book store newsletters or inserted phony library card catalogue entries for the book.

Simon "Necronomicon"

This line between fact and fiction was further confused in the late 1970s by the publication of a book purporting to be a translation of the "real" Necronomicon. This book, by the pseudonymic "Simon", has little connection to the fictional Lovecraft mythology but rather is based on Sumerian Mythology. It has later been dubbed the "Simon Necronomicon".

Wilson Hoax

A blatant hoax version of the Necronomicon was produced by paranormal researcher and writer Colin Wilson, describing how it was translated by computer from a discovered "cipher text." It is far truer to the Lovecraftean version and even incorporates quotations from Lovecraft's stories into its passages.

Books of the Dead

Historical "Books of the Dead" such as the ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead or the Tibetan Bardo Thodol are sometimes described as "real Necronomicons." They should not be confused with the Lovecraft Necronomicon, as their contents are meant to be read or remembered by the dead, rather than used by the living to summon the dead. Lovecraft, however, may have been inspired by these books.