The Necronomicon in Popular Culture

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References to the Necronomicon

Necronomicon Ex-Mortis, from the Evil Dead trilogy of films

Many fantasy and horror writers have mentioned the Necronomicon in their own stories. The Necronomicon has also become part of popular culture, influencing bands, filmmakers, television writers, and video game developers.

  • The Stephen King book The Eyes of the Dragon includes a reference to a book "bound in human flesh" that the magician Flagg cannot read for too long for fear of losing his sanity. It is also referenced as a very long book.
  • In a passage in Gene Wolfe's novel Peace, a book of necromancy being forged by a character is not named but its form suggests the popular image of the Necronomicon.
  • Andrzej Sapkowski mentions a Polish translation of the book titled Źwierzcyadło Maggi Czarney Bissurmańskiey in his short story "Tandaradei!". It is also mentioned under its original title in his novel Boży bojownicy (God's Warriors).
  • Necronomicon was the title of a book of paintings by the Swiss artist H. R. Giger (published in 1978). It was appropriately titled considering his particularly sinister style of blended machinery and flesh.
  • Metallica's song "The Thing that Should not Be" contains lines derived from a quotation from the Necronomicon: "That is not dead which can eternal lie/ And with strange eons even death may die" (shortened to "Not dead which eternal lie / stranger eons death may die"). Beatallica's "The Thing that Should not Let it Be" is thus also derived from the Necronomicon, albeit second hand.
  • In an episode of The Venture Bros., Dr. Orpheus refuses to swear on a Bible before taking the witness stand in court, instead preferring to take the oath on the Necronomicon.
  • In the humorous film noir movie Cast a Deadly Spell, Fred Ward plays the private detective H. Phillip Lovecraft, who is hired by a questionable character to retrieve a book called The Necronomicon. The book has been stolen from the latter's personal library.
  • In Defense of the Ancients, the Necronomicon is an item that increases the Intelligence statistic and allows the player to summon two soldiers with necromatic powers. It is mainly useful to mages.
  • In 1971, science fiction author Larry Niven published a humorous short story called "The Last Necronomicon".
  • In the comic Van Von Hunter, there is a book called Notdanecronomicon which when touched without first saying "all clear" summons an undead army.
  • In the webcomic Sam and Fuzzy, there is a book called "the necro-deatho-bookikon" referred to as mainstream satanistic garbage.
  • In the webcomic Movie Punks, there is a book called the Punkronomicon, which is used for picking up goth chicks in clubs and bars.
  • In the 2nd edition Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay core book, there is a very thinly-veiled reference on page 219 to the Necronomicon: "Another such volume is the Book of the Dead, written by the mad Arabyan prince Abdul ben Raschid ... Only the most strong-willed can read these books and retain any sense of sanity. These forbidden tomes tell of the horrible secrets of the beyond, of the dark insane dreams that the dead dream in their eternal rest."
  • In the Wild Arms video game series, the Necronomicon is a piece of equipment that can greatly increase the user's magic statistics.
  • In the 13-episode horror anthology series Masters of Horror, the Necronomicon is featured in the second episode, an adaptation of Lovecraft's "The Dreams in the Witch House".
  • The tombstone on the front cover of Iron Maiden's seminal Live album "Live After Death" contains the quote "That is not dead / Which can eternal lie / Yet with strange aeons / Even death may die"
  • In Dan Abnett's Eisenhorn, the Necronomicon (called the Necroteuch) is one of the worst books of Chaos in existence. If someone picks it up, the person holding it will be mesmerized by it and will be unable to do anything but stare at the book. It corrupted and caused the death of the entire Saruthi race. It also distorted the way physical dimensions acted near it.
  • Porndeath/Grind band Lividity from USA, have also referred to the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis, as an intro to one of their songs from their Age of Clitorial Decay release. The intro talks about how the book was inked with blood, the same blood that used to flow in all the rivers at that time, and how it got lost.
  • The US musical group Nox Arcana released an album in 2004 entitled Necronomicon. The predominantly instrumental music ranges from ominous orchestrations with a Middle Eastern influence, evoking mystical reference to the Mad Arab Alhazred. Vocals consist of various "otherworldly" chants, including ritual phrases from the Necronomicon according to Lovecraft. The Necronomicon cd booklet also contains fantasy artist Joseph Vargo's rendition of Cthulhu and several pages from the Necronomicon book as well as other illustrations of The Great Old Ones.