Whateley (family)

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Name(s): The Whateley family; sometimes "Whatley", "Whatly", "Witley" etc.

First Appearance: The Dunwich Horror(?), by H.P. Lovecraft

Short Description: A large Miskatonic Region family, with a large population in the decadent hills of Dunwich; there are, according to Lovecraft in The Dunwich Horror "...innumerable Whateleys, decayed and undecayed, of the upper Miskatonic valley...." Among the "decayed" Whateleys are a broken, feeble-minded, mad, and twisted branch deep in the hills of Dunwich who shun civilization so that they may practice their "black magic" in solitude and isolation....

History and Scope

The Dunwich Horror

"...innumerable Whateleys, decayed and undecayed, of the upper Miskatonic valley...."


  • John Whateley (see "Fungi from Yuggoth"; no birth/death dates given, declared insane but never locked up)
  • Old Wizard Whateley (no name given; named "Noah" and given a birthdate 1852 in the CoC RPG) 1852?-1924 (heart failure)
    Mrs. Whateley, wife (no name given) ?-1890? (died when Lavinia was 12)
    • Lavinia Whateley, unmarried daughter 1877/1878?-1926 (apparently sacrificed on Sentinel Hill by her sons)
      • Wilbur Whateley, son 1913-1928 (killed by dogs, actually a Son of Yog-Sothoth)
      • "baby" Whateley, son? (nameless) 1913-1913 (officially died in childbirth, or actually died in 1928 in a lightning strike and house explosion, if Prof. Armitage is to be believed)

"a branch that hovered about half way between soundness and decadence"

  • Zebulon Whateley ("Old" Zebulon; can be counted on to remember ancient rumours about Dunwich and the Whateleys)

"sound" and "undecayed"

  • Zechariah Whateley (farmer and chairman of the Dunwich draft board)
    ? Whateley (wife, no name given; named "Sarah" in the CoC RPG)
    • Curtis Whateley, son (farmer)
      Ruth Whateley (wife, invented by the CoC RPG)

Derleth's "post-humous collaborations"

The Shuttered Room


  • Sarey Whateley (deep one hybrid, offspring of Ralsa Marsh).
  • Ralsa Whateley



  • Abner Whateley
  • Luther Whateley

The Watchers Out of Time

  • ? Whateley (alive in 1696, arrived from England in what would become Dunwich)
  • Cyrus Whateley
  • Aberath Whateley ?-1928
  • Tobias Whateley

Chaosium RPG Supplements

"Return to Dunwich (Supplement)" by Keith Herber, with some additional details from "Shadows of Yog-Sothoth: Devil's Canyon" by John Carnahan:

  • Absalom Whateley ?-1722 (wizard, alive in 1692-1722; in 1692 founds "New Dunnich" - later Dunwich - as one of the Whateley refugees of the Salem Witch Hunt; builds glasshouse in 1712 which would close in 1788; dies in 1722)
    • Jeremiah Whateley ?-1752 (eldest son, alive in 1692-1752; in 1696 builds the first of Dunwich's then prosperous mills; first sawmill built in 1705, first fulling mill built in 1709, larger gristmill built in 1748, inherits father's library and work in 1722, lends money for the Osborn's General Store in the abandoned Congregational Church in Dunwich in 1752, dies in 1752 after argument with brother)
      ? Whateley (wife, alive in 1752; ruled unfit to manage husband's estate in 1752)
      •  ??? Whateley (sons, alive in 1752, inherit father's property after mother ruled unfit to manage his estate in 1752)
        • "Squire" Sawyer Whateley 1846-? (alive at 84 in 1930; joined the American Civil War 1861-1865 in 1863 by lying about his age; wealthy land owner)
          • Tristram Whateley (alive at 58 in the 1920s; constable, tax assessor/collector)
            Joanne Whateley (wife, alive at 41 in the 1920s)
    • Jacob Whateley ?-1753 (younger son, wizard; alive in 1704-1746, achieves first magical success in 1704, broke with his family in 1709, moves outside Dunwich village in 1712, dies in 1753 of "natural causes")
      •  ? (eldest granddaughter, disappears in 1752)
      • Ezra Whateley, descendant (of the "Hill Whateleys", alive in 1804; argument with George Whateley in 1804)
        ? Whateley, wife
        • Avern Whateley, son ?-1806 (lynched in 1806 in connection to the bizarre deaths of four boys at a newly-constructed sawmill)
          • Lemuel Whateley 1902-? (cousin of Tristram)
            Julie Whateley, wife 1903-?
  • Oliver Whateley (of the "Hill Whateleys", alive in 1836, leaves Dunwich for California as a missionary in 1836; alive in 1837-1843 as a California missionary to the Hotethk Tribe as detailed in "Shadows of Yog-Sothoth: Devil's Canyon" by John Carnahan)
  • George Whateley (alive in 1791-1806; builds sawmill in 1791, argument with Ezra Whateley in 1804, builds larger sawmill in 1806, suffers mental collapse in 1806)
  • Noah Whateley, 1852-1924 (The "Wizard Whateley" of "The Dunwich Horror")
    Mrs. Whateley ?-1890 (wife, no name given)
  • Avern Whateley ?-1806 (of the "Hill Whateleys")
  • Zechariah Whateley 1848-? (apparently from "The Dunwich Horror", a "sound" Whateley, alive in 1930)
    Sarah Whateley, wife 1850-? (alive in 1930)
    • Curtis Whateley 1880-1930? (son, apparently from "The Dunwich Horror", mad since 1928 and possessed by Wilbur Whateley's brother, alive in 1930)
      Ruth Whateley, wife 1885-? (alive in 1930)
  •  ? Whateley
    • Amos Whateley, son 1881-? (illiterate gold-digger and wife-murderer, alive in 1930)
      ? Whateley, wife ("run off" - actually murdered - years before 1930)
    • Seth Whateley, son 1887-? (farmer)
      Charlotte Whateley, wife 1889-? (alive in 1930)
      • two youngest children
    • Sally Whateley, daughter 1895-? (prostitute)
      ?, husband ?-1925 (died 1925 of influenza)
      • three unnamed children
  • Zebulon Whateley 1864-? (alive in 1930; from "The Dunwich Horror"; a second-cousin to both Noah Whateley and Squire Sawyer Whateley; a Believer)

"Mythos CCG":

  • Napoleon Whateley (Modern era, New York Police Detective)

The Treehouse

"The Treehouse", by Wilum Hopfrog Pugmire and Robert M. Price

  • John Whateley ?-? (from "Fungi from Yuggoth"?)
  • Old Wizard Whateley (from "The Dunwich Horror") 1852-1924
    Mrs. Whateley, wife (no name given) ?-1890? (from "The Dunwich Horror")
    • Lavinia Whateley, unmarried daughter 1877-? (from "The Dunwich Horror"; in this story, she actually escapes apparent canonical death in 1926 and flees Dunwich with Didymus)

Other Sources

"The Whateleys" game pitch by Chris Lackey, for Drama System:

  • Irma Whateley, family matriarch (a wealthy and respected elder by 1928; flees Dunwich for Arkham and establishes a "respectable" branch of the family there, which quickly falls into decadence following her death)
    • Godfrey Whateley
    • Ben Whateley
    • Janette Whateley

"Cthulhu City (supplement)" for Trail of Cthulhu:

  • John Whateley (founder of the Church of the Conciliator, a Yog-Sothoth cult)
    • Zebulon Whateley (descendant, may actually be Wilbur, leader of the Church of the Conciliator
    • The Dunwich Strangler (descendant, apparently a less-than-human brother of Zebulon)

"The Devil's Hop Yard", Lupoff:

  • Zenia Whateley-Sawyer, ?-1938 (marries Earl Sawyer in 1898)
    Earl Sawyer (husband)
    • Hester Sawyer, 1938- (daughter)

Die, Monster, Die! (1965 film):

  • Nahum Witley
    Letitia Witley (wife)
    • Susan Witley (daughter)

The Fog (1980 film):

  • "Whateley Point" is a California landmark, near "Arkham Reef"

The Last Bride of Salem (1974 film):

  • Thomas Whateley
    • mute and simple son Seth Whateley
    • witch Elsbeth March/Marsh

Arkham Now:

  • Jonathan Whateley (decayed)

Goblin on Bourbon Street (Supplement):

  • Mordechai Whateley

The Unspeakable Oath:

  • Jacob Whateley, who made magical items in the 18th century.

Betty Wicked (comic):

  • William Whateley (son of Wilbur)

Shadows Over Filmland:

  • Clem Whateley (decayed)

Deadlands (RPG):

  • Whateleys run a railway
  • Wilhelmina Whateley (family matriarch)
  • Nicodemus Whateley

"Winter Tide" by Ruthanna Emrys:

  • Whateleys are among the extensive secondary cast

Real life:

  • Ann Whateley, a supposed one-time fiancee of William Shakespeare who features in several conspiracy theories relating to the famous playright and poet.


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