The Colour Out of Space
H. P. Lovecraft
Written in March of 1927
Published in September 1927
The Colour Out of Space
West of Arkham the hills rise wild, and there are valleys with deep woods that no axe has ever cut.
There are dark narrow glens where the trees slope fantastically, and where thin brooklets trickle
without ever having caught the glint of sunlight. On the gentle slopes there are farms, ancient and
rocky, with squat, moss-coated cottages brooding eternally over old New England secrets in the lee of
great ledges; but these are all vacant now, the wide chimneys crumbling and the shingled sides bulging
perilously beneath low gambrel roofs.
The old folk have gone away, and foreigners do not like to live there. French-Canadians have tried it,
Italians have tried it, and the Poles have come and departed. It is not because of anything that can be
seen or heard or handled, but because of something that is imagined. The place is not good for
imagination, and does not bring restful dreams at night. It must be this which keeps the foreigners
away, for old Ammi Pierce has never told them of anything he recalls from the strange days. Ammi,
whose head has been a little queer for years, is the only one who still remains, or who ever talks of the
strange days; and he dares to do this because his house is so near the open fields and the travelled roads
There was once a road over the hills and through the valleys, that ran straight where the blasted heath is
now; but people ceased to use it and a new road was laid curving far toward the south. Traces of the old
one can still be found amidst the weeds of a returning wilderness, and some of them will doubtless
linger even when half the hollows are flooded for the new reservoir. Then the dark woods will be cut
down and the blasted heath will slumber far below blue waters whose surface will mirror the sky and
ripple in the sun. And the secrets of the strange days will be one with the deep's secrets; one with the
hidden lore of old ocean, and all the mystery of primal earth.
When I went into the hills and vales to survey for the new reservoir they told me the place was evil.
They told me this in Arkham, and because that is a very old town full of witch legends I thought the
evil must he something which grandams had whispered to children through centuries. The name
"blasted heath" seemed to me very odd and theatrical, and I wondered how it had come into the
folklore of a Puritan people. Then I saw that dark westward tangle of glens and slopes for myself, end
ceased to wonder at anything beside its own elder mystery. It was morning when I saw it, but shadow
lurked always there. The trees grew too thickly, and their trunks were too big for any healthy New
England wood. There was too much silence in the dim alleys between them, and the floor was too soft
with the dank moss and mattings of infinite years of decay.