H. P. Lovecraft
Written March 1921
Published in June of 1926
Somewhere, to what remote and fearsome region I know not, Denys Barry has gone. I was with him
the last night he lived among men, and heard his screams when the thing came to him; but all the
peasants and police in County Meath could never find him, or the others, though they searched long
and far. And now I shudder when I hear the frogs piping in swamps, or see the moon in lonely places.
I had known Denys Barry well in America, where he had grown rich, and had congratulated him when
he bought back the old castle by the bog at sleepy Kilderry. It was from Kilderry that his father had
come, and it was there that he wished to enjoy his wealth among ancestral scenes. Men of his blood
had once ruled over Kilderry and built and dwelt in the castle, but those days were very remote, so that
for generations the castle had been empty and decaying. After he went to Ireland, Barry wrote me
often, and told me how under his care the gray castle was rising tower by tower to its ancient splendor,
how the ivy was climbing slowly over the restored walls as it had climbed so many centuries ago, and
how the peasants blessed him for bringing back the old days with his gold from over the sea. But in
time there came troubles, and the peasants ceased to bless him, and fled away instead as from a doom.
And then he sent a letter and asked me to visit him, for he was lonely in the castle with no one to speak
to save the new servants and laborers he had brought from the North.
The bog was the cause of all these troubles, as Barry told me the night I came to the castle. I had
reached Kilderry in the summer sunset, as the gold of the sky lighted the green of the hills and groves
and the blue of the bog, where on a far islet a strange olden ruin glistened spectrally. That sunset was
very beautiful, but the peasants at Ballylough had warned me against it and said that Kilderry had
become accursed, so that I almost shuddered to see the high turrets of the castle gilded with fire.
Barry’s motor had met me at the Ballylough station, for Kilderry is off the railway. The villagers had
shunned the car and the driver from the North, but had whispered to me with pale faces when they saw
I was going to Kilderry. And that night, after our reunion, Barry told me why.
The peasants had gone from Kilderry because Denys Barry was to drain the great bog. For all his love
of Ireland, America had not left him untouched, and he hated the beautiful wasted space where peat
might be cut and land opened up. The legends and superstitions of Kilderry did not move him, and he
laughed when the peasants first refused to help, and then cursed him and went away to Ballylough with
their few belongings as they saw his determination. In their place he sent for laborers from the North,
and when the servants left he replaced them likewise. But it was lonely among strangers, so Barry had