" . . . and worst of all, the unmentionable Necronomicon of the mad Arab Abdul Alhazred, in Olaus Wormius’ forbidden Latin translation; a book which I had never seen, but of which I had heard monstrous things whispered."
-H. P. Lovecraft, The Festival
Bound in human flesh, and containing the very distilled essence of the madly gibbering void betwixt the unforgiving stars, I have crafted in my workshop (with the assistance of a French artist and a failed Republican presidential candidate), the Necronomicon Ex Mortis, the Book of the Dead!
Actually, it's another prop I made for a small theater that's putting on a production of Evil Dead: the Musical, the same folks I built a totally kickass blood spraying chainsaw arm for! I guess they must have liked the early pictures I sent of the saw, 'cause they also asked for a book.
Here's a video of me flipping through that pages, read on to learn all about how I built it, or skip ahead to read about the play it was used in!
Thanks so much to everyone who voted for me in the contest, my chainsaw is a finalist!
Step 1: The Inspiration
The Necronomicon was the invention of H.P. Lovecraft, a very prolific horror and weird fiction writer in the early decades of the last century. His influence on genre fiction literally cannot be overstated. If you aren't familiar with his work, I highly recommend reading up on him, and maybe diving into a short story or two--most of it is public domain, and if audio is more your style, there are some podcasts out there that produce audio versions of his work from time to time.
He often encouraged his friends, be they aspiring writers or big names themselves, to borrow freely from the collection of ideas he referred to as Yogsosothery (named after one of his ancient godlike aliens), which is now known as the Cthulhu Mythos (named after one of his other ancient alien deities). It was through this channel and that of his own stories that concepts such as Cthulhu, the Necronomicon, and the Great Old Ones, overwhelming cosmic horror, that which man was Not Meant to Know, and so much more seeped into popular culture in general and all things horror in particular.
This Necronomicon isn't strictly the one from Lovecraft's stories, but rather my interpretation of the one from Evil Dead 2. I wanted the exterior to have that ridged, bound in human flesh look. The inside was more difficult . . . but we'll come to that in the next step. Here's the intro from the movie: