A recently rediscovered manuscript circa 1926, titled The Cancer of Superstition, co-written by Lovecraft was found in a collection of items from an old magic shop. The collection belonged to Beatrice Houdini and was commissioned by her husband, the legendary escape artist Harry Houdini. The 31-page work delves into and condemns superstition through out time.
The Cancer of Superstition was not the first time that Lovecraft and Houdini worked together. Lovecraft often served as a ghostwriter for Houdini. The manuscript, co-written by CM Eddy, was meant to be a ‘campaign’ against superstition, but was sadly never finished. Houdini died soon after the project began and Houdini’s wife Beatrice made the choice not to pursue having it finished. The last line of the last written page is classic H.P. Lovecraft, “Most of us are heathens in the innermost recesses of our hearts.”
H.P. Lovecraft & Harry Houdini
Potter & Potter Auctions of Chicago will sell the manuscript at an auction containing other pieces owned by Houdini on April 9. The opening bid has been set at $13,000. Experts are expecting the document to fetch some where between $25,000 and $40,000.
It’s rare that unseen writings from long-gone authors are ever discovered, let alone put up for auction to the pubic, especially when they come from such a prolific author as Lovecraft. I truly hope that whoever does place the winning bid will choose to publish the manuscript.