I don't recall the author or the title but the plot revolves around a bank-built house in a mountainous forest discovered by a lone traveler. In the house is a painted portrait of the same house hanging on the back wall, which is covered by a tapestry or wall hanging of some sort.

The wall or tapestry hides the entrance to a cave or tunnel from which all manner of horrors eventually emerge. The portrait of the house is closely examined by our traveler and is described in minute detail by the author.

The list of probable authors include H. P. Lovecraft, August Derleth, Clark Ashton Smith and Robert Bloch.

I believe it was a Cthulhu Mythos collection that contained it but I have had no luck finding such a tale on line or in any book that I currently have access to.

  • I was going to suggest Pickman's Model, but that's not it. Lost my copy, but could it be a story from Ligotti's Songs of a Dead Dreamer?
    – Chris O
    Dec 7, 2013 at 21:07
  • Pickman's Gallery
    – Snoop
    Mar 19, 2016 at 1:42

3 Answers 3


This isn't an actual H. P Lovecraft story; it's August Derleth's Beyond the Threshold , which can be found in Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos by H. P. Lovecraft & Others.

Here's the painting:

Squarely in the center of the east wall, indeed, built into the wall, was an enormous painting, reaching from the floor to the ceiling and occupying a width of over six feet. If this painting, apparently executed by some unknown friend of Uncle Leander’s, if not by my great-uncle himself, had had about it any mark of genius or even of unusual talent, this display might have been overlooked, but it did not, it was a perfectly prosaic representation of a north country scene, showing a hillside, with a rocky cave opening out into the center of the picture, a scarcely defined path leading to the cave, an impressionistic beast which was evidently meant to resemble a bear, once common in this country, walking toward it, and overhead something that looked like an unhappy cloud lost among the pines rising darkly all around.

  • This is without doubt a story very like the one I seek. But the details vary from the solo encounter one my question describes. Authors do mimic and alter details as can be seen if the plot points are compared. The painting is different, in my tale the painting is of the house itself, of this I am certain as a few years ago I was in search of it as a guide to direct a painter friend to do a portrait of my house in the same vane as the story portrait. Thanks for the answer and I hope to resolve my search eventually. Best answer yet, might even be it but I think it's the germ of mine, perhaps.
    – Ihor Sypko
    Mar 11, 2015 at 20:33

That's "The Picture in the House."

  • 1
    He did like direct titles. May 10, 2013 at 13:07
  • 3
    'The Picture in the House' is about an old guy and cannibalism and an engraving in an actual book, 'Regnum Congo'. Not my lost story, sorry
    – Ihor Sypko
    May 10, 2013 at 19:35

Possibly The Rats in the Walls by H.P. Loveraft, one of his finest tales of Gothic (as opposed to cosmic) horror. There's a very detailed description of a house high on a rocky crag and an ancestral tapestry that covers the entrance to a tunnel filled with horrors, as well as cats that lead the protagonist to the terrifying revelations.

  • 2
    It doesn't seems to be the story
    – RMalke
    Jun 18, 2013 at 10:49
  • Not "Rats...", that story has other characters and a lodger aspect to the main protaganist also. I will be sooo chagrined when I rediscover this story. --Ihor
    – Ihor Sypko
    Jul 23, 2013 at 20:08

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