could anyone please advise me of any beings, within the Cthulhu Mythos, that use any form of illusionary spells. Specifically I'm trying to determine if any are known to use their magic, almost like a glamour, to lure or ensnare.

  • Mind control seems to be possible even in HPL's own stories. Dreams in the Witch House (title?) describes this. But an actual visual illusion, I don't think there were ever any of those. When someone described Ryleh, the bizarre geometry wasn't an illusion, but a human's visual cortex trying to interpret very real extra-dimensional locations/angles. Maybe Derleth had something more akin to magic spells, I don't really read his crap.
    – John O
    Commented Mar 14, 2014 at 20:55
  • Mind transference has cropped in a couple of recent questions on HPL. Many of the Old Ones have some kind of influence over the minds of men in one way or another, but like the rest I'm not sure how much of it qualifies as illusionary. Mostly it just drives you insane.
    – joshbirk
    Commented Mar 14, 2014 at 23:18

2 Answers 2


Nyarlathotep takes many different forms, both in Lovecraft's stories and in "Cthulhu Mythos" stories by other authors, see the table here. Not sure if he could be said to illusions to "ensnare", although in Lovecraft's original Nyarlathotep prose poem where the character first appeared, everyone seems strangely drawn to public exhibitions he would give, which seemed to involve mysterious hypnotic imagery as seen in the section below:

I remember when Nyarlathotep came to my city—the great, the old, the terrible city of unnumbered crimes. My friend had told me of him, and of the impelling fascination and allurement of his revelations, and I burned with eagerness to explore his uttermost mysteries. My friend said they were horrible and impressive beyond my most fevered imaginings; that what was thrown on a screen in the darkened room prophesied things none but Nyarlathotep dared prophesy, and that in the sputter of his sparks there was taken from men that which had never been taken before yet which shewed only in the eyes. And I heard it hinted abroad that those who knew Nyarlathotep looked on sights which others saw not.

It was in the hot autumn that I went through the night with the restless crowds to see Nyarlathotep; through the stifling night and up the endless stairs into the choking room. And shadowed on a screen, I saw hooded forms amidst ruins, and yellow evil faces peering from behind fallen monuments. And I saw the world battling against blackness; against the waves of destruction from ultimate space; whirling, churning; struggling around the dimming, cooling sun.

  • Nyarlathotep is a good angle, he's also described as taking different forms and names. Again though, not sure if it is properly illusionary so much as other-worldly/dimension.
    – joshbirk
    Commented Mar 14, 2014 at 23:24

I think the "illusion magic" happens more in game adaptations than in the books themselves.

For example, in Cthulhu RPG, there was a spell called "Bait for humans":

Causes the image of a fabulously large and beautiful cut diamond to float in the air before the target. The spell costs the caster 1 magic point per casting, lasts for five minutes, and can be repeated indefinitely. Approximate range of the spell is one mile. As a target approaches the illusion, the diamond recedes at approximately the same speed, in the direction the caster wills, presumably to where the hungry cthonian waits. As in sport fishing, the target decides whether or not to take the bait. Only chthonians have this spell.

In Darkest Dungeon, there is the Siren:

enter image description here enter image description here

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.