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The Rats in the Walls

4.10  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,382 Ratings  ·  127 Reviews
"The Rats in the Walls" is a short story by H.P. Lovecraft. Written in August–September 1923, it was first published in Weird Tales, March 1924.

The story is narrated by the scion of the Delapore family, who has moved from Massachusetts to his ancestral estate in England, known as Exham Priory. On several occasions, the protagonist and his cats hear the sounds of rats scurr
Paperback, 95 pages
Published (first published 1924)
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Mar 26, 2016 Mizuki rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, great, mind-fuck
The Rats in the Walls is one of the really paranoid Lovecraft's tales, penned during the early time of his career.

The narration and writing style of this gloomy Gothic horror story about family secret and insanity is obviously influenced by Edgar Allan Poe, still Lovecraft had clearly done his homework well and the guy successfully take us to one hell of a nightmarish ride through deadly curses, ancient evil and delusion. Although Lovecraft's narration can be really dry at times, I still strong
Dec 29, 2014 Yani rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Es un libro tétrico para terminar el año, pero no me arrepiento de la elección. Se aprende bastante con Lovecraft (sus libros deberían venir con una indicación: "leer con una enciclopedia a mano") y su forma retorcida de asustar a la gente, de poner a un ser humano en una situación que se escapa de su comprensión y que luego posee su mente por completo.

En Las ratas en las paredes (1924) el narrador se presenta como el habitante de Exham Priory, una finca familiar muy antigua y con una histori
Jan 19, 2012 Lou rated it it was amazing
The skill of Lovecraft's writing is monumental he writes with shear skill and atmosphere. This story is one of a terror of rats be sure to buy a cat when you occupy and new property as it may be a priceless weapon. The rats are a viscous, gelatinous, ravenous army that feast on the dead and the living.

"the walls were alive with nauseous sound the veminous slithering of ravenous, gigantic rats."

"My searchlight expired, but still I ran. I heard voices, and yowls, and echoes, but above all there
Plague Jack
Feb 19, 2015 Plague Jack rated it really liked it

I'm generally not a fan of Lovecraft.

I feel like the man should have been born in the year 1970 and gotten a job writing lore for video games instead of writing short stories. The worlds he created are phenomenal, but they're also underused and hidden behind dense and impractical prose.

As a writer, Lovecraft is incredibly gaudy and his stories have no emphasis on character. Instead Lovecraft focuses on his word obsession and horror concepts. This is not so much a criticism, as it is a rea
Oct 24, 2013 Gary rated it it was amazing
I was trying to remember if I had read any H. P. Lovecraft in college...I most likely did....but I can't remember one thing I read in college. I remember Poe, most certainly, but Lovecraft doesn't stand out. I was looking at a list of great stories about haunted houses,and out of the 7 I had already read 5. This one, which on the list, I had not,and I am certain I'd not read this particular one before. I loved being a virgin on this one....I found myself wide eyed through out, because Lovecraft ...more
Jul 08, 2015 أحمد rated it really liked it
عن الرعب من الماضي البعيد الذي لا نعرف عنه شيئاً. عن الرعب من أسلافنا الذين عاشوا أياماً مخيفة في عصور منسية. عن الرعب من الأماكن التي لا نستطيع تحديد أعمارها. عن الرعب مما حدث هنا يوماً. عن الرعب الباقي هنا أبداً.
عن الرعب يكتب لافكرافت كما لم يكتب أحد غيره.

أحمد الديب
يوليو 2015
Feb 24, 2015 Dahlia rated it really liked it
"I had now been shown the thing which certain forces had wished to show me."

Superb work.
⊱ Irena ⊰
May 15, 2015 ⊱ Irena ⊰ rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
The Rats in the Walls is told by a last living member of the de la Poer family.
On July 16th, 1923 he left everything in America and came to his ancestral home in England - Exham Priory.
'Unlike our planter neighbours, we seldom boasted of crusading ancestors or other mediaeval and Renaissance heroes; nor was any kind of tradition handed down except what may have been recorded in the sealed envelope left before the Civil War by every squire to his eldest son for posthumous opening.'
Lisa Dee
Feb 20, 2014 Lisa Dee rated it it was amazing
One of Lovecraft's finest short stories. Poor Delapore should have stayed in America and not returned to his ancestral home in Britain. He came from an "accursed line" and when he discovers exactly how cursed, it is too late. This is a very dark tale and Lovecraft weaves a terrifying story with ornate but beautiful language and imagery.
Karla Torres
Apr 17, 2015 Karla Torres rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ya he mencionado antes que no me gusta leer recopilaciones de cuentos o historias o lo que sea. Hay muchas razones, pero la principal es que no puedo evaluar el libro como tal, ya que son distintas historias, y unas pueden haberme gustado o no. En fin. Con este libro no ocurrió eso, amigos :D
El libro cuenta con 8 historias. Todas me gustaron, unas más que otras, claro está, pero las ocho historias me tenían atrapada. Y en cada una de ellas había algo que realmente no esperaba.
Mis favoritas fue
Jan 21, 2015 Geekritique rated it really liked it
Find this and many other reviews on Geekritique!

Since I've started writing fiction again, which you can find here, I've used the Writing Excuses podcast to give me prompts which I, in turn, adapt to short story works in my fantasy world Atelinor. The latest episode highlighted Lovecraftian horror, a genre who's waters I have never tested. Before I try my hand on the given story prompt, I wanted to check out some of H.P. Lovecraft's work for myself. A friend inclined me towards starting with The
May 27, 2011 Kat rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, short-stories
This is one of Lovecraft's masterpieces of terror that doesn't directly mention his well-known elder gods directly, but hints at elder evil nonetheless. It's one of my favorite stories, truly a creepfest.

Plot: The last man in his family line decides to go back to his family's ancestral home to renovate and preserve his legacy, only to find there's more history to the house than he really wants to know.
Stuart Slingsby
Apr 28, 2015 Stuart Slingsby rated it really liked it
This is Lovecraft at his best here, in top form. A classic non-mythos story in the tradition of Edgar Allan Poe, but stylistically superior and far more understanding of the depth and breadth of the unknown, that black chasm that lays forever just beyond the supposedly firm ground upon which we've based our world

And yes, he does have a cat called Nigger-Man.

The story is about an unnamed person that inherits a gothic castle that has rats in the walls and they start causing mayhem. This is a good
Aug 15, 2012 Finooola rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
For a guy who is often described as a writer of "atheist" horror, Lovecraft seems to have a very visceral horror of paganism. Or perhaps he just assumes his (civilized, christian) readers will have. You do have to put yourself back in the time and place these stories were written in quite a bit for various reasons. Lovecraft thinks it obvious that everything "primitive" is negative and horrific, whereas I, writing in the early 21st century have a more typical-for-my-time respectful (or possibly ...more
Victor Hugo Kebbe
Oct 29, 2014 Victor Hugo Kebbe rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
The Rats in the Walls is a classic tale by Lovecraft, evoking several gothic elements to create the atmosphere of Horror. While most of the famous tales of Lovecraft is located in the US (Providence), this one is in England, in an old castle built on Celtic, Roman and Saxon remains. It's interesting to see how Lovecraft uses all the clichés in his favor, bringing something totally new.
Natasha P.
Jul 30, 2015 Natasha P. rated it it was amazing
"Nos colocaba ante un dilema: abandonar cualquier acción... ulterior en nombre de una precaución supersticiosa o alimentar nuestro sentido de la aventura y el riesgo, fuesen cuales fueren los horrores que nos depararan aquellos insondables abismos." Pagina 9.

Aug 26, 2014 Ken rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A wealthy American reconstructs his ancestral home in Britain and explores his family's rumored dark history.

Spectral hoards of rats, an ageless Stygian mystery and madness.....a Lovecraft classic.

Apr 07, 2015 Jackie added it
My other favorite H.P. Lovecraft book. I was strung along with the unexpecting main character and just as shocked as he was about his fate.
Oct 19, 2015 LQ rated it really liked it
This was my first Lovecraft short story, and the one that hooked me on his writings.
Nov 08, 2014 Colleen rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
This is a deliciously creepy story, especially if you dislike rodents. Nicely constructed, very layered. Although strewn with subplots, they all link directly back to the main story. Many authors cannot manage to do this, even in hundreds of pages. Lovecraft does it nicely in a short story.

For the politically correct, the favored cat in this story has a naughty word for a name. Lovecraft lived in a time when such terminology was not only acceptable, but expected. There are no nasty or racist re
Ebster Davis
So, where there really rats?
Nov 09, 2015 Drfoolish rated it it was amazing
Holy crap.
José Monico
Aug 01, 2014 José Monico rated it it was ok
I think I missed something. Something obvious? I see the reviews, and they're raving about this story. The description was also highly touting this one. So I waited, and read in anticipation...I think I missed it again.
Now, what's positive about this one? It has that fine line I continue to write about: that fine line between verbose parody and powerful nuance. it's well controlled, and a masterful prose. But it's dull, and the medium is not engaging. I just couldn't get into this one. I think
Sep 20, 2010 Heather rated it it was ok
The short story "The Rats in the Walls" was recommended on the Horror podcast of Writing Excuses a while back. Not a big fan. The first five pages were boring and mostly pointless to the rest of the story. The ending felt inevitable rather than surprising and horrifying. Maybe I'm just the wrong audience.
Urth Lin
It was an interesting story.
The pacing was very good and the plot development was built with mastery.

This is my second story by H.P. Lovecraft (actually the third, but i'm kind of rereading) and i'm already used to his style of writing and his love for the word "sanity".

Jules Verne would be proud and a little jealous.*

The end was definitely the best part.

Warning: Spoilers Ahead!

* I was referring to the moment that they go underground. Something like Journey to the Center of the Earth.
Jan 27, 2016 Kalyn rated it really liked it
A deliciously suspenseful story that plays with the mind and humans' innate fear of things they cannot see but they can hear. The proverbial bump in the night, if you will. This story will make you begin to wonder if there aren't things scurrying in your wall at night; the rustle of a bag, the settling of an animal outside, are these things all truly there or in your mind?

This story is well worth the read and I recommend it to anyone. It shows how the human mind can play tricks on you and how we
Melinda Brasher
Jul 25, 2015 Melinda Brasher rated it really liked it
This short story has a very old-fashioned style, quite "told," with a number of unfamiliar words or references to mythology and such that I had to look up. Though parts felt a little dry, it was strangely still engaging.

I was also a little confused at what exactly it was that they discovered toward the end. But the very ending was creepy, and parts in the middle were too.

The cat's name was hard for me to read over and over, though I doubt he meant it to be so offensive. The word has changed co
J. Favazza
Nov 27, 2014 J. Favazza rated it it was amazing
My favorite Lovecraft story. He is the master of building terror in only a few pages and keeping there until the conclusion. After getting to the main part of the story, it had me stop reading to listen to noises around me.
And it has the best line ever in a horror tale:
"Ultimate horror often paralysis memory in a merciful way."
My feeling is that if he did not write horror and fantasy, if he wrote more mainstream stories, his writing style would have made him one of the important writer of the ea
Oct 18, 2015 Marco rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
This is the story of the scion of the Delapore family, who has moved from Massachusetts to his ancestral estate in England, known as Exham Priory, after the death of his son in war. He restores the old family castle despite the ill repute and aversion of the locals to the place. He moves in with a lot of cats, including his favorite cat which name is too racist to write down. As soon as he moves in, on several occasions, Mr Delapore and his cats hear the sounds of rats scurrying behind the walls ...more
Apr 19, 2016 Alisha rated it it was amazing
This was a creepy one, it was very suspenseful and I found myself wondering what exactly was behind those walls the whole way through. How maddening it must have been to hear this scurrying and be driven to madness by it only to find out what horrors lurk beneath. Very captivating story and one I'd reread gladly for not only it's interesting premise but also the beautiful way it was written. I also really enjoyed the way the story was told as if it was a story passed down by ancients.
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Classic Horror Lo...: Rats in the Wall by HP Lovecraft *Spoilers* 24 40 Oct 10, 2011 02:37PM  
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Howard Phillips Lovecraft, of Providence, Rhode Island, was an American author of horror, fantasy and science fiction.

Lovecraft's major inspiration and invention was cosmic horror: life is incomprehensible to human minds and the universe is fundamentally alien. Those who genuinely reason, like his protagonists, gamble with sanity. Lovecraft has developed a cult following for his Cthulhu Mythos, a
More about H.P. Lovecraft...

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“Ultimate horror often paralyses memory in a merciful way.” 119 likes
“Through all this horror my cat stalked unperturbed. Once I saw him monstrously perched atop a mountain of bones, and wondered at the secrets that might lie behind his yellow eyes.” 71 likes
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