The Whisperer in Darkness (2011) Script

The whole matter began, so far as I am concerned, with the unprecedented Vermont floods of 1927.

The rain poured down for days and the flooding was extensive.

It washed all kinds of things into the rivers, and people reported seeing strange things floating in the water.

As the flood waters receded, there was a widespread tendency to connect these sights with a primitive, half-forgotten cycle of whispered legend which old people resurrected forthe occasion.

Many of my friends appealed to me to shed what light I could on the subject.


I thought all copies had been lost.

Didn't Armitage have the last known one?

I thought it was ruined in that business last year...

Yes, that was the last known printed copy.

This is Davenport's original manuscript. And all his notes!

The original?

There's knowledge in those pages that's recorded nowhere else.

It's quite a find.

What will you do with it? Another book?

Sure, eventually. But right now I have a more immediate use for it.

I've been going over the notes in preparation for this absurd "debate."

That radio program? Albert, you shouldn't do it.

Dean Hayes insists!

After all the back-and-forth in the newspaper columns about the "bodies" washed up in the recent flooding...

You should have left it alone, Albert.

I'm a folklorist, Nate!

Nobody, nobody in this world knows more about this particular area of folklore than I.

And you think that with Davenport's notes...

Exactly! Even a hundred years ago, Eli Davenport was hearing the same stories.

"A hidden race of monstrous beings is said to lurk somewhere among the remoter hills - in the deep woods of the highest peaks.

Evidence of their existence was seen by those who ventured far up the slopes of certain mountains or in the deep, steep-sided gorges that even the wolves shunned."

Davenport collected countless tales detailing their supposed origins.

Here, look at this - illustrations that have never been seen!

Tales of settlers who vanished and others who collaborated with the things.

I'm familiar with... these legends. And I'm sure you're right. But you can't debate it.

I have to be there in less than an hour. It's being aired on the N.B.C. Network Cancel it.

You know who you're going up against?

Charles Fort.

And you think you can go on the radio and debate a best-selling author with countless fans, the world's most prominent expert on unexplained phenomena?

How is this going to help your cause?

Look, I can convince people...

With the minutiae of obscure New England folklore?

You only stand to lose here.

Nate, this is my life's work.

The whole reason to study folklore is to help us understand how and why we create myths.

People can't keep believing that each bolt of lightning is a spear thrown by Zeus!

It isn't Zeus I'm worried about.

OKnow, you're making this sound like one of those nameless cults you investigate!

I know you've had some rough experiences...

I'm telling you, you have nothing to gain from this debate.

C'mon, your pal Charlie Tower will be there.

He's footing the bill for the whole thing.

Albert, I've met Fort. His style may be strange, but he's smart.

Be careful what you say.

Perhaps I should have taken Nate Ward's advice.

Charles Fort was popular among the students for his open contempt for science and his extravagant books.

Charlie Tower, a friend and wealthy Miskatonic alumnus, paid to bring him to campus for the debate.

Tower had funded a number of university expeditions, flew airplanes, travelled the world.

He enjoyed stirring things up, and had Dean Hayes wrapped around his finger.

The host of the program was some sort of toothpaste salesman not a moderator or journalist of any kind.

I've collected books full of evidence in support of the idea that there are worlds beyond our own, and people, creatures... call them what you will, that have come here from somewhere else.

So you believe these creatures are alien beings of some kind?

I don't believe or disbelieve anything, Mr. Bradbury.

I merely note the long history of remarkably consistent reports.

The Pennacook Indians described similar things, did they not, Professor Wilmarth, ages ago?

Yes, they did, Mr. Fort. In fact...

They said that the beings were not native to this earth, that they had flown here from the stars.

The later Puritan settlers described them too, as creatures in league with Satan, only too happy to lead mankind down the path to sin.

The folklore is abundant.

My point is that it's the folklore that lies behind the recent reports.

Frightened people have doubtless seen broken tree branches and other suggestive shapes in the water, and under the nervous strain of the moment have let their imaginations get the better of them.

But what lies behind the folklore?

What do you say, Professor?

Are you suggesting that these legends are literally true?

The descriptions of countless people, across cultures and unconnected with each other, have been amazingly consistent.

They're also consistent with Nepalese tall tales of the dreaded Mi-Go or "Abominable Snow Man" of the Himalaya.

I suppose you think those are connected as well?

Well, now that you mention it...

So you're actually saying that people have been seeing large, winged, crab-like beings in the rivers of Vermont?

That's what I read in the papers.

Forgive me, Mr. Fort, but that's preposterous!

Compared to what? Your explanation?

You'd have us believe that the farmers of Vermont can't tell a tree branch from a rock lobster!

Your point of view has only one advantage: It keeps everyone calm.

Once a thing is explained away by"science", it can be dismissed.

Science doesn't strive to explain things away.

Science is a method of arriving at the truth!

And while it may have its faults, it's better than relying on newspaper accounts!

Touché, Professor.

If the Arkham Advertiser had been in publication two hundred and forty years ago, when the witch trials were under way, we would no doubt have read reports that our town was beset by witchcraft and dealings with Satan, right?

From what I've heard of Arkham, I'm sure we would!

And even if each and every one of us took such newspaper accounts at face value, and believed there were witches among us, would that have made it true?

It seemed to people in that time and place that witchcraft was real.

But a heritage of legend and popular belief in a phenomenon isn't enough to make it true, is it, Mr. Bradbury?

Cultural traditions and beliefs, even superstitions, shape our view of the world.

But the world is what the world is, and if we are to progress beyond witch trials and superstition we must cultivate the discipline to separate objective fact from myth and fancy.

The science of today is the witchcraft of yesterday.

Today's superstition is tomorrow's science.

Tell me, Mr. Fort, have you seen one of these hill creatures yourself?

Not personally, no.

Is there any material evidence of their existence?

Has one ever been photographed or recovered?

Sent to a museum? Studied scientifically?

Scientists seek only to prove or disprove something that they have conceived of in advance.

They may look, but they never see anything more than they want to see.

This from a man who sees little green men from Mars everywhere he turns!

I don't know what these things in Vermont are, Professor.

But, unlike you, I don't pretend to know what they're not.

I know they're not flying crab-men from outer space!

Gentlemen... How do you know?

Because you've "investigated"? Have you even been to Vermont?

Well, actually, no.

Then how can you claim to know what they're not?

Well, I...

He's got you there, professor!

No, no, I mean, they're not...

The professor hasn't even been there. So much for "scientific investigation"!

Look, I don't have to see them to know they're not real...

I rest my case, Mr. Bradbury. It's all witchcraft!

It was just the type of disaster Ward had foreseen.

Worse still, it was to be followed by a reception with Fort at the Faculty Club.

Excuse me, professor?

Yes?

Hi, I was wondering if I might have a moment of your time.

I'd be glad to, but just now...

My name is George Akeley. My father, Henry Akeley, he's been writing to you.

Yes, yes, I've exchanged several letters with yourfather.

He's a very bright fellow. His are some of the most vivid letters I get from Vermont.

He sent me here to see you. In person. I have...

I'm afraid I have an engagement, I'm expected...

My father needs your help!

Yes, so he said. He said the hill creatures are all around your farm.

Yes. They are. And now everyone in the region thinks he's a lunatic thanks to your letters to the newspapers.

Well now, George, your father's clearly a sensible and educated man and I have tremendous respect for him, but that doesn't mean I believe every letter that comes to my desk...

You mean you don't want to believe!

I think Mr. Fort was right about you.

Look, it's my job to study old legends, not to believe in them!

Wilmarth, everyone's waiting...

Is there a problem here?

No. Mr. Akeley here was just attempting to continue tonight's debate.

I'll be right there, Professor Ward.

Good night.

I have photos.

Photos?

My father made me promise to show them to you. He also...

Let's see them.

No, not here.

You have them with you now?

We should get inside. Come with us.


What is this, coffin varnish?

Where's Wilmarth? You don't think he's going to skip out on this blow, do you?

He will if he's smart.

He wasn't that bad...

Well, I suppose I should get back in there. After all, I am the host of this soirée.

Ah, Albert! There he is!

Albert, a good effort back there.

Thank you, Lowell.

I suppose I have you to thank for this, Charlie. How have you been?

I'm swell! Off to Peru next month, surveying some new ruins.

Say, you should come along!

Oh, I don't know...

Yes, yes! We need to get you up in my aeroplane again.

I didn't quite get the hang of it last time. I think my shoulder's still sore.

Nonsense! Sure, your landing was a bit rocky but once you were up in the air you were fine, just fine!

Besides, I don't know if a fellow could crash any worse than you did tonight!

And who's our young friend?

Yes, this is George Akeley.

Professor Jordan Lowell, astronomy.

He's... from Vermont.

Really? Wild country up there.

Mr. Akeley here has something to share with us. All of us.

You don't say.

What is it?

Photographs.

Of the...

Well, let's see them.

In the study. Fort should see them too.

Good luck prying him away from Dean Hayes.

Don't you worry about that. I'll take care of him. Gentlemen...

Mr. Akeley, after you.

Thank you, Tower. That man's insufferable.

Think nothing of it. Besides, we have something you just might want to see.

Gentlemen, I believe you already know Mr. Fort.

What's all this about?

My father has a farm in Townshend, Vermont.

He's seen the creatures. They're all around ourfarm.

He's been corresponding with Professor Wilmarth about it.

He knew the professor didn't believe him, so he asked me to bring these photos.

He can't trust the post office; his mail has been... interfered with.

Well, this is exciting! Let's see them. Photos might finally convince Wilmarth here.

What is it?

It's a footprint.

We've seen these tracks all around the house, the the river banks...

You've seen the footprints yourself?

Sure. Hundreds of them.

Why didn't you say so before?

You wouldn't have believed me.

Akeley's handwriting is nearly as bad as yours, Nate.

It doesn't really look like a hoof or paw. It looks like pincers or claws of some kind.

Yes. Of course it could be nearly anything. Deer most likely.

What's this one?

More tracks there. Akeley said they live inside caves like this.

They do.

Lots of cave-dwelling deer in Vermont, Professor Wilmarth?

You can't really see the footprints on this one, but the creatures dance around those stones.

It's a shame the carvings are so hard to make out.

There are stone circles of this type throughout New England.

There's no way to date the formation.

It might have been erected last month for all we know.

You can make out the carvings on this one pretty well.

Look familiar?

Where did he get that stone?

He found it in the woods near that cave and he brought it home.

He thinks that's why the creatures have been coming around the house.

They'll do anything to get it back. That's why he got the dogs. And the rifle.

That your father, George?

What's he doing with the gun?

The creatures were trying to get into the house, so he shot one and I took this photo of the carcass.

I don't see any carcass.

I know. They don't...

My father said they're made of a different type of matter and their "molecules vibrate at a different rate" from ours, so they don't register on ordinary film.

How convenient. What a shame.

May I?

There's never anything conclusive. There's never real proof.

Maybe it's better that way.

Better? For who?

Seems there's never a smoking gun when you need one, eh Wilmarth?

You said your father had seen the things, but you never said whether you saw them.

I've never actually seen a live one up close, but they're there.

We see the footprints! They're real and they're all around our farm.

I've seen them flying at night. And... I've heard them talking.

Talking?

Yeah.

What do they say?

Sometimes they just sort of buzz and hum, but other times you can sort of make out real words in your head.

I don't understand it most of the time. "Shob Nig..."

Look at this!

These old viewers were used to study stereo photographs of stars, to check parallax.

They separate one eye from the other.

They're normally useless on an ordinary photo, but I thought it just might...

I don't see anything.

Here, let me...

What the devil is going on in here?

Members of your faculty and I were just discussing matters of science with the esteemed Mr. Fort. Surely, that's not a problem?

Well, no, it's just... The Arkham Advertiser would like a few photos of Mr. Fort and me. And Wilmarth. They're waiting.

Well, I assure you we won't keep them waiting.

Run along now.

Well, Wilmarth? Have you seen enough? Are you a believer now?

This could be proof!

But it's not! It's... well, it's vague. It's all just...

Open your eyes, Wilmarth. You'll never find proof, but you might learn something.

You should go to Vermont: Unless, of course, you prefer to keep pretending.

A pleasure to make your acquaintance, young man.

Thank you. They really are real...

I'm sure they are.

I can't take it any more. I told my dad, I'm leaving. I'm going to go to San Diego.

I've begged him to come with me, but he he can't bear to leave the old family farm.

I hear San Diego's nice. Although it has rained shrimp once or twice.

Good luck to you, son.

We'd better go before Hayes blows a gasket.

Wilmarth? Are you coming?

Yes, Wilmarth, don't you want your picture in the paper? Commemorate this evening?

I'll be along. Let me see Mr. Akeley out.

Listen, George, I'd like to examine these more closely.

Could I borrow them for a...

Professor, I have something else.

A phonograph recording. Of them.

Them? You recorded the hill creatures?

My father did. There's a person's voice on it with them.

There are people, a sort of cult, that work in collusion with the creatures.

I'll bring it to you. You can decide for yourself.

Less than an hour later, George met me at my office and left me with a wax cylinder.

He begged me to go to Vermont and help his father.

Whatever was going on, it was clear that Henry Akeley believed he was under attack, and his son was terrified.

...so let the voices of the faithful ring out.

So from the wells of night to the gulfs of space and from the gulfs of space to the wells of night, everthe praises of Great Cthulhu of Tsathoggua and of Him Who Is Not to Be Named.

Ever the praises and abundance to the Black Goat of the Woods. Iä Shub Niggurath!

Iä Shub Niggurath! The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young!

Down the onyx steps he comes, hearing our call bourne on the wings of night, out beyond space, out beyond the final gate to That whereof Yuggoth is the youngest child, rolling alone in the black aether at the rim to bring us tidings...

Akeley recorded the things?

Yes. It's labelled first of May, 1928.

May Eve...

Yes. Sounds like some kind of a ritual, don't you think?

Of course it's a ritual. It's a wonder Akeley's still alive.

He's a tenacious man, I must admit.

You should read some of his letters, Nate. They're... extraordinary.

OK, now that one voice, now that sounds to me like someone from Boston, but that other one, it hardly sounds human at all. No matter how many times I listen to it...

Don't play it again, Albert. Stop answering Akeley's letters.

And don't let Fort goad you into doing something stupid.

You're hell-bent on trying to scare me off this thing, aren't you?

You got Davenport's manuscript. Let that be enough. Go write a book.

And stop working my side of the street!

You're an academic: Stay indoors where you belong.

Nate, maybe I was wrong about this... I think there may really be something there.

Akeley is living folklore!

It's worth a look, in the name of science.

Take it from me.

You don't want to know.

I took Ward's warning seriously.

I planned to abandon the matter until Akeley wrote offering to send me the mysterious black stone.

I was eager to compare it to the illustrations in Davenport's manuscript, so it was agreed that George would bring it to Boston on his way to California.

Akeley mistrusted the post, so I was to meet George at North Station in Boston and he would give it to me directly.

Remember, Professor Albert Wilmarth. Give it straight to him and no one else.


George never met me in Boston. Weeks went by without a word from him.

The black stone was gone, and so was George.


Henry and I had been corresponding for months.

Recently, his letters grew increasingly fearful.

Even his handwriting showed the strain as he told of unknown things closing in around him, so his next letter came as a complete surprise.

My dear Wilmarth, pardon this typed letter, but my handwriting has grown shaky of late and I don't feel equal to long stretches of script.

Allow me to set you at rest regarding all the silly things I've been writing you.

I say "silly", although by that I mean my frightened attitude rather than my descriptions of certain phenomena.

My mistake had been in establishing a hostile attitude toward them.

What I thought morbid and frightful is in reality awesome and mind-expanding and even glorious.

I chalk up my previous attitude to man's eternal tendency to hate and fear and shrink from the utterly different.

Now that all is safe, I'd like you to share in my discoveries.

Please come soon so we can discuss them.

Bring along the recordings and all my letters to you and the Kodak prints too.

We shall need them in piecing together the whole tremendous story.

Please come immediately.

Send me a wire and my car will meet you at the Brattleboro station.

What do you think, Theobald?

It was such a relief, that letter, and yet distrubing too.

The complete change of mood was peculiar.

In the end, I decided to go to Vermont and see for myself.

I neglected to tell anyone where I was going.

I suppose I didn't want Ward to attempt to thwart my burning curiosity.


Mr. Wilmarth, I presume?

Yes. I'm Albert Wilmarth.

P.F. Noyes, at your service.

Henry Akeley asked if I'd do him the favor of giving you a lift up to the farm.

I thought he'd come himself.

He has not been well.

Is that all your belongings?

Allow me. No thanks, I'll take that.

No, no, I insist. Follow me.

Is Henry all right? His last letter didn't say anything...

It's a sudden attack of some kind of asthma.

He said he was not up for the trip in this weather but not to worry, he'd be his old self again before long.

Right this way...

Get in the car.

I don't bite, Mr. Wilmarth. Get in.

You're from Miskatonic University?

Yes, that's right.

I'm in the English Department. I'm a folklorist.

And what brings you to our folksy back woods?

Henry asked me... to pay him a visit.

Well, hopefully you won't regret the trip.

Why would I?

Beastly weather like this can spoil anything.

Do you... have you ever been on the wireless? Your voice sounds so familiar.

I get that a lot.

No, no, just a frustrating brush with amateur dramatics in my youth.

I played Brutus in Julius Caesar once.

"Brutus is an honourable man."

Quite.

Have you set your watch back?

We're in Vermont now: We'll have none of these new-fangled daylight-saving schemes, good sir!

I think you'll find time runs differently here.

Wild country, eh, Mr. Wilmarth?

Indeed.

Not like the big cities on the coast, or your academic towns.

Our storied hills and legend-haunted mountains of any professional interest for you?

Oh, I don't know.

It's altogether older and more primitive here.

Unspoiled.

Ancestral, really.

You can almost feel that continuous native life that keeps alive ancient memories, and shadowy, strange beliefs.

I'd have thought Henry would have told you plenty about that.

He hasn't said too much.

Good. We wouldn't want him scaring you off now, eh?

Now what's this?

What's the trouble, Walter?

Flood's damaged the bridge. You'll have to turn round.

I'm trying to take Mr. Wilmarth here up to Akeley's place.

You can't take a car across, she may not hold.

Can you still walk across?

Aye-yep. Laid down planks. Ye can cross a-foot. For the present.

It's quite a frightful detour if we go around.

Could take us four or five hours in this weather.

On foot you'll be there in less than an hour.

I see.

Probably best if you cross a-foot.

Walter, do you think this rain is going to let up?

I don't reckon. Looks like a bad night.

Might want to get a move on, get up to Akeley's.

Don't want to dilly-dally. A man could get...

Now then, Walter, we don't want to scare the man.

I'm the last thing he should be afraid of.

Of course I don't mind taking you on the detour.

No, no, I'll manage.

Here, take my umbrella. I insist.

Thank you. I'll leave it with Akeley.

Now Henry might be resting when you get there, and with this weather he mightn't hear you knock.

But he's expecting you, so you can just let yourself in.

Are you sure?

Oh sure, he won't mind.

Well, thank you.

Not at all.

I'll be seeing you, Mr. Wilmarth.


Excuse me, hello? Hello?

Sorry to trouble you, can you tell me the way to...

The Akeley place?

Yes. How did you...

We don't get many visitors around here.

What's your business?

My business?

Henry invited me.

As his guest.

Invited, eh? Yes, that's right.

You come alone?

I did. A Mr. Noyes brought me in from Brattleboro, but the bridge is...

Noyes? You know him too?

No. Honestly I was surprised Henry didn't pick me up himself.

Mr. Noyes said he'd been unwell.

Rain's going to keep coming down all night. Best stay indoors.

You'll find the Akeley's place back up on the road, overthe rise.

You can cut through the field, past the barn.

Thank you, mister...

Masterson. Will Masterson.

Hannah! Get back! Hannah!

Not much of a day for hunting, is it?

'Pends on what you're hunting for.


Mr. Akeley? It's Albert Wilmarth. I'm here.


Mr. Wilmarth, at last.

Pardon my not rising, but I've been taken ill, as I'm sure Mr. Noyes must have told you, but I could not resist having you come just the same.

Yes. How are you feeling? Can I get you anything?

No, no. I know these old spells.

I just need some rest.

Here, let me open up the curtains...

Just a little, if you please.

When I'm ill like this my eyes are quite sensitive to the light.

Oh, of course. I'm sorry.

I'm so pleased you're here in person.

There's so much to discuss.

You have the Kodak prints and the phonograph record? The letters?

Sure I do. And a manuscript of old folklore which I'm sure you'll find of interest.

Unexpected. And wonderful.

Set them on the table there and we'll discuss them tonight.

Will you be up to it?

Oh, yes. I'm just a little weak right now but I'll be fine.

Your room is upstairs, above this one.

And there's a meal laid out for you in the dining room, through that door there.

I'll be a better host tomorrow; these spells leave me spent.

It's quite alright.

I'm tired myself. The bridge was out. I had to walk up here.

How unfortunate.

Please, dry off and make yourself at home.

I'll rest until after dusk and then we will talk some more.

We have so very much to discuss!

Henry, I don't suppose you've had any further word from George, have you?

Yes, your...

Ah yes, George.

Yes, he sent a telegram from California. He was delayed.

That's wonderful news! What a relief.

Yes.

And the black stone? Does he still have it?

That's of no importance now.

Do you realise the stupendous nature of what lies before us?

Henry, you...

Forgive me.

My enthusiasm runs ahead of me, and I should rest.

We will talk later.

Set out the items from your bag, take a bite, make yourself comfortable and we shall have our chat.

I'll stay here.

Rest.


I thought you might like some Ovaltine.

Did you find the meal laid out for you?

Yes, thank you. Very kind of you.

I'lljust set this right here.

So, Henry, are you feeling up to our conversation?

Wilmarth. Yes. Conversation.

Do we have all your evidence at hand?

It's all right here on the table.

Good.

I never should have sent you any of those things, you know.

Such a lot of bother, and all for nothing.

What do you mean?

There was never any reason to fear them.

It was foolish to interfere with their doings.

Men simply can't understand their great purpose.

Hold on, Henry.

I came here prepared to accept there were undiscovered creatures living in these hills, but a "purpose"? Really now...

I've spoken to them, Wilmarth.

You've what?

Oh, yes. They've told me things that neither you nor I had ever begun to guess.

We misjudged the purpose of their secret colony on this planet.

You saw and spoke to them?

They are not unwilling to share their great secrets with mankind.

Secrets of the universe itself.

OK, Henry, so they choose humans to talk to, just like in the folklore.

The folklore... All your legends about what they've offered to men, and what they wish in connection with the earth, are based on man's misconceptions of allegorical speech.

Your most educated experts understand them no betterthan illiterate farmers or savage natives.

Alright Henry, what is it they want?

Shall I tell you?

Are you ready?

Come closer.

Let me whisper it to you.

Even now I could not repeat the terrible things I heard whispered that evening in the darkened room among the lonely hills.

What he had learned from the Outside Things was almost too much for sanity to bear.

It was shocking to have the foulest nightmares of secret myth revealed in concrete terms, and yet Akeley now seemed reconciled to the whole fiendish system he had stumbled upon.

I'm going with them, Wilmarth.

Going with them?

Where?

Their main immediate abode is a still undiscovered, almost lightless planet at the very edge of our solar system.

It is referred to as "Yuggoth" in some of your precious folklore.

When the time is right, they'll permit human observers to detect it.

But Yuggoth is just a stepping stone.

Later, I'll cross incalculable gulfs of space, bending time to allow for temporal journeys.

The things can carry you through space?

Human bodies are not suited forthe journey like theirs are.

But they've solved the challenge with their surgical, mechanical, and chemical skills.

Surgical? Henry, you don't mean...

This is madness!

No, it's true.

The human body cannot make the journey, but in their care, the human mind can venture to the most distant corners of the universe.

They surgically extract the brain and suspend it in a fluid-filled cylinder they have ingeniously engineered.

Freed from the constraints of your biological frailty, the mind lives on in an experience far beyond anything accessible to mere man.

No, Henry. I can't believe this.

Of course not.

Go over to the hutch there

and remove the cloth.


What are these?

Not "what,"Albert, but "who."

These contain?

Yes, Albert. Three are human.

The rest are, well... in the cave in Round Hill there are beings of all sorts, from more interesting places.

We can connect them to sensory apparatus you literally cannot imagine.

Place the one marked B-67 onto the table.

Good.

Now, connect the tube into the recess.

There on the side.

Excellent.

Please, connect the other devices as well.

Excellent. That will engage the device...

Look, Akeley, I'm not falling for some spectacular parlour trick with a radio...

Nor do we expect you to, Mr. Wilmarth.

I don't mean to alarm you.

I am a human being, like yourself.

My brain is in the cylinder and I see, speak and hear through these ingenious vibrators.

My body is being properly vitalised and cared for in a storage facility not far from here.

Do you understand?

Excellent.

Soon Mr. Akeley and I will leave here on an incredible journey.

We hope you will join us.

Do you mean to say that your brain, that this...

That's right.

I met them years ago in the Himalaya and helped them in various ways.

In return, they rewarded me with experiences few men have ever had.

You... wanted this?

Think about it, Mr. Wilmarth.

Do you understand what it means when I say I have been on thirty seven celestial bodies planets, dark stars, even objects purely outside the curved cosmos of space and time?

Of course you do.

And of course, you cannot.

You travel in space and survive?

The cylinders are made for such a purpose.

Further, My brain is immune from disease here, and even age.

And my body is perfectly preserved if I ever wanted it again.

But I doubt that I will.

We will talk some more tomorrow about you coming with us.

I hope you will.

The visitors are eager to know men of knowledge, like you.

It may seem strange at first to meet them, but I know you'll be above minding that.

I think Mr. Noyes, the man who brought you up in his automobile, he'll come too.

No doubt you recognised his voice from the recordings Henry sent you.

That was Noyes, on the recordings!

It is completely painless.

When the devices are disconnected, one merely drops off into a deep sleep with vivid and fantastic dreams.

Of course, it's up to you, but I hope you'll consider it.

But for the moment, would you be so good as to disconnect me?

Mr. Akeley, I expect you to treat our guest well.

Good night, Mr. Wilmarth.

I'm afraid all this excitement has taken its toll on me and I should like to rest.

Take the lamp with you.

Just leave the machines where they are.

A bit shocking, isn't it?

Never mind. Sleep on it.

Good night, Albert.

Yes, good night, Henry


He lacks imagination, and his spirit is weak.

He is not worthy of N'gah-Kthun.

To us he's no more interesting than your goldfish in a bowl.

But this is an outrage! This is not how it was presented to me. I demand-

You're in no position to make demands.

You wouldn't be here at all if it weren't for Davenport!

We can eliminate him for you, if you wish.

He may still be of use to you in this night's great business.

The opening of the passage may yet be smoothed by the use of a sacrifice.

Go.


Long have we waited for the opening of the passage.

That most sacred duty falls to me and I will not give it up.

I know the cost, and it is my honour to serve the Mi-Go.

And if this Wilmarth stands in my way, I will eliminate him.

Never have I heard such a misguided speech.

We work with the Mi-Go for the betterment of the human race.

You would presume to travel to Yuggoth only for your own gain of knowledge from beyond!

Insignificant fool! Have you truly learned nothing from your masters?

By their will alone you are kept alive, and by my continued patient indulgence.

I am the opener of the gate and you will not dictate to me!

It would be no difficulty to eliminate him.

I can do it tonight if you command it.

This discussion itself distracts us from greater matters that cannot wait.

I won't listen to any...

Do you really dare to defy us?

Please! I never meant to offend...

Mr. Noyes, please stop!

He's right: Eliminating Wilmarth was never part of the bargain.

I don't mean to question your authority, but never did anyone tell me...

You don't know what devotion means.

Clearly neither of you has faith in our great purpose.

But not to worry, my dear, dear friend, I shall show you the meaning of faith now!


Go upstairs and get Wilmarth.


Don't let them see you. Run.

I can't just leave Mr. Akeley in there...

I... can't.

I can't.

Wait...

Mr. Noyes,

Wilmarth's gone! He must have jumped from the upstairs window and fled! I couldn't see him nowhere...

I told you to make sure he stayed here. Imbecile!

Daddy, I just saw a strange man running towards the bridge.

Hannah, what are you doing here? I told you to stay inside at home.

That's Wilmarth. Let's go.

Right. Hannah, stay here.


The girl said he was heading for the bridge.

Maybe we can cut him off...

We have more important matters to attend to.

The time is now.

You, bring him to the ritual.

If he resists, kill him.


Henry?

Henry Akeley? Is it you?

Can you hear me?

Who the devil are you?

Oh God, no!

I wired you not to come here. I warned you.

But earlier tonight you said that we should join them.

Earlier tonight?

What do you mean? We've never spoken.

But we...

Something's wrong. I don't feel well.

I can't feel my legs.

Why are you looking at me like that?

Henry, they've...

Good god, no!!!

I'm so sorry.

They've really done it?

My brain, my mind?

Yes.

What about my body?

I... I don't know.

He said they store them somewhere...

Wilmarth, don't believe anything they've told you.

They want to get to you, like they got to me.

We know too much. Masterson warned me not to interfere.

They're going to do something terrible.

What will they do?

Masterson said they were "digging a tunnel".

But I can't remember... My God, Wilmarth, what have they done?!

Digging a tunnel? What kind of tunnel? To where?

George! Why didn't I listen to him?

Think, Akeley! Try to remember!

At least he's safely away from here!

Akeley! What tunnel?

Masterson warned me. My god, Wilmarth, you never should have come here!

Akeley, what tunnel? You've got to remember!

You can't believe them!

It's not a literal tunnel.

They're going to open the spirit-door!

What do you mean?

There's a legend, in the Davenport book.

The Pennacook said the Outer Ones will take sacred stones to make a kind of a doorwayto their world.

Maybe that's what he meant by a "tunnel"...

The black stone!

What?

The black stone that George brought to you.

I found it in a ring of stones.

It must be part of the door, that's why they were so keen to get it back.

Henry, George never brought me the stone.

How can that be? I saw him onto the train myself.

I put it in his hands.

Yes, but he never...

My god, Henry, that was weeks ago.

How long have you been like this?

What?

George never met me in Boston. He never got off the train.

Earlier tonight you said... that thing said that George...

My god.

It was a lie.

Where is my son?

Henry, they wanted to get the stone back. They must have...

No!

I'm so sorry.

I sent him right into their hands!

What have I done?

Henry, listen to me. I overheard them, they're going to try to open the doorway tonight.

I have to go.

Wilmarth! You can't leave me like this!

Put an end to it. I beg you.

Henry, I don't... I can't...

They took my son.

They took my body.

In the name of all that's holy, don't leave me like this.

Thank you, Albert.

I can't live like this.

Do it!

Please!

Henry, I'm so sorry.

You should have done it.

You'd have been doing him a favour.

I couldn't.

Pity.

Please put the gun down. Look, I don't know anything.

I'm not trying to stop them.

You're too late.

Too late?

To stop them, even if there was a way.

Akeley said you know what they're trying to do, about the tunnel...

I said you're too late!

Can't stop 'em now.

No, their tunnel, it's a spirit door... a kind of passage...

I know. I know all about it. I'm supposed to be there with them now to open it.

I couldn't go.

It's too late for all of us.

No, Akeley said if we...

They played Akeley perfectly. He believed what they told him.

They manipulated him. Fear, greed, they know how to work us over.

No, the Davenport book, it says the same things that Akeley...

Of course it does. Those things wrote the book!

No, Davenport just collected folklore. Legends from settlers and Indians.

Who do you think told the Indians the legends?

They did.

But this thing they're making, it leads back to where they come from.

No, no, no. It's not a door to lead there.

Nobody's going to use it to go there.

It's a door that leads here!

Here?

Most of them can't fly through space.

They make machinery to help some others make the trip.

Most of'em can never come here.

But once they have the tunnel, their door, they'll come.

They're coming now. Coming here. Straight to Round Mountain.

More of them?

How many?

How many stars are there?

Oh my God!

So this tunnel, is it in their cave?

No, no. It's on the mountain top.

They got a ritual, a religious thing, they have to do in front of the standing stones up on Round Mountain.

In the cave there's a staircase sort of a thing that leads to the mountain top.

What will they do?

Noyes has to lead the Mi-Go in a ritual.

I know it has to do with the series of stones they brought from Yuggoth.

He's probably already started.

We have to stop him.

We can't! Don't you get it?

There are things that cannot be stopped.

You can't stop him. You can't stop them.

Mankind is done. They're what's next.

No, no you're wrong.

Wrong? Wrong? Have you seen one? Up close?

They can put thoughts right into your head.

We're no match for them.

We can't just surrender.

They won't let us surrender; we've already lost.

No, no there's got to be something we can do.

End it now. End it now.

Don't give them the pleasure of destroying us.

No, no, the book... there's a passage in there about the spirit-door.

It's in Davenport's notes...

That book? Lies!

No, the Indians told Davenport that only a high priest of our world can open the spirit-door to their world.

It has to be a shaman who goes through first or it wont work.

There's something about who goes through first...

Here, let me show you...

Leave it alone!

Masterson, it's right there. I think there is something we can do...

Don't open it. It's a trick, it's full of their lies. The Mi-Go deceive us at every turn.

Now hold on, let me just show you...

No!

It's all their lies!

It's just what they want us to think.

Don't you see? There's nothing we can do.

No, there is a way, it's in the book!

Here. Just let me show you.

No!

Are you out of your mind?

We can't stop them.

They're coming.

We're doomed.

We're all doomed.

Only one thing left...

No!


We have to go.

Somewhere safe.

The barn.

The barn... your barn?


Sit down.

It's Hannah, isn't it?

You'll be all right Hannah.

Such a pretty name.

My name is Albert. It's not very pretty, is it?

You know, I... had a little girl of my own once. Years ago.

She was just a bit younger than you are now.

Right after the war... a lot of people got terribly sick.

My Sonia got the sickness. My wife, too. Both my girls.

The doctors couldn't help her- so many people had the influenza...

You know what I did when my little girl didn't feel well?

I sang her a song and that made her feel better.

Would you like me to sing that song for you?

No.

That's all right, Hannah. That's all right.

Now listen to me, Hannah. There's something I have to do.

These things...

They've made a kind of a door to where they come from and they're going to try to open it.

Someone special, Mr. Noyes, I think, is going to do that. If I can stop him...

No more of the things will come. It will all be over.

But I have to go, right now.

I promise you, no matter what, I will come back for you.

Hannah, I have to go. To keep us safe. If I don't stop them...

They'll come.

They will.

I have to go to Round Mountain. There's a cave there.

I can take you.

No. No, it's too dangerous. I have to go alone.

I can help you.

You've already helped me, Hannah.

If you follow the main path, you'll get to where there's two stumps.

If you go to the left, the path goes uphill, right up by their cave.

There's a big boulder in front of it.

So, up the path to the two stumps, to the left, to the boulder.

You'll need this.

I need to leave now.

I know.

You wait here for me.

This place is safe.

My daddy painted hexes over the door.

They can't come in here.

Good girl, Hannah.

You stay here. I'll be back for you, no matter what.

Thank you, Hannah, for helping me.

Goodbye, Albert.


...for such a passage provideth the Black Goat of the Woods.

...and lo the seventh and final, carried from lightless Yuggoth through the black seas of infinity, for it is the stone that carries the name of its messenger Who Is Not to Be Named.


And in the name of the Black Goat of the Wood with a Thousand Young...

For great has the journey to black Yuggoth been, now it be conjoined, and thither shall mankind go to share in the nameless and unspoken rites of Shub-Niggurath.

Thus in the name of the Name Which Must Not Be Spoken, do I this passage consecrate with my person.

Open shall the passage be rendered in the name of the Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young!


Open the door, sweetheart! It's me, it's Albert!

Can you hear me?

Unlock the door sweetheart! It's all right!

Thank you, sweetheart.

Are you all right?

Yes.

Get in the airplane. We're getting out of here.

You couldn't stop them.

Get in the plane.

You've flown in it before, haven't you?

Yes.

Do you know how to turn the magneto on?

How to open the throttle? Did your father ever show you any of that?

Yes.

Good girl.

Open up the throttle, Hannah. Don't touch any of the switches.

No, the otherway.

You have to turn it the other way.

Oh, right. Good girl.

Oh god.

There is no need for you to suffer. You can live forever among us.

Turn on the magneto now, Hannah!

Ignition on!

Wilmarth. Come with us.

Are you sure the magneto's on, honey?

Yes.

Wilmarth. You cannot escape us.

Albert, can you hear them too?


Are you ready?

Yes.

Don't be afraid.


It's coming!

Hang on!


I got him, Albert! I got him!

Good girl!


You cannot escape us.

You cannot succeed.


And that was all.

You know the rest, of course, betterthan I myself, I would dare to say.


It all seems so normal and easy now. I feel foolish when I think how I resisted it.

The experience has been so far beyond anything I could possibly have imagined.

I suppose I hardly need to explain that to you.

The Akeleys paid a price for their involvement, though it's hardly significant when compared to the scope of the matters at hand.

I now regret the harm I inflicted and am so grateful that they hold no grudge.

I'm so looking forward to my first trip to the outside, to joining the ranks of those few privileged mortals to share in the glory of their understanding.

I have been given a rich boon of knowledge and intellectual adventure which few other men have ever shared.

Wilmarth? Are you in there?

It's me, Ward. Open up!


And now, if you don't mind, we might adjourn our session until tomorrow.

When disconnected, I find I drop off into a sleep of the most vivid, fantastic dreams.

I've rather come to enjoy it.

If you'd be so kind...

Good night.