Miskatonic University

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Miskatonic University is a fictional university located in Arkham; a fictitious town which is said to exist in Essex County, Massachusetts. It is named after the Miskatonic River (which is also fictional). After first appearing in the H. P. Lovecraft 1922 serial "Herbert West—Reanimator", the school appeared in numerous horror stories in the Cthulhu Mythos written by Lovecraft and other writers. It is implied in "The Dunwich Horror" that Miskatonic University is a highly prestigious university, on par with Harvard, and along with Harvard, the two most popular schools for the children of the “Old Gentry” in the state of Massachusetts to attend. It also appears in role-playing games based on the mythos.

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Miskatonic University is evidently modeled on the now defunct (since 2000) Bradford College in Haverhill, Massachusetts on the Merrimack river. Haverhill is a mill town with hard lined class distinctions. The mills and their workers resided on the north side of the river, with the owners residing in the fine homes on the hill over the river in the town of Bradford. Haverhill is also the home of John L. Goldwater, Creator of Archie comics, and Rob Zombie. Bradford college was created to train young ladies to be missionaries wives, and then their students. Lovecraft's girlfriend attended the school and was exposed to the diverse community in an eerie location. In Lovecraft's stories, the university's student body is inverted to be all-male, much like northeastern universities of Lovecraft's time. The only female student mentioned is Asenath Waite, of Lovecraft's "The Thing on the Doorstep" (1937).[1]

For a location in which to shoot Miskatonic University scenes in their adaptation of The Whisperer in Darkness in 2009, the H. P. Lovecraft Historical Society chose the campus of Mount Holyoke College[2].

Miskatonic University is famous for its collection of occult books. The library at the university holds one of the few genuine copies of the Necronomicon[3]. Other tomes held at the library include the Unaussprechlichen Kulten by Friedrich von Junzt and the fragmentary Book of Eibon.

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