Dream Cycle

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The Dream Cycle refers to a series of stories by author H. P. Lovecraft.[1] These stories concern themselves with "The Dreamlands," a vast, alternate dimension that can be entered via dreams.

A map of Lovecraft's "Dreamworld" by Jack Gaughan (1967).


The Dreamlands are apparently divided into four regions:

  • The West contains the Steps of Deeper Slumber and Enchanted Wood by which many enter the Dreamlands. Other points of interest include the port of Dylath-Leen, the Dreamlands' largest city; the town of Ulthar "where no man may kill a cat,"[2] the coastal jungle city of Hlanith, and the desert trading capital Illarnek. Here, too, lies the land of Mnar whose gray stones are etched with signs and where rise the ruins of the great Sarnath.
  • The South, home of the isle of Oriab and the areas known as the Fantastic Realms;
  • The East, home of Celephaïs, a city dreamt into being by its monarch Kuranes, greatest of all recorded dreamers, and the dangerous Forbidden Lands;
  • The North, location of the feared Plateau of Leng, home of man-eating spiders and the satyr-like "Men of Leng".[3]

Other locales include the Underworld, a subterranean region underneath the Dreamlands inhabited by various monsters; the Moon, accessible via a ship and inhabited by toad-like "moon-beasts" allied with Nyarlathotep; and Kadath, a huge castle atop a mountain and the domain of the "Great Ones".

In other fiction[edit]

The third novel in the Johannes Cabal series by Jonathan L. Howard, Johannes Cabal: The Fear Institute takes place primarily in The Dreamlands. Cabal, a scientist and necromancer, is hired by a group, the Fear Institute, to go on an expedition into the Dreamlands to capture the Phobic Animus, the embodiment of fear. The group travels to Arkham and using the Silver Key enter the Dreamlands where they travel through The Enchanted Forest, Hlanith, Oriab, etc., and encounter Nyarlathotep.


  • Dreams of Terror and Death: The Dream Cycle of H. P. Lovecraft. Del Rey, 1985.[4][5]


  • Harms, Daniel (1998). "Dreamlands". The Encyclopedia Cthulhiana (2nd ed.). Oakland, CA: Chaosium. pp. 89–91. ISBN 1-56882-119-0. 
  • Brian Lumley wrote his own Dreamlands books as well, beginning with "Hero of Dreams".
  • Myers, Gary (1975). House of the Worm. Sauk City, WI: Arkham House. ISBN 0-87054-071-8.
  • Myers, Gary (2013). The Country of the Worm: Excursions Beyond the Wall of Sleep. CreateSpace. ISBN 9781484801970.


  1. ^ James Turner (ed.) (1998). Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos (1st ed. ed.). New York, NY: Random House. cover blurb. ISBN 0-345-42204-X. 
  2. ^ "The Cats of Ulthar" by H. P. Lovecraft
  3. ^ "The Hound" by H. P. Lovecraft
  4. ^ The Dream Cycle of H.P. Lovecraft: Dreams of Terror and Death by H.P. Lovecraft - Reviews, Discussion, Bookclubs, Lists
  5. ^ The H.P. Lovecraft Archive