Why Nothing Qualifies As An Eldritch Abomination

Existential horror has been with humanity for as long as we’ve been around. Since we could think, we’ve wondered if we were alone, and so we invented gods to watch over us. Whether or not any are out, there is another topic. Let’s say they are. If so, it would stand to reason that for every benevolent and beautiful deity, there are ones that are twisted and malevolent, but where did they come from?

Nothing is a strong possibility. How does that make nothing count as an eldritch abomination, though? First, we need to go over the qualifications, the most obvious of which is being beyond comprehension. Close your eyes and try to picture true nothingness. What do you see?

An empty black bottomless void? Endless empty white space? Even both of these things would qualify as something. Hell, nothing itself is technically something. In any case, the closest we can get to seeing it is in the empty space in our universe, and space is what we call it, yet it’s filled with darkness.

No, true nothingness has never been seen. Perhaps, if we can somehow go beyond the edge of the universe, we’d finally be able to witness it. This alone would hardly put nothing in the same category as Cthulhu or Pennywise the clown. Undiscovered animals would automatically qualify if never being seen before made something count as an eldritch abomination. This brings us to that existential dread thing.

For the characters I brought up, both Lovecraft and King, respectively, what were the results of these people facing these monstrosities? In The Call of Cthulhu, a sailor was put in an asylum. In it, a character’s wife was left in a catatonic state, albeit temporarily. Now, can exposing someone to nothing achieve these same effects? Let’s go back to when I told you to imagine nothingness, the dark bottomless void, or the blank white space with no end.

There are two real-life examples that get close to these. Solitary confinement would be the first anyone at all familiar with the US prison system should be at least somewhat aware of the US prison system should be at least somewhat aware of. For the uninitiated, it is a form of punishment for unruly prisoners involving extreme isolation, usually in a dark, cramped space. The harrowing results of this and the other example I’m about to mention could honestly each fill their own articles.

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Speaking of the next one, it is known as “white torture” or “white room torture.” Essentially, people unfortunate enough to find themselves subject to this are put in a white, as the name implies, room with bright lights that is soundproofed or in the area outside of the room. They are only fed bland white food in an attempt to sensory deprive them. Notice any similarities between these things—the dark void or the empty space? The main obvious difference is that as opposed to they go on forever while the punishments mentioned above do not, but wouldn’t that make nothing all the more terrifying?

Nothing existed before everything else and prior to any laws of the universe coming into play. Would you die in true nothingness? How could you be in a place where death hadn’t even been born yet? You’d be there alone with your thoughts forever. Another King example that gets close to this would be his story, The Jaunt.

I won’t spoil it. However, it does show why too much alone time can be a bad thing. Now, some of you may be thinking, “But if you isolate anyone anywhere long enough, it’s bound to mess them up in the head eventually.” Very true. The difference is that true nothingness would offer no stimulation.

Even the people who are subject to those tortures usually retain some sense of identity afterward. Now picture if, instead, where you were could not stimulate you in any way. You’d feel no heat or cold, so there’d be no feeling at all except the occasional itch. Trust me when I say that in that circumstance, you’ll be thankful to be experiencing something other than your mind slipping away. Not to mention, it’d be hard to keep yourself occupied if you’re all alone.

Eventually, you’d lose all sense of self and what it means to be a person in general. You’d be left with an empty shell. Now, let’s say someone prefers solitude. Perhaps what I’ve described thus far sounds like a paradise. After all, there would be absolutely nobody to bother you.

This is where too much of a good thing comes into play. How would someone react if they had spent eons in nothing and then were suddenly thrust back into our world?They’d be feeling cold or heat after being deprived of it for so long. They’d be bombarded with noises when they hadn’t heard any for so long, and every sight might rattle them. What would they do?

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Would they try to claw off their own skin? Would they try to burst their own eardrums? Would they try to claw their own eyes out? anything to try and simulate the comfort of nothing. If they couldn’t, they’d most likely lash out and be completely feral.

Think of The Nothing in The Neverending Story—an ever-consuming void. The only difference is that they would be consumed from the inside out, leaving no trace of the person who once existed.

Now we get to this last qualification for something to be considered an eldritch abomination is that it has to be an affront to nature in some way. Despite what I’ve written so far, it could be argued that nothing is the most natural thing, and everything that came after is unnatural. To this I say, from that perspective of the unnatural, would what’s natural not then be viewed as unnatural? When you look into the abyss, it stares back at you. What is nothing if not the ultimate abyss?

This is the heart of my case. Nothing is as natural as it gets, and that makes it scary because it means that what was never meant to exist is us.