I'm working on a comic book style universe which features a number of different genres, and I want to have official "tags" for what sorts of genres particular stories fit into.

Cosmic and Horror tags already exist; Cosmic being stuff with aliens and space and yadda yadda, horror being ghosts and vampires and such. "Cosmic horror" is a common term for Lovecraftian horror, but I don't like that it clashes with both of those other tags.

So far the best I can come up with is "Eldritch", but that just feels weird to me on its own.

The rules for single-word-requests say an example sentence is required. I don't know that makes sense in this context, as I wouldn't be using this word in a sentence, but here's an attempt.

"This setting is most commonly used in [Lovecraftian horror] stories."

Any suggestions?

  • 2
    Is there a reason you don't want to use "Lovecraftian"?
    – 1006a
    Commented Mar 14, 2018 at 20:36
  • It refers to a specific person and while it's not meant to be an in-universe term I still feel like it breaks immersion.
    – Asmor
    Commented Mar 14, 2018 at 20:43
  • 1
    You might want to add that info to your question, so you don't get answers saying "just use Lovecraftian". I have to say, though, having rejected the two most commonly used terms for this genre I'm not sure you're going to find a great third alternative. If you can't, you might consider changing the "cosmic" tag instead (personally, I would not equate that term with space aliens).
    – 1006a
    Commented Mar 14, 2018 at 20:58
  • I contest the limiting of the term "cosmic" to things happening in space. Cosmic horror, to me, refers to playing on the fear that there is something "out there" that is so big/so foreign/so powerful that contemplating its existence or witnessing even a slight manifestation is enough to threaten madness; it's the fear that an amoeba would have, were it capable of the emotion and the mental cognition, if it somehow came into contact with a human. There's such a vast difference in scale, the amoeba would be completely overwhelmed.
    – John Doe
    Commented Aug 25, 2020 at 23:32
  • You missed the point of my post. Cosmic is a term that was already used in my project, and "cosmic horror" sounds weird next to "cosmic." Especially when they're not innately related.
    – Asmor
    Commented Sep 2, 2020 at 0:17

3 Answers 3


"Weird fiction" or "weird tales" are the terms Lovecraft used in Supernatural Horror in Literature. It's commonly associated with him and his contemporaries, and some modern authors (China Mieville, Jeff Vandermeer, among others) have been described as "New Weird". They usually lack conventional horror monsters and focus more on feelings of dread and the unknown, or the breakdown of reality. Wikipedia features a nice long list of authors if you want to see if that fits with what you're looking for.


The phrase Eldritch Abomination is associated with Lovecraft, perhaps you would prefer that to the word 'eldritch' on its own. Eldritch Abomination has an entry on TV Tropes, although I don't know how widely it is used.

From TV Tropes:

Native to H.P. Lovecraft's Cosmic Horror Story genre, the Eldritch Abomination has become a mainstay of horror and fantasy works, along with numerous others that derive inspiration from Lovecraft.

  • 1
    That's specifically referring to a monster, rather than the genre as a whole. It does lend some weight to just going with "Eldritch", though.
    – Asmor
    Commented Mar 15, 2018 at 13:40

Why not chthonic? The word Cthulhu (ostensibly the core being of the Lovecraftian mythos) stems from the word chthonic, meaning dark, primitive, and mysterious, and that covers all the bases you want without mentioning Lovecraftian or Horror.

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