Why Is Cthulhu on This 300-Year-Old Gravestone?

Jess Nevins of io9 has pictures of the tombstone marking the grave of Rev. Ichabod Wiswall (1637-1700) in Duxbury, Massachusetts. Though largely forgotten today, Wiswall was a prominent political figure in 17th Century Massachusetts. It is unclear why his grave bears the image of cosmic entity Cthulhu:

Duxbury does not feature in any of Lovecraft's fiction; "Arkham" is based on Salem, "Innsmouth" is based on a combination of Ipswich and Gloucester, and "Dunwich" is based on Athol. But Duxbury was no stranger to sea serpents, even in Wiswall's day. The English writer John Josselyn's An Account of Two Voyages to New-England (1674) described the 1639 sighting of a sea serpent off Cape Anne, north of Duxbury, which sparked a rash of sea-serpent sightings along the Massachusetts coast, including Duxbury. And in 1857 Henry Thoreau wrote in his journal that Daniel Webster had seen a sea-serpent off the coast of Duxbury.

So it makes a kind of sense for a Lovecraftian cephalopod to appear on the Reverend Wiswall's gravestone. The only question remaining is, is Wiswall dead in his grave, or does he merely wait there, dreaming?

In the comments, propose your own explanation for the mark of Cthulhu on this gravestone.


Mackayles is right. The appearance of this images has nothing to do with the writtings of H.P. Lovecraft, nor should it be investigaklfhtagnaazfaN Kanvvable*%^!##@~^!@$&
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These designs are really common on headstones in new england. they started as stylized skulls(and other depictions of Death), angels, etc. later you would find symbols of churches and other things. Willow trees are common, too.
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Maybe because it is not Cthulhu but a headstone carved with a Concentric circle on the finial and a leaf pattern. The leaf pattern is a fig. Headstones around the 1700's became more elaborate than than just the skull and wings, as seen on the top of the headstone. Designs started to mimic the fancy furniture of that era. So the more wealthy you were, the more you could get carved onto your headstone. If you look at other headstones in that graveyard, you would probably see similar designs. the vine and floral patterns copied the legs and arms of tables and chairs from that era.

Gah - somewhere on the Internet there is an article explaining this. I had found it once, when I was looking up something from the Keno's from antiques roadshow.

It is not Cthulhu. It is a floral motif.
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It's not that we don't like fun but this one is along the lines of the virgin mary on a cheese sandwich. It's like saying "why did these native americans use a nazi symbol?". They didn't it just looks like the same thing.
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Pareidolia, anyone? I notice the picture obscures the image on the right, where the pattern is repeated, which would likely reduce the illusion.
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Hah! The Old Gods LAUGH at your puny human rationalizations.

Lord Cthulhu has ruled in the ages before, and possessed the minds and souls of his insane undead legions.

And he will yet do so again, mortal FOOLS!

Resistance is feudal!
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