The Horror at Martin's Beach

"The Horror at Martin's Beach" is a short story by American writers H. P. Lovecraft and Sonia H. Greene. It was written in June 1922 and first published (as "The Invisible Monster") in November 1923 in Weird Tales (Vol. 2, No. 4, 75–76, 83).

"The Horror at Martin's Beach"
AuthorH. P. Lovecraft
Sonia H. Greene
CountryUnited States
Published inWeird Tales
Publication dateNovember 1923


Sailors kill a 50-foot creature at sea after a lengthy battle. The creature bears strange anatomical irregularities such as a single large eye and rudimentary forelegs and six-toed feet in place of pectoral fins. After inspection by marine biologists, it is revealed to be just a juvenile. The captain who captured the creature tours the coast and profits from the corpse of the deceased creature. As the captain attempts to finish his business at Martin's Beach, a group of swimmers are attacked. The captain and others attempt to rescue the victims but it is too late. The rescuers and the captain are hypnotized and pulled into the water by the creature's apparently vengeful mother, to the horror of an onlooking crowd.

References in other media

The story has been included in at least four collections of Lovecraft's works:

  • Something About Cats and Other Pieces, Arkham House, 1949. Facsimile reprint by Books for Libraries Press, 1971.
  • The Horror in the Museum and Other Revisions. Sauk City, WI: Arkham House, 1970. As "The Invisible Monster" by Sonia Greene
  • The Horror in the Museum and Other Revisions. Edited by S. T. Joshi. Sauk City, WI: Arkham House, 1989, ISBN 0-87054-040-8, 325-30. As "The Horror at Martin’s Beach" by Sonia H. Greene
  • The Loved Dead and Other Revisions. New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers, 1997, ISBN 0-7867-0445-4, 125-30.

In the 1961 film Gorgo a gigantic sea beast is captured and put on display. It is discovered the beast is an infant as his much larger mother comes to rescue him.

The 1996 TV movie The Beast based on Peter Benchley's novel Beast contains a similar story of sailors killing a young gigantic sea creature and being tormented by its revenge driven mother. (In the novel there is a mother beast whose young only appear in the epilogue).

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