Did Lovecraft believe in the paranormal?

Lovecraft as Debunker
To begin with, itâ..s clear that Lovecraft himself had no belief whatsoever in the occult. As a youth, he had come to doubt the Christian faith of his family, and explored the beliefs of the Greeks, Muslims, Egyptians, and Hindus. None of these satisfied him, and he turned to atheism and scepticism as the only possible alternatives. In 1925, he wrote to his friend Clark Ashton Smith, saying: “I am, indeed, an absolute materialist so far as actual belief goes; with not a shred of credence in any form of supernaturalism â.. religion, spiritualism, transcendentalism, metempsychosis, or immortality”. 1 Anyone who wrote to him asking if the gods and occult tomes mentioned in his stories were real would receive a polite letter stating his disbelief in such notions.
He was not merely a passive believer in a philosophy of scepticism, but a passionate missionary for his creed. He wrote letters to local newspapers attacking claims of the Hollow Earth and astrology. These letters may contain more vitriol than reasoned critique, but they nonetheless make their points effectively and entertainingly. Such debates also raged in his letters, for he kept a wide circle of friends with widely differing perspectives from his own. If he were alive today, Lovecraft would probably be a strong supporter of CSICOP.
Lovecraftâ..s scepticism was so vehement that, at one point, it almost brought him a book deal. The celebrated stage magician Harry Houdini was known as a debunker of spiritualists and quacks. Lovecraft revised a fictionalised account of one of Houdiniâ..s adventures, in which the conjuror escapes bandits and far worse things in the tunnels beneath the Great Pyramids (“Imprisoned with the Pharaohs”). Houdini was happy with the rewrite, and the two exchanged letters discussing future collaborations.
Dreamer of the Dark