The H.P. Lovecraft Wiki

This subject is written on a topic in the real world and reflects factual information. This subject contains information from the Expanded Cthulhu Mythos, and not based on H.P. Lovecraft's works directly. Before the Storm is a short story written by British fiction author Ramsey Campbell. It was published in his collection of short horror, Cold Print.


An unnamed man stumbles into a tax office, seeking shelter from the sun's rays, clearly insane and apparently unable to communicate with those inside. As some of the employees try to ascertain what is the matter with him, the reader is told in a flashback the story of how the man became involved with a group called the Society, before being inducted into the mysteries of the occult. At one point, he made a bargain with the Great Old One known as Eihort, a bargain which allowed him to travel the universe by switching bodies, but drove him into madness.

Eventually, the man decides that the employees are all servants of Eihort, come to drag him into the light, and makes a break for it, opening the door to the rooftop fire escape. As the door opens, the lone employee close enough to see the man observes the light grabbing hold of his body and dissolving it into a mass of what appears to be fat, white spiders.


  • Unnamed Man, the main character.
  • Joan, tax office employee.
  • Robert, tax office employee.
  • Bernard "Bernie" Cohen, tax office employee.
  • Mr. Weedall, tax office supervisor.


  • Places the man is stated to have visited include both Yuggoth and Shaggai.