Small, almost deserted village in north central Massachusetts. The town was founded in 1692 by settlers who left Salem just before the witch trials started. For a while, the town prospered on a number of mills that sprang up, but after one of the founders suffered a nervous breakdown and killed several prominent townspeople, things started to go downhill, starting with most of the mills closing, another few headline-grabbing murders, various scandals, more economic disasters...soon enough, Dunwich had a reputation as a hopeless backwater hellhole, complete with people marrying close relations, weird religious looniness, and a general degeneracy of morals and genetics.

One of the biggest things to ever happen in Dunwich were the strange disasters and murders that plagued the area in the late 1920s. It all started when a local named Wilbur Whately--whose incest-scrambled DNA resulted in a boy in his early teens who was about eight feet tall, thoroughly goatish in appearance, and friggin' huge--was killed by dogs as he tried to break into the university library in a nearby town. Soon, the house that Whately lived in (both his parents were either dead or mysteriously missing) was destroyed in an explosion. Then cattle started disappearing. And then people. Some of them eventually turned up, but never in sufficient quantities to make a full person...

At the time, all the Dunwichians (Dunwichites? Dunwichivillians?) assumed all these events were connected, and eventually, some university professors came to town and held an exorcism--either seriously believing that they were destroying evil or putting on a show to try to calm the growing panic. As it turns out, though there were no more disappearances, Dunwich didn't fare that well afterwards. Some residents were driven even crazier by all the hoopla, and state officials, spooked by the weird occurences, destroyed all the road signs leading to Dunwich, pushing the town further and further into obscurity and hopelessness. Nowadays, Dunwich is almost dead and almost forgotten...

"The Dunwich Horror" by H.P. Lovecraft
Encyclopedia Cthulhiana by Daniel Harms, pp. 58-59

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