The Necronomicon was created by H.P. Lovecraft and was first briefly mentioned in his 1924 short story The Hound, and continued to appear in other stories, but it was later given it's own short story in 1927 titled: History of the Necronomicon.
First appearing in the film The Evil Dead, the Necronomicon has become very popular in modern cult horror and one of the few antagonists of said cult horror films to have such notoriety. It is most easily recognized and envisioned in later material based on its appearance and habit of having teenagers 'activate' its powers. In The Evil Dead, it was called the Naturom Demonto: The Book of the Dead. In the other two films its name was changed to Necronomicon Ex-Mortis.
Fictional Biography In The Evil Dead Series Edit
Ancient HistoryEditThe Necronomicon was written by one of The Dark Ones long ago back when they ruled the Earth. It is notable for being bound in human flesh and inked in human blood. The text contained prophecies, funerary incantations, and demon resurrection passages. At some point after The Dark Ones were banished to the Mirror Dimension by the first Chosen One, a copy of the Necronomicon was placed in a graveyard along with two other (not as powerful) copies to fool those who attempted to steal the book from it's resting place. In 1300 AD, the time-displaced Ash Williams journeyed to this graveyard and took the real book back to Castle Kandar, where it was locked away in a tower for many years. Shortly after Ash brought the book to the castle, Evil Ash and his "Army of Darkness" attacked the castle, wanting to take The Necronomicon and use it to conquer the world, but the combined armies of Lord Arthur and Henry The Red defeated them.
Events of The Evil DeadEdit
Long after the castle was abandoned by the knights and kings, the ruined castle was where Professor Raymond Knowby, Henrietta Knowby, Annie Knowby, and Ed Getley discovered the Necronomicon and the Kandarian Dagger in the mid-1980's. Raymond and his wife Henrietta took the book and dagger back to their cabin in the mountains and left their daughter Annie to continue her work at the archaeological site. At some point between Ash taking the book to the castle and Professor Knowby rediscovering it, a handful of pages were torn out of the book and hidden in the ruined castle, with Annie Knowby finding them after her father and mother returned to their cabin. When Raymond Knowby arrived to his cabin, he began to study and translate his latest find, reading out-loud and recording a passage that awoke an evil spirit in the woods surrounding the cabin, causing his wife to become possessed by a Deadite. A week later, a group of five friends found the cabin and decided to spend the weekend there, and unknowingly summoned whatever evil the Knowbys unleashed just a few days ago by playing Raymond's recording of the translations. After fighting his Deadite friends for most of the night, Ash Williams finds himself surrounded by his possessed friends. Just when all hope seems lost for him, he decides to toss the book of the dead into the fire in the fireplace, causing the book's flesh bound cover to let out a scream, and stops the Deadites in their tracks.
Events of Evil Dead 2Edit
As the morning sun rises, Ash is attacked by The Force and briefly becomes a Deadite himself, but the sunlight drives whatever evil was inside him away. He tries to escape, but he forgot that the evil had destroyed the bridge the previous night, and it's the shortest (and only) way out for vehicles. Soon The Force chases Ash back to the cabin where he is forced to spend another night trying to stay alive. Unknown to Ash, Annie Knowby and Ed Getley are on their way to the cabin with the missing pages of the Necronomicon. Annie and Ed also find that the bridge is out, so Bobby Joe and Jake offer to take them the long way around to the cabin (for money), and later they arrive to find Ash and a bloody chainsaw, which leads Annie to think Ash killed her parents. After fighting Evil Ed and losing Bobby Joe, Jake tosses the pages of the Necronomicon into the cellar where a Deadite Henrietta resides and demands Ash and Annie help him look for Bobby Joe. Later, Annie tells Ash that the pages she found can stop the evil and send it back to the time it originated from, so Ash, now armed with a chainsaw hand and shotgun, heads into the cellar and collects the pages. Ash and Annie use the pages after defeating Deadite Henrietta and turn The Force into a physical form, which Ash begins to fight until Annie is stabbed by Ash's Evil Hand, interrupting her as she read from the pages. With her last breath, she finishes the passage and both Ash and the evil are sucked back in time to 1300 AD.
Ash vs Evil DeadEdit
Later returning to the present, Ash wanted to forget about his "Chosen One" responsibilities and live a somewhat normal life, so he went into hiding from the evil forces for 30 years and lived a reckless life trying to forget his past. At some point between the 1980's to 2015, Ash found another copy of Necronomicon Ex-Mortis at Books From Beyond, a specialty bookstore dealing with supernatural and occult related books. Ash kept this new copy in a trunk in his trailer and left it alone until he read from it's blood inked pages when he was high with a woman he was trying to impress.
Characteristics, and AbilitiesEdit
The Necronomicon is bound in human flesh, inked in human blood, and has a variety of different passages and translations to do mainly one thing: Awaken the Evil to possess the living so it can be reborn on Earth.
In The Evil Dead and Evil Dead II, the reading of passages from the book out loud "activates" the powers of the book to awaken evil in inanimate objects (such as trees), and raise the dead to serve as its servants. It can also turn living people into its servants as well, making them "Deadites" (there seems to be no notable physical difference between when a living human being or a dead human being becomes a Deadite). Sunlight, though, can release those possessed from the affliction (as seen in Evil Dead II when Ash is released from being possessed). In addition the passages of the book can be used to open portals to other places in time and space, as seen in Evil Dead II and Army of Darkness. Also the book, supposedly, has the ability to return the evil it awakens back to sleep, or restore people to normal (though this is suggested to be possible it is never shown to happen.)
In other incarnations of the Evil Dead/Army of Darkness franchise the book is shown to have a larger range of powers, as well as having a personality and inclination to want to destroy the living, particularly the "Chosen One".
In the Army of Darkness comics the book is shown to be able to infect animals, and any living entity, with its evil creating Deadites out of them. The book is also shown to be able to be physically injured, causing it to bleed, though such injuries allow the book to spread its evil even easier as it seems as the "blood" can infect anyone it comes into contact with. The book also is apparently indestructible (or at least Ash believes it to be so) and has the ability to speak.
In addition, the spells and powers of the book are extremely varied in the comic books depending on the passages read and who is reading the passage. Freddy Krueger, in Freddy Vs. Jason Vs. Ash, was able to use the spells in the Necromonicon to bring himself to the physical world out of the dreaming world, physically alter Jason Voorhees so he had a greater intelligence, and make his own powers in the dreaming world powers he could use in the real world. Ash has used the book to open a wide range of portals throughout time and space, as well as write in the book itself to use it to change reality (in the Ashes 2 Ashes series). The book has been shown to have a detailed history of its interactions with the line of Chosen Ones who are called to protect the world against the evil of the book.
In the stories of the video game, depending on the game, the book, or its pages, serve often as sources of different powers for Ash and also as cheap transportation. He is able, in the Fistful Of Boomstick game, to use pages to possess various types of Deadites, become super strong, summon lightning, and travel through time.
In the fan-made game Terrordrome, Ash uses it to summon Pumpkinhead to defeat Pinhead when he failed to beat the demon himself, then banish him to the underworld. He also banished the Cenobites to the Dream World.
In spite of the danger that the book pose due to passages and spells that written on it, the book itself is harmless as long as it never fell onto the hands of evil (like either Dark Ones or Deadites and Kandaran Demon considering that they coveted it due to it’s powers would bring them to their knees) or those whom lacks the proper knowledge and experience over the handling the effect of the spells and passage inside the book. This was proven where Professor Knowby, whom recites the contain of the book without the proper knowledge about the effects of it’s spells and passage inadvertly caused disasters began from the events of the films started from the events of The Evil Dead.
The book (originally referred to as 'Naturom Demonto') is first seen having a horribly mutilated face in The Evil Dead, thus bringing more meaning into being bound in human flesh. Also, the back side of the book has a human ear visible, possibly meaning that blood sacrifices were made in order to create the book.
In Evil Dead II, the book is officially called Necronomicon Ex-Mortis (what 'Book of the Dead' is translated from). The book pretty much retains all of its original features from the first film, but with a much darker color of brown and many of it pages are missing. The pages missing mean that the powers of the book are much greater, as evidenced by the passages on the pages brought by Annie Knowby. However, it appears some of the passages, such as the time portal, are hard to control or can't be controlled at all.
Due to this film taking place in 1300 A.D., the Necronomicon appears to be much cleaner. It also has all of its pages intact and the face on the front is much less mutilated, with the book having a more grayish color. Despite having been found in the castle in The Evil Dead, the book is instead found in a cemetary miles away (because this happens before The Evil Dead and therefore Ash has not yet gone back in time and brought the book from the cemetary to the castle). As well as the main book, there are two other books at the site as well, one with a portal, and one a deadite itself. The book is shown to have, in this film, not just passages, but also potions for certain things (such as giving the user the ability to sleep a century for every drop taken in).
The book is first found wrapped in plastic and barbed wire and the pages have warnings and annotations scrawled on them to not read the text. Passages containing evil spells are also scribbled out with ink in an effort to render them unreadable, but Eric manages to uncover the missing words with charcoal and paper.
Unlike the first film, the book is unaffected by fire. However, as well as containing passages on summoning demons, the book also contains instructions on how to destroy them as well as clues about their motivations and aims.
Appearances Outside The Evil Dead (References)Edit
The inspiration for the Book of the Dead in The Evil Dead series is the Necronomicon in H.P. Lovecraft's stories. It's origins are very similar to the one in the Evil Dead movies, but are tied to the demons like Cthulhu and Yog-Sothoth. It was written by the "Mad Arab," Abdul Alhazred, who wrote the book and filled it with all sorts of spells and incantations with human blood. The book was such an integral part of the mythos that is was shared with other writers including friends of Lovecraft such as August Delreth. Many invented their own works such as "Der Vermis Mysteriis", but the Necronomicon remains the most popular.
A parody video game of the Evil Dead was in Season 3 of the CGI animated series, Re-Boot.
In this parody of the Evil Dead remake, Mama and the Paranormal Activity movies, protagonists Dan and Jodi have a demon called Mama invade their home after taking in two lost children belonging to Dan's brother, Charlie. After looking up the Book of the Dead online in the hopes of ridding the house of Mama, Jodi and her friend Kendra went to the cabin where the remake took place. They found the book in the fruit cellar and upon reading the words, "Gort Klaatu Barada Nikto", nothing happened...to them. The inhabitants of the cabin, however, became possessed by the Deadites and were forced to do horrific things including self-mutilation and projectile vomiting. Upon saying the word, "Adunda", the cabin inhabitants were exorcised, and left confused as to what happened. Unfortunately for them, Kendra and Jodi curse and exorcise them two more times, and after thinking that the book's words did nothing, they left the cabin, leaving the other people possessed by the Deadites. One of Dan's friends, Caesar (a chimp with advanced human intelligence) later learned of a way to remove Mama upon reading the book, but was framed by her to keep him from saving the family. Eventually, Dan and Jodi stopped Mama from sacrificing herself and the girls by throwing the book at her literally.
There is an item that is used to summon an archer and a warrior for your character in the game Dota 2 with the same name.
There is a possible reference to the Necronomicon in the form of a bomb-throwing book known as the Bombinomicon wielded by the magician, Merasmus. It also appears as a cosmetic item for all classes, causing them to explode on death. It is also a secondary "Antagonist" in the comic named after itself, in which the Demoman opens the book, causing his eye to become a giant monstrosity of airborne destruction.
There is a possible reference to the Necronomicon in the form of a quest item in the Point Lookout expansion pack. The Krivbeknih, as referred to in the game, play a similar role to the Necronomicon in the mythos, often being used by evil men for sinister purposes.
In the base game of Fallout 3, an audio log by a "Jamie" individual in the Dunwich Building contain references to the Necronomicon's fictional author "Alhazred".
Friday the 13th: Jason goes to HellEdit
The book can be seen sitting on a desk in the Voorhees family home. It hints that Jason's powers and resurection may be due to his mother using the book.