Wilbur Whateley
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Biography for
Wilbur Whateley (Character)
from The Dunwich Horror (1970)

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WIlbur Whateley was born at 5AM on Sunday, the second of February, 1913 (Candlemas). It is said that dogs barked throughout the the night before, and the people of Dunwich, already shy of the Whateleys and their curious ways, soon developed an out and out loathing for the "black brat," as Wilbur came to be called. His mother, Lavinia Whateley, lived with her father, Zechariah, believed by many to be a wizard of some kind. There is no record of any father, save for the curious statement Old Whateley made at Osborn's general store a week after the birth, "ef Lavinny's boy looked like his pa, he wouldn't look like nothin' ye expeck...some day yew folks'll hear a child of Lavinny's a-callin' its father's name on the top o' Sentinel Hill!" Old Zechariah subsequently began a notoriously unsuccessful attempt to breed cattle, all of whom were victims of a strange disease that caused swollen sores to appear around the neck, and few of which lived longer than a few months. In spite of this, the Whateley's continued to purchase cattle at a considerable rate for many years.

It is known that WIlbur grew quickly, and began speaking at the age of eleven months. When in 1917 an investigative team came to Dunwich on the orders of the local draft board, he was taken for a lad of fifteen. Members of the team hinted at a shocking collection of books on black magic kept at the Whateley house, and of a curiously boarded-up second storey, from which odd sounds seemed to come.

Lavinia, grew weaker as her boy grew shockingly fast, sometimes exhibiting the same sores that were noted on the cattle, and many expected her to be carried off. Before that could happen, however, she was committed to the asylum in Arkham by the old wizard, having had a total nervous breakdown. Her gibberish was nearly incoherent, and often related to Wilbur, his unidentified father, and an unnammable "Other" that was supposedly in the farmhouse. Doctors were never able to cure her.

It is known that when he reached (apparent) maturity, Wilbur became interested in expanding the Whateley collection of occult materials, going so far as to contact Dr. Henry Armitage of Miskatonic University and attempting to receive permission to borrow the dreaded Necronomicon of the Mad Arab Abdul Alhazred, in Olaus Wormius' forbidden Latin version. Dr. Armitage refused, but it is believed that WIlbur was connected with a bizarre break-in at Mistkatonic's library shortly thereafter.

The event which has come to be known as "the Dunwich Horror" occurred shortly after WIlbur's death, or disappearance (authorities are notoriously closed-mouthed about the circumstances, and Dunwich folk offer no information whatever). Several locals were killed and considerable property damage caused when an unknown animal or person escaped from the boarded-up second storey of the Whateley house. Locals will not speak of this event at all, and Dr. Armitage's reports have been quite enigmatic. Immediately after the Horror, he made a comment on which he has since refused to elucidate: "It was his twin brother, but it looked more like the father than he did."

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