Is It True: Shirley Jackson’s “The Daemon Lover”

Welcome back to the Lovecraft reread, in which two modern Mythos writers get girl cooties all over old Howard’s sandbox, from those who inspired him to those who were inspired in turn.

Today we’re looking at Shirley Jackson’s “The Daemon Lover,” first published in her The Lottery: The Adventures of James Harris collection in 1949. Spoilers ahead.

“Dearest Anne, by the time you get this I will be married. Doesn’t it sound funny? I can hardly believe it myself, but when I tell you how it happened, you’ll see it’s even stranger than that…”


Unnamed female narrator wakes on her wedding day—an unusual sort of wedding day, as she writes to her sister—before discarding the unfinished letter. She’s only known her fiance Jamie Harris a short time, and his proposal seems to have come out of nowhere.

She cleans her tiny apartment in preparation for their wedding ...