The word Eldritch is commonly defined as an adjective to describe that which is strange, eerie, uncanny, ghostly, or similarly fear-inducing. It is also commonly associated with H.P. Lovecraft’s elder gods and eldritch horrors such as Cthulhu or Yog-Sothoth. Below are four artists renditions of an eldritch horror pulled from a simple google search with the key word eldritch.
The first three images show combinations of features one may see in nature with what could be considered corruptions. The first image combining two existing creatures, while the third is only vaguely relatable to any recognizable form. Fourth is an artist’s rendition of Cthulhu, which also seems to follow this pattern of altering forms that are recognizable in nature in order to unsettle the viewer.
Following are two images I pulled from the Dream.io AI image generator, feeding it the word ‘eldritch’ followed by ‘crow’, a common and mundane creature that likely had a decent amount of image resources for the image generator to draw from.
This aesthetic isn’t necessarily a well documented one as far as precise descriptions go, but a great many examples can be found as seen above. While the works of Lovecraft certainly influenced the modern idea of an eldritch aesthetic, it certainly reaches far beyond his works into many unsettling or fear-inducing visages.