"'The Tomb' was written in June of 1917, the first story HPL had written since 1908. ,,, HPL noted that the genesis of the story occurred in June 1917, when he was walking with his aunt Lillian Clark through Swan Point Cemetery and came upon a tombstone dating to 1711. 'Why could I not talk with him, and enter more intimately into the life of my chosen age? What had left his body, that it could no longer converse with me? I looked long at that grave, and the night after I returned home I began my first story of the new series--"The Tomb."'"
There is much in that paragraph that entices my imagination. I am one of those weird children who has always loved the aura of graveyards, and one of my favorite childhood haunts was a place I called "Graham Hill Graveyard," where I would go and play among the broken tombs that were surrounded by overgrowth. I would sometimes dress up in my vampire costume and have my photo taken there.
It was a happy place for me. The same, alas, cannot be said of Swan Point, when my friends took me there to visit Lovecraft's graveside. Looking at E'ch-Pi-El's tombstone fill'd me with unmitigated sorrow, because I could not help but reflect that Grandpa went to his grave probably thinking himself a failure as a writer. He became more and more dissatisfied with his work as he grew older, as more and more it was rejected by Weird Tales. That is why I look so wretched in photos of me at Lovecraft's grave.