Life and death
A writer of the occult, Robert Blake moved to Providence.
Curious about the church of Federal Hill, about which few locals agreed to mention, Blake broke into, finding the dreaded Necronomicon, texts in Aklo language, the skeleton and notes of a reporter, and finally gazed into the Shining Trapezohedron (a stone in which one awaken the Haunter of the Dark by gazing into, and former property of the Starry Wisdom Cult, a sect worshiping the Haunter of the Dark, Nyarlathotep himself). After gazing into the Shining Trapezohedron, Blake closed the box.
Reading the reporter's notes, Blake learned of the cult, the Trapezohedron, and the Haunter of the Dark. He became tormented by dreams, and visited Dr. Dexter for help. Nevertheless, Blake walked in his sleep to the church. Awakening, he returned home, fearing to fell asleep again. A shadow was witnessed leaving the steeple, and all believed that the church was finally free of the evil influence, but the next morning, Blake was found dead by Dexter. The police ruled his death as caused by lightning, but Dexter was not convinced.
Inquiries on Blake's death
Blake's friend Howard Phillips began to investigate. He met Dr. Dexter who believed the jewel was involved in Blake's death. Dexter (possibly already possessed by the Haunter Dark, Nyarlathotep) broke in the church as well, stole the chest, and threw at the deepest channel of Narragansett Bay. Phillips kept on searching about the shadow demon, but was found dead three days later.
Six years later, Blake's and Phillips' friend Edmund Fisk from Milwaukee (in the Service, then sick for a long while during those events) hired private detective Jonas Gores to locate Dexter. Gores dropped the case, refused to give Dexter's location and told Fisk to stop his search as well as Dexter was now an important government scientist, but Fisk knocked him out and took the address from his notes, as well as his gun. That night, two panthers broke loose from the circus. Fisk confronted Dexter/Nyarlathotep, but the demon used his death-touch on him, before going to the garden to met with the docile panthers who recognized him despite his human form.
- Robert Blake was created by H.P. Lovecraft in his story "The Haunter in the Dark" (December, 1936), adapted in Journey into Mystery (Vol. 2) #4 (April, 1973), seemingly based on his friend and correspondent Robert Bloch.
- Robert Bloch had himself based the reclusive scholar living in Providence from his story "The Shambler from the Stars" (September, 1935), on Lovecraft. In the adaptation of that story in Journey into Mystery (Vol. 2) #3 (February, 1973), the reclusive scholar was depicted by Jim Starlin in traits resembling H.P. Lovecraft.
- Robert wrote a third sequence, "The Shadow From the Steeple" (September, 1950), in which Howard Phillips Lovecraft appeared, and died. The story was adapted in Journey Into Mystery (Vol. 2) #5 (June, 1973), in which the character was renamed Howard Phillips.