I've never felt an inclination to write horror. Well, except for that time I read the spaceship chapter of How To Survive A Horror Movie. Part of me really, really wants to write a space horror spoof, but it would so NOT be glorifying to God I'm not sure I can justify it, even for the funny.
Lovecraft knows horror, and his early works managed creepy crawly without even describing the creepy crawly too much. That is my biggest gripe with some of his early stuff. There's only so much "unnameable hideousness" and "indescribable horror" I can tolerate before I want him to try to describe it.
He gets more graphic in the 1920's, so I won't dwell overlong on that criticism.
Here's what's scary according to Lovecraft:
Murky water (swamps, sludge-covered oceans, bogs) that eventually erupts with corrosive smells and blobby or gigantic figures from hell.
Ancient, abandoned cities visible only in unnatural moonlight that echo with weird screams and either suggest or disgorge blobby or gigantic figures from hell.
Cellars found in old houses or ancient, abandoned cities that lead to hell and often involve glimpses of or encounters with blobby or gigantic figures.
Caverns that lead to hell and... yeah, you get the idea about the creatures, right? The blobby or disproportionally large non-human creatures made the more hideous by a small resemblance to humanity in an otherwise completely alien life form?
Stars that glow with reddish light and cause hysterical dreaming and the occasional parallel dimension traveling.
Parallel dimensions visible in drug-induced states that reveal glimpses of hellish, other-worldly creatures that would destroy us all if they bothered to notice we're here.
Swarthy, low-browed subhumans of far-below animal intelligence who somehow manage to exist in otherwise civilized cities.
Anything that pre-dates human civilization, especially savage rites involving human sacrifice.
Funny thing. He's right about the water and the cellars/caverns, and I'm willing to give him a nod on the abandoned cities. I've never been creeped out by a star before, and I won't be trying any consciousness altering drugs stronger than a Melted Snowball, but I've gotta admit, the man knows horror.
Thinking should I ever write that space horror story, I'll have to work a blobby giant in somewhere.