First published in 1928 in the pulp magazine Weird Tales, "The Call of Cthulhu" is a short story by American author H.P. Lovecraft, a writer famous for his horror fiction works (which had tremendous influence after they gained international appeal after his death).
The plot centers around a man named Francis Wayland Thurston who discovers a series of notes left behind by his grand-uncle, a recently deceased distinguished linguistics professor. With the notes he finds a statue of a strange creature that looked like "simultaneous pictures of an octupus, a dragon, and a human caricature." As Francis digs deeper into the mystery of this creature, he encounters danger and enigma.
The short story was critically praised, although Lovecraft himself regards it as "rather middling—not as bad as the worst, but full of cheap and cumbrous touches."