In 1925 8-year-old Robert Bloch saw "The Phantom of the Opera". He was terrified when Lon Chaney removed his mask. That terror also sparked Bloch's interest in horror and sci-fi.
By the 1930s Bloch began writing to sci-fi author H.P. Lovecraft.
Lovecraft became Bloch's mentor.
In 1935 Bloch wrote The Shambler from the Stars. In the story a character based on Lovecraft dies. The next year Lovecraft returned the favor in The Haunter in the Dark. He killed a character based on Bloch. Lovecraft dedicated the story to Bloch.
H. P. Lovecraft died in 1937.
Bloch became a popular sci-fi, horror, and crime writer.
Robert Bloch's papers fill 394 boxes at UW's American Heritage Center.