The story begins with the narrator describing the effects of opium and the fantastical vistas it can inspire. The narrator then tells of his sole experience with opium in which he was accidentally administered an overdose by a doctor during the "year of the plague."
"The Colour Out of Space" is a 1st-person narrative written from the perspective of an unnamed Boston surveyor. In order to prepare for the construction of a new reservoir in Massachusetts, he surveys a rural area that is to be flooded near Lovecraft's fictional town of Arkham. He comes across a mysterious patch of land, an abandoned five-acre farmstead, which is completely devoid of all life.
Sailors kill a 50 foot creature at sea after a lengthy battle. The creature bears strange anatomical irregularities such as a single large eye and rudimentary forelegs and six-toed feet in place of pectoral fins. After inspection by marine biologists, it is revealed to be just a juvenile. The captain who captured the creature tours the coast and profits from the corpse of the deceased creature. As the captain attempts to finish his business at Martin's Beach, a group of swimmers are attacked. The captain and others attempt to rescue the victims but it is too late. The good samaritans and the captain are hypnotized and pulled into the water by the creature's apparently vengeful mother, to the horror of an onlooking crowd.
The Call of Cthulhu, the tale of a horrifying underwater monster coming to life and threatening mankind, is H.P. Lovecraft's most famous and most widely popular tale, spawning an entire mythology, with the power to strike terror into the hearts of even the Great Old Ones.