The Yellow Site

Hali (or Haley) is a name associated with the Carcosa Mythos.

Hali in the writings of Ambrose Bierce

The name Hali apparently originated in Ambrose Bierce's "An Inhabitant of Carcosa" in which Hali is the author of a quote which prefaces the story. The narrator of the story implies that the person named Hali is now dead (at least in the timeline of the story). Bierce also quoted Hali at the start of "The Death of Halpin Frayser". Hali is taken to be a philosopher.

Prefacing "An Inhabitant of Carcosa": For there be divers sorts of death - some wherein the body remaineth; and in some it vanisheth quite away with the spirit. This commonly occurreth only in solitude (such is God’s will) and, none seeing the end, we say the man is lost, or gone on a long journey - which indeed he hath; but sometimes it hath happened in sight of many, as abundant testimony showeth. In one kind of death the spirit also dieth, and this it hath been known to do while yet the body was in vigor for many years. Sometimes, as is veritably attested, it dieth with the body, but after a season is raised up again in that place where the body did decay.

Prefacing "The Death of Halpin Frayser": For by death is wrought greater change than hath been shown. Whereas in general the spirit that removed cometh back upon occasion, and is sometimes seen of those in flesh (appearing in the form of the body it bore) yet it hath happened that the veritable body without the spirit hath walked. And it is attested of those encountering who have lived to speak thereon that a lich so raised up hath no natural affection, nor remembrance thereof, but only hate. Also, it is known that some spirits which in life were benign become by death evil altogether.

According to the Encyclopedia Cthulhiana

...there are three possible meanings to the name :

  1. The Lake of Hali
  2. According to Marion Zimmer Bradley, Hali is the Arabic name for the constellation of Taurus
  3. A necromancer who dwelt in the Immemorial City on the planet of Carcosa (in a concept by Lin Carter).

Origin of the Name

It is suggested in the Encyclopedia Cthulhiana that the original Hali could have been the Ummayad Prince and alchemist [Khalid ibn Yazid] ibn Mu'awiyah (aka Calid) or the Egyptian physician and astrologer Ali ibn Ridwan, in addition to Marion Zimmer Bradley's suggestion regarding Taurus.

Elsewhere it has been suggested that the Hali referred to is the 19th century Urdu poet [Maulana Hali].

Another possibility is the astrologer Haly Abenragel known as Hali the Arabian.

In Greek myth, Halie is also given as the name of a Nereid (sea-nymph), whilst the similarly-named Halia is a nymph from Rhodes and sister to the Telchines. Other characters named Halia include one who mated with a serpent and the daughter of a Lydian king.

Carcosa Story About Hali

In the second of the three fragments in Tatters of the King, Lin Carter sketches out the career of the necromancer Hali on the planet Carcosa. For details see that entry.


In the non-mythos Darkover setting, Hali is the name of a town.


See also Revelations Of Hali and Arabic Origins of the Mythos.