The dread cry of "Tekeli-li" first appeared in The Narrative of Gordon Arthur Pym by Edgar Allen Poe, in which it is a cry associated with mysterious white-coloured birds and uttered by the natives of the Antarctic land of Tsalal whenever they encounter white objects. A mysterious white figure appears at the conclusion of that tale. H.P. Lovecraft then used the cry in At The Mountains of Madness, where it was uttered by a shoggoth. The cry was finally tied into The Yellow Mythos in The Return of Hastur by August Derleth, in which the Great Old One Hastur shrieks the cry. At no point in the development of the cry has its specific meaning been revealed.

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