HBO's Lovecraft Country: 9 Most WTF Moments From Episode 3

lovecraft country episode 3 leti and tic in front of house
(Image credit: hbo press)

Major spoiler warning for Lovecraft Country's third episode, so be warned!

Lovecraft Country went from one uniquely terrifying abode to another with its third episode, "Holy Ghost," which somewhat surprisingly started off with a three-week time jump that sidestepped the bulk of the mourning (and explanation) process regarding George's death. Obviously that opening reveal was far from the most WTF moment of the hour, which again featured plenty of emotionally grounded scenes to balance the pulpy horror weirdness. I love this show from my head down to the skeleton-filled tunnels below my feet, but more on that later.

More so than the first two episodes, "Holy Ghost" pulled its focus in for a haunted house tale that ramped up the dread with its day-by-day structure. Now, let's once again take a hair-raising ride through Lovecraft Country's most WTF moments, this time from Episode 3. (For those who may have missed my earlier entries, here are the moments that threw me the hardest from Episode 1 and Episode 2.)

lovecraft country episode 3 ghost missing her face

The Ghost Whose Mouth Was Ripped Open

While one could argue that Tic's dimension-opening experiences in "Whitey's on the Moon" might fall under the umbrella of being "supernatural," this episode certainly makes its "Holy Ghost" title quite literal. It all started with Leti being shocked awake by a ghost that was missing the bottom part of her face, which led down to the basement, and so on. But before any eventual explanations came around, viewers were branded with the spooky sight of that silver-haired and red-eyed ghoul sporting meat market debris where her mouth and chin would be. Ghosts aren't always this gnarly, but Lovecraft Country know its audience.

lovecraft country episode 3 leti walking in cobwebs

Leti Keeping Her Mouth Open While Walking Through Cobwebs

Okay, so this isn't particularly tied to any of Lovecraft Horror's more genre-heavy moments, but watching it still made me squirm across the entire surface area of the couch I was sitting/perching on. While taking what was obviously her first trip through the basement, Jurnee Smollett's Leti walked through a literal wall of cobwebs and kept her mouth open in disgust the whole time. If I'm in that same situation, I'm knocking those cobwebs down from three feet away with a mop handle, and even then my lips would be pushed impossibly close together.

lovecraft country episode 3 ouija board scene

"George Is Dead"

Scenes with Ouija boards are nothing new in horror movies and TV shows, so it usually takes something unique to make it stand out. Creator Misha Green crafted an effectively simple scene with Jada Harris' Diana and her friends that culminated in the supposed spirit introducing itself as "George Is Dead," which sent a still-mourning Diana running away. The scene's creepy WTF-ness really kicks in after the episode ends, and you realize that the ghosts in the house had not only absorbed the information that George had died, but were also aware of Diana enough to know she would be severely hurt by that delivery. They were some ol' nosy-ass ghosts.

lovecraft country episode 3 hippolyta and the orrery

Hippolyta And That Orrery

Aunjanue Ellis' Hippolyta was obviously the character still mourning George's death the hardest, as evidenced in the unnerving way she dismantled his copy of Dracula. Sure, she seemed to already be having a good time at Leti and Ruby's housewarming party, but something took over her Hippolyta once she opened the door on that ornate orrery, origin unknown. (Alliteration win.) The device's existence in the house was already weird, and made all the more curious by its absence later when the racist neighbors burst into that room. Hippolyta presumably has the orrery at home, but why was she so taken by it?

lovecraft country episode 3 leti banging up cars

Leti Getting Buck On Her Neighbors' Cars

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, especially when that scorn is then amplified by the unending blares of car horns lining the street, and lit by the blazing cross in the yard. Enough was enough for Leti, who had the only sane reaction, which was to bust the shit out of all the neighbors' cars trying to intimidate her into moving. No matter how sane, though, Leti's revenge was still WTF since she did it knowing the risk of police violence, which did indeed occur. Almost as WTF was that shithead cop dumping exposition about the house's history, but he was trying to scare her, and it ended up helping her.

lovecraft country episode photograph ghost

The Face In The Photographs

I'm a fanatic for puzzles of all kinds, but unsurprisingly, none of the puzzles I've ever worked on involved haunted markings on photographs. And I consider it a good and necessary thing, because if I ever did find such markings, and if I laid them out together in a way that it depicted a face that suddenly rose up out of the floor like the Freddy Worm in Nightmare on Elm Street 3, and then screamed "GET OUT OF MY HOUSE!" then I would avoid doing puzzles again for the rest of my life. And that would be a shame.

lovecraft country basketball player ghost with baby head

The Ghost With The Baby Head

By the midway point of "Holy Ghost," I foolishly thought I had a handle on how disturbingly grotesque Lovecraft Country was going to get. Little did I know that I would later be hollering "Nope!" at my TV while trying to traverse all of my body's molecules backwards through my recliner, whether by force or by folly. I will never be able to unsee the adult-sized basketball player ghost with the tiny baby head, and his cries and warbles are forever etched on my eardrums. So, kudos to Misha Green and the effects team, but also, how could you? (Here's Misha Green's explanation for this nightmare creation.)

lovecraft country elevator ghost

Everything Involving The Elevator Ghost

Right after Baby Head showed up, one of the doomed neighbors was decapitated by the speeding elevator, and viewers could barely make out that it was operated by a ghost that appeared to be working outside the inner circle of mismatched specters that Leti assumedly liberated from their tortured afterlives. The dark spirit returned in Leti's epilogue sequence, taking the elevator down to a tunnel far underground that not only had the neighbors' corpses, but also way too many skeletons for anything nice and reasonable to have happened. What was up with those symbols that lit up as the elevator descended? Something from the one of the Book's hidden pages?

lovecraft country episode 3 tic trying to kill christina

Tic Trying To Murder Christina

As it went with Leti's car vandalism, I completely understood the core motivation behind Tic's intention to take out another Braithwhite family member before skipping town. But in the moment, I was baffled that such an intelligent character as Tic would attempt to murder a magical being so soon after he was almost killed by a large number of supernatural entities. I guess at that point, he figured his life wouldn't suddenly take a hard left away from otherwordly things trying to murder him, so he might as well try and get a step ahead however possible. Unfortunately, now Christina knows that Tic wanted her dead, even if she looked more aroused by it than anything else, which was another WTF-moment-within-a-WTF-moment.

For more wild and horrifying moments, always remember to tune into Lovecraft Country on HBO every Sunday night at 9:00 p.m. ET. And to see what other shows will get scared up in the near future, head to our Fall 2020 TV premiere guide.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.