John Bellairs Wiki
John Bellairs Wiki

Jedediah Clabbernong was a citizen of Capharnaum County, Michigan and member of the Clabbernong family.


Jedediah was rumored to be a wicked magician: "at night people passing by saw strange lights and heard eerie sounds" coming from his farmhouse (The Beast under the Wizard's Bridge, 10). He presumably lived alone until the parents of his great-nephew, Elihu, died, after which Elihu came to live with him.  Jedediah was at least 75 years old (Beast, 78) when he died December 21, 1885 – the same night a mysterious meteorite crashed onto his farm (Beast, 11) . Following his death, Elihu burnt his grand-uncle belongings, had the body cremated and the ashes "pinned to the bottom" (Beast, 106) of Wilder Creek, and abandoned the farm on his way to becoming a successful businessman.

The Beast under the Wizard's Bridge

A number of years after Elihu’s death, Jedediah’s Mystic Journal was discovered on the Clabbernong property by Lewis Barnavelt. Hidden away in an old storm cellar, the holograph revealed Jedediah’s fascination with the coming of the Red Star, an astronomical event thought to be a bridge to the dimension of the Great Old Ones, an ancient race of creatures, that had been banished millennia ago. Part of the ritual involved a sacrifice (Elihu’s parents [Beast, 65]) with the end result being Jedediah’s transformation into a Great Old One. But "something went blooey with the spell" (Beast; 137) and the creature that came to Earth riding on the meteorite (Beast, 150) merged with the cremated remains of Jedediah in the waters of Wilder Creek – yet kept at bay for sixty years due to the magical properties of the iron bridge.


While Brad Strickland created - or perhaps envisioned or interpreted - the Clabbernong family history, Bellairs first mentioned the characters in passing in The House with a Clock in its Walls when Lewis, his uncle, and Mrs. Zimmermann are chased across the iron bridge (House, 100). As such, Bellairs’s names evoke the Bible similarly to his other minor characters.

Jedediah is ancient Hebrew name meaning "Friend of God” and the name given to Solomon in infancy[1].


  1. Wikipedia: Jedediah