« There lay Lucy, seemingly just as we had seen her the night before | Main | It is wonderful what a good night »


Most Significant


Number of visits: 3
Time of visit: From sunset on 27 September to sunrise on 28 September
Who: Van Helsing
Purpose of visit: Observation, though what he expects to see is unclear. To test how to seal the tomb, perhaps? "'Yesterday… I waited here all the night till the sun rose, but I saw nothing. It was most probable that it was because I had laid over the clamps of those doors garlic, which the Un–Dead cannot bear, and other things which they shun. Last night there was no exodus…” (29 September, Ch. 16)
Anti-vampire measures: Crucifix, garlic fixed on or near the tomb (perhaps mixed with putty, as he does with the Host later?)

Notes: What does Van Helsing mean by “the clamps of those doors”? It doesn't seem like he would be satisfied with just treating the hardware, especially in view of how he later seals up the entire gap between the door and door frame with putty. A 19th Century dictionary defines "to clamp" as "in joining, to fit a board with the grain to another piece across the grain; this is of use to prevent warping."* So perhaps the top and bottom rails and the side stiles of a wooden panel door could collectively be called "clamps"? Putting garlic on those parts of a door-- whether by rubbing cloves, or by draping greenery and flowers-- would certainly cover a larger area.

Van Helsing seems to have been dissatisfied with the result, since on later nights he uses a different method to seal the tomb.


Most Significant

“So if it be that he [i.e. the vampire who created Lucy] come thither on this night he shall find me; but none other shall—until it be too late.”

Van Helsing is no great shakes as a strategist. He thinks the Count might kill him in the churchyard this night, with “the strength in his hand of twenty men”, or “his wolf and I know not what.” His note also says that the Count could find shelter in Lucy’s tomb. Yet all he has for protection are his crucifix and garlic, which he believes will protect him from a young vampire like Lucy. On October 1, Van Helsing’s idea of the equipment needed to safely face the Count is more extensive.

What would have happened if, on their very first visit to the cemetery, Seward and Van Helsing had been killed by the Count and their bodies hidden? Would the Harkers still have met up with Holmwood and Morris? Without Van Helsing’s forceful personality and esoteric knowledge, would his crazy crusade have ended?

Or would the enterprising Harkers interview the servants at Hillingham and at Seward’s asylum, listen to Seward’s phonograph diary, and lead the hunt for the Count in Van Helsing’s place?

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

September 2023

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 07/2003