Jan 10th, 2018, Herbert West: Reanimator, Part II: The Plague-Daemon by H.P. Lovecraft, The New Annotated Lovecraft

Part II of this story furthers the quest of reanimation of a corpse by one Herbert West and the unnamed narrator. Not long after the attempt and failure in Part I of this story, typhoid breaks out in Arkham which times stamps this piece at around 1905, though the piece itself was written in 1921-22, and the narrator himself proclaims that the events in this second part took place, “sixteen years ago.” Now, Herbert West had been shunned by Miskatonic University for his research on reanimation. The deans had forbidden him to attempt any human reanimations, and though he still hadn’t succeeded with an animal reanimation, he still was going on with his attempts. However, due to typhoid, classes were canceled and all doctors were called upon to save lives. Dr. Halsey, prominent dean of Miskatonic University went to work treating patients, but in the end, succumbed to the disease as well. Around this same time, West procures a fresh body and smuggles it into the college laboratory. He injects the corpse with a tincture he believes will jump start all the biological processes of life. The corpse opens its eyes but does not do anything else. He disposes of the body before anyone other than the narrator knows what he has done. At Dr. Halsey’s funeral, West and the narrator get rather drunk, and that night bring a stranger back to West’s room, which he rents from an older woman. Both men are knocked on conscious by the stranger. The following nights see a series of attacks around Arkham. Ghastly murders in which a creature, pale and monstrous, tears people apart.

Again, the narrator of this piece is disturbed by West’s disappearance, yet he is no closer to telling us what he believes the disappearance is due to. We must wait and see if Part III shows us.


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