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Chapter 16

The four men arrive and enter the Westenra mausoleum. Van Helsing opens Lucy's coffin, which is empty. They go outside to wait for Lucy to return. Meanwhile, Van Helsing takes some precautions: he crumbles up some communion wafer and works it into a ball of putty, then seals the cracks of the mausoleum with the mixture. He claims that this will keep the Un-Dead from entering. The vampire Lucy approaches them, throwing down her child victim as if it were a sack of potatoes. She calls to Arthur, who begins to fall under her spell, but Van Helsing intervenes and holds her off with a crucifix. Van Helsing asks Arthur if he is now convinced that Lucy is Un-Dead, and if they may proceed with their plan. Arthur brokenly answers yes, and Van Helsing removes the communion wafer-mixture from the door-cracks of the tomb. To the men's amazement, Lucy passes through the tiny crack as if she were made of air. Van Helsing seals the crack, and they agree to come back the next day and finish the job.

Returning the following afternoon, they re-enter the mausoleum and open Lucy's coffin. Her body lies there, looking disturbingly lifelike, but the men all see an evil creature in place of their beloved Lucy. Van Helsing explains the methods of the Un-Dead: a vampire infects its victims with vampirism; if they die, they will in turn become vampires; however, if the original vampire dies before this, its victims will return to normal. Van Helsing says that the blow which drives a stake into the vampire's heart releases the spirit of the victim, and he asks Arthur to carry out the process on Lucy. Arthur grimly pounds the sharpened stake into Lucy's heart; the vampire awakes and struggles violently, then dies. After Arthur and Quincey leave, Seward and Van Helsing cut off Lucy's head and stuff the mouth with garlic, then reseal her coffin. Van Helsing tells all the men that their help will be needed to find and kill the vampire that infected Lucy.

Browse all book notes

Historical Context
Main Characters
Points to Ponder
Did You Know
Plot Summary
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5 and 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9 and 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14 and 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18
Chapter 19 and 20
Chapter 21
Chapter 22
Chapter 23
Chapter 24 and 25
Chapter 26
Chapter 27


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