Had to do a bunch of work today and was thrilled to finally chill and then I remembered this doozy in my inbox. Even Dracula Daily warns me to “buckle in.” I think if I get tired halfway through I might do the rest tomorrow. Starting this at 8:50pm, let’s go.

I don’t mean to complain about this. I love this blog, I love writing it, I love reading Dracula, but I’m gonna love it even more when it’s over and I can laugh at my own stupid jokes instead of having to do the work and write the jokes.

September 29

I think today’s content is the actual halfway point of my physical copy of the book. So yeah it’s going to be an ordeal. I wish I could just quit my job and have full-time boners about Dracula.

We open with Dr. Lobotomy as Van Helsing gets to catch Arthur and Quincey up on the plan. Apparently Van Helsing already informed Arthur in a letter which he tried to puzzle over with Quincey. Arthur is so confused he says he’s “up a tree as to any meaning about anything,” which amuses me. Quincey agrees that he too is up a tree. Van Helsing compliments them, saying they’re closer to beginning to understand than Dr. Lobotomy.

The crowd goes wild as a young man smiles smugly at the camera. Another guy runs his hands down his face in agony as he crosses in front of the camera.

Van Helsing asks everyone to let him take responsibility for what is about to happen so that none of his co-conspirators blame themselves. Quincey, charmed by Van Helsing, is in. Arthur, more wary, says he won’t agree to anything that violates his “honour as a gentleman or my faith as a Christian.”

This statement just makes Quincy’s eager acceptance way more charming, haha. He’s down for whatever, scruples be damned.

Van Helsing accepts Arthur’s terms which makes me wonder about where grave snooping falls in the ten commandments.

Apparently Van Helsing didn’t explain much in his letter to Arthur because he’s shocked when Van Helsing says he plans to take them to Lucy’s graveyard to look in her casket.

“Professor, are you in earnest; or it is some monstrous joke? Pardon me, I see that you are in earnest.”

This reads like a line of dialogue in a play, unspoken directions up to the actor.

Van Helsing goes on and asks permission to cut Lucy’s head off and Arthur forbids it. Van Helsing says that he is loyal to more than just Arthur, and he’ll see his duty through. He pleads all the same for Arthur to understand where he’s coming from, and to see that he doesn’t take his actions lightly. He reveals that he too stuffed Lucy with a hot load of his blood.

” […] I gave to her my nights and days—before death, after death; and if my death can do her good even now, when she is the dead Un-Dead, she shall have it freely.”

Arthur is moved and agrees to go along to see what happens.

The night was dark with occasional gleams of moonlight between the rents of the heavy clouds that scudded across the sky. 

I’m not good at visualizing but I can really see this in my mind.

They get to the graveyard around midnight and head for the tomb. When Van Helsing opens the coffin, they find it empty. Everyone gawks in silence until Quincey says something cute.

“Professor, I answered for you. Your word is all I want. I wouldn’t ask such a thing ordinarily—I wouldn’t so dishonour you as to imply a doubt; but this is a mystery that goes beyond any honour or dishonour. Is this your doing?”

“No offense, but…did you remove Lucy’s corpse?”

Van Helsing swears he has not touched her and tells them the story of opening the coffin before, with Dr. Lobotomy, finding it empty at night and Lucy-filled during the day. He talks about how yesterday no one left the tomb when he draped it with crucifixes and garlic, which he removed earlier tonight. He leads everyone back outside to wait and see what they might see. (And I took a break to make hot chocolate so I can maybe stay awake.) Dr. Lobotomy is deeply relieved to be outside.

Each in his own way was solemn and overcome. Arthur was silent, and was, I could see, striving to grasp the purpose and the inner meaning of the mystery. I was myself tolerably patient, and half inclined again to throw aside doubt and to accept Van Helsing’s conclusions. Quincey Morris was phlegmatic in the way of a man who accepts all things, and accepts them in the spirit of cool bravery, with hazard of all he has to stake. Not being able to smoke, he cut himself a good-sized plug of tobacco and began to chew.

I love you Quincey!!!

Dr. Lobotomy watches as Van Helsing squishes up a wafer into a dough which he uses to squish into the cracks of the tomb door. Arthur asks what it is, and Van Helsing says “The Host.” Communion wafers, so, to a catholic, the body of Christ. Just stick that in the door and vampires definitely won’t open that. The poor Christian boys are horrified.

They go quiet and hide and Dr. Lobotomy is depressed thinking about what Arthur and Quincey are about to go through. “There was a long spell of silence, a big, aching void,” which is a phrase I like. That feeling when quiet is a hole rather than something comfortable.

A white figure approaches with dark hair, “dressed in the cerements of the grave”, carrying a child. She comes close enough that they all recognize Lucy.

My own heart grew cold as ice, and I could hear the gasp of Arthur, as we recognised the features of Lucy Westenra. Lucy Westenra, but yet how changed. The sweetness was turned to adamantine, heartless cruelty, and the purity to voluptuous wantonness.

She got blasted with the hot loads of four dudes and now he’s mad that she’s sexy? You were one of the dudes, Dr. Lobotomy!

All the boys make a line in front of the tomb to confront Lucy, who has a trail of blood coming from her mouth, down her chin, and onto her dress.

We shuddered with horror. I could see by the tremulous light that even Van Helsing’s iron nerve had failed. Arthur was next to me, and if I had not seized his arm and held him up, he would have fallen.

I just love how close these boys are. It’s so endearing.

Lucy recoils and hisses like a cat and Dr. Lobotomy understands at once that she is not Lucy, and that he has to make sure she dies. But then she approaches Arthur with a sexy smile, which Dr. Lobotomy finds disgusting. I guess he’s ace. Lucy tosses the child away like it’s a piece of trash, which is a hilarious image. When she walks to Arthur, he recoils and hides his face. She calls out to him.

There was something diabolically sweet in her tones—something of the tingling of glass when struck—which rang through the brains even of us who heard the words addressed to another. 

Arthur is compelled to go with her until Van Helsing leaps between them with a crucifix. Lucy recoils and makes for the tomb, but can’t bear to approach that either. She turns to Van Helsing and her face twists in fury, like vampires from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Normal person face goes all grotesque and vampire face

The beautiful colour became livid, the eyes seemed to throw out sparks of hell-fire, the brows were wrinkled as though the folds of the flesh were the coils of Medusa’s snakes, and the lovely, blood-stained mouth grew to an open square, as in the passion masks of the Greeks and Japanese. If ever a face meant death—if looks could kill—we saw it at that moment.

In the standoff, Van Helsing asks Arthur’s permission to proceed. Arthur, on his knees with his face in his hands, agrees, and Quincey and Dr. Lobotomy go to him. Van Helsing pulls the communion wafer putty from the door and moves out of the way to let Lucy go back in, “through the interstice where scarce a knife-blade could have gone.” Van Helsing returns the communion putty to the door and tells them they’ll come back tomorrow afternoon to finish the deed.

Like last time they leave the child somewhere he can be found and go home. The boys all go home together with Dr. Lobotomy, trying “to cheer each other up on the way,” and go to sleep once they get home.


So that log happened in the wee hours of the morning, probably. This next part is for the evening of the 29th, presumably after they go back to the graveyard.

The boys dress in black and call on the professor before going to the graveyard and getting locked in on purpose. Van Helsing, Dr. Lobotomy notes, has a bigger bag than usual, “something like a cricketing bag.” When the coast is clear they go together into the tomb and close the door behind them.

Then he took from his bag the lantern, which he lit, and also two wax candles, which, when lighted, he stuck, by melting their own ends, on other coffins, so that they might give light sufficient to work by.

I feel like I’ve seen people do this sort of action before in movies and books and such, but I’m not sure I’ve ever seen it described so thoroughly; melting the candles’ own ends to stick to other coffins.

They open Lucy’s coffin and see her there in preserved beauty, but no one’s happy about it. Arthur asks Van Helsing if it’s Lucy or just a demon with her shape. Van Helsing basically tells him to wait and see.

She seemed like a nightmare of Lucy as she lay there; the pointed teeth, the bloodstained, voluptuous mouth—which it made one shudder to see—the whole carnal and unspiritual appearance, seeming like a devilish mockery of Lucy’s sweet purity.

I can’t stop laughing about this. Sex appeal, disgusting!

Van Helsing sets out a myriad of mysterious tools like a doctor preparing for surgery. Before anything, he finally explains what the deal with undead is to these stupid upper-class normies: that undead cannot die, they multiply, etc. If Arthur had kissed Lucy in her final day he might have also become “nosferatu,” which by the way seems to have a fun little history as a term itself. Luckily Lucy is still weak and causing minimal damage, but they can fix this by setting her soul free and making sure she dies for real. Van Helsing asks if someone else would like to say that he set her on her way. Arthur agrees, and Van Helsing assigns him to drive a stake through her. Van Helsing warns him that it’s gonna suck, but his friends are with him and he’ll leave with the weight of the world off of his shoulders.

Arthur will hammer a stake through Lucy’s heart while Van Helsing reads a prayer and Quincey and Dr. Lobotomy follow along. Arthur does as told and is firm as Lucy screams and thrashes.

Arthur never faltered. He looked like a figure of Thor as his untrembling arm rose and fell, driving deeper and deeper the mercy-bearing stake, whilst the blood from the pierced heart welled and spurted up around it.

Hopefully no one sees you guys leave, but also what a gay thing to say about your friend. These cowboys are in love.

The hammer fell from Arthur’s hand. He reeled and would have fallen had we not caught him. The great drops of sweat sprang from his forehead, and his breath came in broken gasps. It had indeed been an awful strain on him

Arthur loves to swoon and get caught by his bros.

They chill together on the floor for a bit before getting up their nerve to look back into the coffin, and they’re relieved when they do because Lucy is no longer a vampirish slut, but a pure pretty angel again.

I for one think that Lucy could have had a longer vampire slut era. She would have had fun. She didn’t even get to fuck.

Van Helsing asks for Arthur’s forgiveness and he gives it, kissing Van Helsing’s fingers. Arthur cries into Van Helsing’s tits for a bit. Van Helsing says Arthur can kiss Lucy now as she is at peace for realsies. When he’s done, Van Helsing and Dr. Lobotomy kick Arthur and Quincey out of the tomb. They saw the top off of the stake so the piece in her chest is buried there, then cut off her head and fill her mouth with garlic. They solder up the coffin and leave, lock up, and give the tomb key to Arthur. Dr. Lobotomy does finally feel some catharsis.

Then Van Helsing drops the next bomb: the hard part is done but the “author of all this our sorrow” is still out there and they need to stop him. He asks for the help of the boys, and they commit to seeing it through. Van Helsing invites them all to dinner in two days to meet each other and two other people they haven’t met yet. The final boss remains and the party needs to unify, but first he has to go back to Amsterdam for something.

Back at the hotel, Van Helsing has a telegram from Mina saying that Jonathan is in Whitby and she will be arriving in London. Van Helsing tells Dr. Lobotomy to be the one to meet her. Van Helsing gives Dr. Lobotomy her notes and diaries and tells him to read them with an open mind, and maybe he can even add to the narrative with his own diaries. Dr. Lobotomy sees Van Helsing off and then goes to meet Mina.

I’m a bit excited about this meeting. I remember that Lucy said that Seward would be perfect for Mina if she didn’t already have Jonathan. Mina is way too good for Dr. Lobotomy but it’ll be fun to see if they have chemistry anyway.

Mina recognizes Dr. Lobotomy from Lucy’s letters and Dr. Lobotomy describes her as a “sweet-faced, dainty-looking girl.” He takes her luggage and brings her home to his…insane asylum. He leaves her to settle in and he asks to meet with him shortly to discuss all they need to discuss. Dr. Lobotomy agrees and took the time to record the phonograph we are reading, although he hasn’t had a chance to review Van Helsing’s papers yet when she walks in.


It’s 11:15 pm now here and I’m hanging out on my couch with my laptop and BLÅHAJ and Murky is attacking my mouse cord. I should get her more toys. It feels stupid to stop here. I guess I’ll forfeit any video game time tonight to get through this.


When Mina joins Dr. Lobotomy she thinks he’s talking to someone but is surprised to find him recording a podcast. She’s never seen a phonograph before! He tells her that this is how he keeps his diary. Mina gets super excited about it and asks him to show her how it works. He agrees, but then hesitates when he remembers this is his diary, with client info and everything. Mina suggests that perhaps she can hear about Lucy’s death this way, which horrifies Dr. Lobotomy. When he refuses, Mina is chilled.

Again he paused, and I could see that he was trying to invent an excuse.

Wow, Mina’s got this guy on sight. She’s recording his embarrassed stammering and his poorly concealed lies and she’s known him for an hour.

Seward seems kind of cool and curious and sharp in his diaries, but it’s great to see how he looks from the outside, and that he’s kind of embarrassing. He reminds me of someone, and only a few of you will get this joke but I’m going to make it anyway.

George Ushiromiya, from Umineko no Naku Koro Ni

“You see, I do not know how to pick out any particular part of the diary.” Even while he was speaking an idea dawned upon him, and he said with unconscious simplicity, in a different voice, and with the naïveté of a child: “That’s quite true, upon my honour. Honest Indian!” I could not but smile, at which he grimaced. “I gave myself away that time!” he said.

This is unbearable. He literally has no idea how to review his own damn notes.

Mina, however, is determined and offers to collect his recordings on her typewriter. In horror he refuses. Surely he cannot let a woman hear this stuff, I guess. Mina notices that her notes are there and realizes he doesn’t know her at all, and tells him so. He’ll have to read those papers to know her and what she’s already gone through. Dr. Lobotomy acquiesces and brings the phonograph and cylinders to Mina’s sitting room for her. They’ll read each other’s diaries and then dinner will be ready and they can regroup. Mina is a little excited to hear about their tryst from the other side when she knew all the details from Lucy.


Later, we go back to Dr. Lobotomy. Apparently both he and Mina are late for dinner because they’re too absorbed in each other’s journals. Imagine having the worst year of your life and swapping diaries with a complete stranger, then reading them separately in different rooms. I keep a very low-stakes, low-detail account of my day-to-day and I’ve been wondering what embarrassing shit someone might find in them one day when I drop dead.

When Mina and Seward regroup, Mina’s been crying and this moves Dr. Lobotomy, who hasn’t had much room to unpack his emotions in the past while.

That is a wonderful machine, but it is cruelly true. It told me, in its very tones, the anguish of your heart. It was like a soul crying out to Almighty God. No one must hear them spoken ever again! See, I have tried to be useful. I have copied out the words on my typewriter, and none other need now hear your heart beat, as I did.”

Yeah this shit is raw as hell. I can’t imagine. It’s so hard for me to say stuff like that out loud, I just write it down. Dr. Lobotomy doesn’t seem like the kind of guy who necessarily needs to use recording technology and speech, I imagine he just likes tech. I bet he’d be really into ChatGPT.

Mina is a bit excited about the overlap in their stories and thinks that they can, together, learn quite a lot about their enemy, as long as they join in the fight that she and Jonathan are already fighting. “We need have no secrets amongst us; working together and with absolute trust, we can surely be stronger than if some of us were in the dark.”

So join the polycule?

Dr. Lobotomy gives in at once because when it comes to women he has no spine. He invites her to eat to keep her strength before she goes back to the phonograph.


After dinner we move back to Mina. Dr. Lobotomy has put the phonograph back in his study so they work together in the same room and not look at each other while they read each others’ diaries. After hearing about Lucy’s death, Dr. Lobotomy gets Mina some brandy in a hurry. Mina is determined to transcribe everything to prepare for their meeting with Van Helsing.

In this matter dates are everything, and I think that if we get all our material ready, and have every item put in chronological order, we shall have done much.

This line makes me kinda wish Dracula was less of an institution, so I could have enjoyed it more like a mystery novel. It also makes me wish I had read it not in chronological order first. Imagine going up to Dr. Lobotomy and being like “hey bro you were fucking with your boyfriend patient while Dracula was fucking with my husband, do you see the irony here?”

But oh well.

I used manifold, and so took three copies of the diary, just as I had done with all the rest.

I had to go figure out what the hell she was talking about here and check this shit out. I’m not sure if zoomers get to deal often anymore with receipt paper that you pull apart and what you’ve written appears on two or three sheets below. It appears they used this kind of paper technology to have several copies of typewritten things, or even further back as handwritten letters. Read this blog for more. (I love when I find deeply thematic blogs like this.)

It never occurred to me what would be involved in the keeping of the letters we have by authors and politicians of the past, so I’m excited to have this new knowledge.

It was late when I got through, but Dr. Seward went about his work of going his round of the patients; when he had finished he came back and sat near me, reading, so that I did not feel too lonely whilst I worked. How good and thoughtful he is; the world seems full of good men—even if there are monsters in it.

Is he staying near you because he doesn’t want you to be lonely, or because he doesn’t want himself to be lonely?

Mina, having read Jonathan’s diary and recalling Van Helsing’s alarm at the newspaper, raids Seward’s collection of papers to try to find the source before bed.


AUGH okay one more.

Jonathan writes on the train back to London. He was in Whitby, talking to the solicitors who were charged with moving Dracula’s stuff around, the Billingtons. When he arrived, the Billingtons already had everything he was hoping for prepared for him to review.

Jonathan hones in on Dracula again in a way that makes me a little giddy.

It gave me almost a turn to see again one of the letters which I had seen on the Count’s table before I knew of his diabolical plans. Everything had been carefully thought out, and done systematically and with precision. He seemed to have been prepared for every obstacle which might be placed by accident in the way of his intentions being carried out.

The way that he observes Dracula is a lot of fun, especially now from a place of safety and security instead of ensnarement and panic. His attention to detail toward Dracula is personal.

The manifest for the cargo reads “fifty cases of common earth, to be used for experimental purposes.” He even goes down to the docks to find more info, but no one has more to say about the cargo, although they seem to have lots to say about the ship. He finds some people to tell him that the boxes were real heavy and that no one tipped them for their hard work.

One of them added that it was hard lines that there wasn’t any gentleman “such-like as yourself, squire,” to show some sort of appreciation of their efforts in a liquid form; another put in a rider that the thirst then generated was such that even the time which had elapsed had not completely allayed it. Needless to add, I took care before leaving to lift, for ever and adequately, this source of reproach.

Good boy, Jonathan. He’s a man from humble roots, he knows to take care of his fellow labourers.


Now I’m done this beast of a post and it’s 12:30 after formatting to post. No time for video games but I will read manga on my phone in bed.

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