Reanimated corpse
Created: February 2017 | Updated:

This article uses material from the Reanimated corpse article on the Lovecraft wiki at Fandom and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


Spanning a broad cross-section of origins and purposes, reanimated corpses do exist in the Cthulhu Mythos. There are some that would be defined as biological experiments, such as the work of Herbert West and Dr. Muñoz. Others such as the so-name "The Thing on the Doorstep" is seem to be by-products of both magic and will.

The work of Herbert West

The qualities of the reanimated corpses of Herbert West and the unnamed narrator's efforts in the "Herbert West-Reanimator" vary dramatically as their research and methods progress. All of the dead subjects are reanimated by means of chemical "reagent" serum, and eventually accompanying chemicals (like embalming fluid) to prevent deterioration of the corpse. The reanimated corpses display varying levels of awareness, agency and mobility.

The experimental results are recounted in order as follows:

It is revealed in the story that Major Clapham-Lee made a complete "recovery" in spite of the initial difficulties of his reanimation. While never reattaching his own head, he appears to have continued the work of West, which he learned as an assistant to West before Clapham's death. He reappeared commanding a group of apparent reanimated corpses sporting a false wax head, while his head commanded them verbally from concealment in a carried black case. He and the group of the reanimated storm the asylum where Dean Halsey was still imprisoned. It is unknown what exactly happened to Clapham after this time. It is implied that he is the source of the package sent to West, and West is killed by a surprise attack by the reanimated after he destroys the package.