Somewhere in London, two boys were flabbergasted to see footprints in mud appearing from nowhere. They followed them but ended up getting nothing as the footprint finally disappeared. They were following the footprints of a scientist who made himself invisible with his invention.
Griffin (the scientist) tried, again and again, to prove that the human body could be made invisible and transparent. He finally succeeded by swallowing some drugs. Though the body was still solid, it became transparent.
Griffin was a lawless person. He once set his landlord’s house on fire and became a homeless wanderer. Though Griffin escaped from the boys, many difficulties came to him as it was freezing outside. He decided to enter a market store in London for a little warmth.
Griffin bought himself some clothes without paying for them. He also ate a lot from the store as he was invisible. Finally, Griffin became a fully dressed man, able to be seen. As the store was closed, he decided to sleep on a pile of quilts.
The next morning, as Griffin did not wake up on time, the store staff saw him lying in the store. They came toward him, he panicked and started to run. The staff started to chase him. Finally, he had to take off his new clothes to become invisible. Griffin became naked and invisible again in bitterly cold winds.
Shivering due to the cold, he went to Drury Lane. He silently entered a shop and came out wearing bandages, a fake nose, and a large hat. He attacked the shop-keeper, robbed him, and escaped the scene.
Griffin took the train and went to the village of Iping. For the residents of Iping, a visit by a stranger at that time of the year was not usual. They suspected him. Griffin booked two rooms in a local lodge. Mrs. Hall, the landlord’s wife, tried to befriend him, but he was in no mood. He told her that her sole purpose of visiting Iping was to be alone and undisturbed.
Griffin ran out of cash in the lodge. He lied to the landlord that a new cheque was about to arrive at any moment. Griffin made some noise while stealing money from the clergyman’s desk. The clergyman got alerted, and when he opened the door, he saw nothing. On a brief inspection, he saw that the desk was open and the money was missing.
Mrs. Hall and his husband both got up early the next day. They saw that the door to Griffin’s room was open. They tried to close the door, but there was nobody inside. Mrs. Hall entered the room. Suddenly, the hat leaped up in the air and smashed on her face. The chair came towards her. They both ran out of the room due to these unusual activities.
Mrs. Hall thought that ghosts and spirits had haunted the room. She blamed Griffin for all that mess. The whole neighborhood suspected him of theft when he produced some cash the next day.
A police constable came to investigate the matter. Before his arrival, Mrs. Hall went to Griffin and asked him about what he had been doing with her furniture, how he entered a locked room.
Griffin became furious. He threw off his bandages and all other apparel. Mr. Jaffers (the constable) arrived at the scene. People were looking at a headless man. He was astonished to learn that he had to arrest a man with no head.
Since it was the magistrate’s order, he had to do it. However, after getting a hold of Griffin, he found himself struggling with a man he could not see. Some people tried to help Mr. Jaffers, but they received hits and blows from nowhere. Griffin set himself free, and nobody knew about his whereabouts.