A mysterious man, Nash, arrives at the old movie theatre, during a snowstorm. The stranger wears a long-sleeved, thick coat and gloves; his face is hidden entirely by bandages except for dark sunglasses; and he wears a wide-brimmed hat. He is excessively reclusive, irascible, and unfriendly. As he heads up to his room by the projection booth he demands to be left alone and spends most of his time with his assistant,
Dent working with a set of sound test equipment, stickers and laboratory apparatus, only venturing out at night. While Nash is staying at the theatre, strange sounds creep out from under his door... cases filed with mace, dials, and strange illuminating globes arrive. Many locals believe this to be very strange. He becomes the talk of the town with many theorizing as to his origins.
Nash tells Dent of the story of how he became invisible. He explains how he tried the invisibility on a cat, then himself. Griffin burned down the boarding house he was staying in, along with all the equipment he had used to turn invisible, to cover his tracks; but he soon realized that he was ill-equipped to survive in the open. He attempted to steal food and clothes from a large department store, and eventually stole some clothing from a theatrical supply shop and headed to Iping to attempt to reverse the invisibility. Now he imagines that he can make Kemp his secret confederate, describing his plan to begin a "Reign of Terror" by using his invisibility to terrorize the nation.
When the authorities arrive at Dent’s house, Nash fights his way out and the next day leaves a note announcing that Dent himself will be the first man to be killed in the "Reign of Terror". Kemp, a cool-headed character, tries to organize a plan to use himself as bait to trap the Invisible Man, but a note that he sends is stolen from his servant by Nash. Nash uses Dent’s gun to shoot and injure a local policeman who comes to Kemp's aid, then breaks into Kemp's house. Kemp bolts for the town, where the local citizenry come to his aid. Griffin is seized, assaulted, and killed by a mob. The Invisible Man's naked, battered body gradually becomes visible as he dies. A local policeman shouts to have someone cover Griffin's face with a sheet.