“The Canterville Ghost” by Oscar Wilde

2013/04/18 § Leave a comment

This short story about a haunted old mansion in the English countryside is not your typical ghost tale. You can even call it “reversed horror”, as the ghost is the one who is being tormented here. Or, in the words of Dr. Montague from Shirley Jackson’s “The Haunting of Hill House”:

“Do you recall,” he asked with a little smile, “Oscar Wilde’s lovely story, ‘The Canterville Ghost’?” “The American twins who routed the fine old English ghost,” Theodora said. “Exactly. I have always liked the notion that the American twins were actually a poltergeist phenomenon; certainly poltergeists can overshadow any more interesting manifestation. Bad ghosts drive out good.”

However, it is a typical Wilde, and I’ll never get tired of his wit.

“Poor, poor ghost…” (illustrated by Wallace Goldsmith)

“Poor, poor ghost…” (illustrated by Wallace Goldsmith)

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