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12/ 29/ 12

The C nt er vi G host - W i i edi , t he f r ee encycl pedi
kp a

The Canterville Ghost
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

- - (talk) 01:19, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
"The Cante rville Ghos t" is a popular short story by Oscar Wilde, widely adapted for the screen and stage. It was the first of Wilde's stories to be published, appearing in the magazine The Court and Societ y Rev iew in February 1887. It was later included in a collection of short stories entitled Lord Art hur Sav ile's Crime and Ot her St ories in 1891.

1 Setting
2 Plot
3 Story
4 Wit and Humor
5 Film and television adaptations
6 In music
7 References
8 External links


"He met w ith a s evere fall" - Illus tration by
Wallac e Golds mith of the effec ts of a
butter s lide s et up by the tw ins as part of
their c ampaign of prac tic al jokes agains t
the ghos t.

The story of the Canterville Ghost takes place in an old English country house, Canterville Chase, which has all the accoutrements of a traditional haunted house. Descriptions of the wainscotting, the library paneled in black oak, and the armor in the hallway characterize the Gothic setting and help Wilde clash the Old World with the New. Typical of the style of the English Decadents,[cita tio n n eed ed ] the gothic atmosphere reveals the author’s fascination with the macabre. Yet he mixes the macabre with comedy, juxtaposing devices from traditional English ghost stories such as creaking floorboards, clanking chains, and ancient prophecies with symbols of modern American consumerism. Wilde’s Gothic setting helps emphasize the contrast between cultures—setting modern Americans in what could arguably be a classic symbol of British history—and underscores the "modern" thinking of the house's mismatched residents, the Otises.

P l ot
The story begins when Mr Otis's family shifted to Canterville Chase, despite warnings from Canterville that the house is haunted. The Otis family includes Mr. and Mrs. Otis, their daughter Virginia, twin boys (often referred to as "Stars and Stripes") and their eldest son Washington. At first, none of the member of the Otis family believes in ghosts, but shortly after they move in, none of them can deny the presence of Sir Simon (The Ghost). The family en. w i edi . or g/ w i The_C nt er vi _G host

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The C nt er vi G host - W i i edi , t he f r ee encycl pedi
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hears clanking chains, they witness re- appearing bloodstains "on the floor just by the fireplace", and they see strange apparitions in various forms. But, humorously, none of these scare the Otises in the least. In fact, upon hearing the clanking noises in the hallway, Mr. Otis promptly gets out of bed and pragmatically offers the ghost Tammany Rising Sun Lubricator to oil his chains.

Despite Sir Simon’s attempts to appear in the most
gruesome guises, the family refuses to be
frightened, and Sir Simon feels increasingly helpless
and humiliated. When Mrs. Otis notices a
mysterious red mark on the floor, she simply replies
that she does “not at all care for blood stains in the
sitting room.” When Mrs. Umney, the
housekeeper, informs Mrs. Otis that the blood stain
is indeed evidence of the ghost and cannot be
removed, Washington Otis, the oldest son, suggests
that the stain will be removed with Pinkerton’s
Champion Stain Remover and Paragon Detergent:
A quick fix, like the Tammany Rising Sun
Lubricator, and a practical way of dealing with the

Illus trations by Frederic k Henry T ow ns end from The Court and Society R ev iew, February 23 and Marc h 2, 1887.

Wilde describes Mrs. Otis as “a very handsome
middle- aged woman” who has been “a celebrated New York belle.” Her expression of "modern" American culture surfaces when she immediately resorts to using the commercial stain remover to obliterate the bloodstains and when she...
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