Oscar Wilde

The Canterville Ghost

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Summary
The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde is a humorous short story by Oscar Wilde. It was the first of Wilde's stories to be published, appearing in two parts in The Court and Society Review, 23 February and 2 March 1887. The story is about an American family who moved to a castle haunted by the ghost of a dead English nobleman, who killed his wife and was then walled in and starved to death by his wife's brothers. It has been adapted for the stage and screen several times. Summary: The American Minister to the Court of St James's, Hiram B. Otis and his family move into Canterville Chase, an English country house, despite warnings from Lord Canterville that the house is haunted. Mr. Otis says that he will take the furniture as well as the ghost at valuation. The Otis family includes Mr. and Mrs. Otis, their eldest son Washington, their daughter Virginia and the Otis twins. At first, none of the Otis family believes in ghosts but shortly after they move in, none of them can deny the presence of Sir Simon de Canterville. Mrs. Otis notices a mysterious bloodstain on the floor and comments that "She does not at all care for bloodstains in the living room", Mrs. Umney, the housekeeper, tells her that the bloodstain is evidence of the ghost and cannot be removed. Washington Otis, the eldest son, suggests that the stain will be removed with Pinkerton's Champion Stain Remover and Paragon Detergent. When the ghost makes his first appearance, Mr. Otis promptly gets out of bed and pragmatically offers the ghost Tammany Rising Sun Lubricator to oil his chains. Angrily, the ghost throws the bottle and runs into the corridor. The Otis twins throw pillows on him and the ghost flees. The Otis family witnesses reappearing bloodstains on the floor just by the fireplace, which are removed every time they appear in various colours. Despite the ghost's efforts and most gruesome guises, the family refuses to be frightened, leaving Sir Simon feeling increasingly helpless and humiliated. The Otises remain unconcerned. The ghost falls victim to tripwires, toy peashooters, butter slides and falling buckets of water. The mischievous twins rig up their own "ghost", which frightens him. Sir Simon sees that Virginia, the beautiful and wise fifteen-year-old daughter, is different from the rest of the family. He tells her that he has not slept in three hundred years and wants desperately to do so. The ghost tells her the tragic tale of his wife, Lady Eleanor de Canterville.
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Release date
05.05.2023
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Abridged
Unabridged
Runtime
1 hour 22 minutes
Explicit
No

Abridged
Unabridged
Runtime
1 hour 22 minutes
Explicit
No
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