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The Canterville Ghost: A Heart-Warming Ghost Story

The Canterville Ghost: A Heart-Warming Ghost Story


One of the first short stories by Oscar Wilde, The Canterville Ghost was published in two parts in 1887.

And here, read the summary of the whole story:

  1. Horace B Otis purchased Canterville, an ancient English Manor House known to be haunted.

  2. Mr Otis shifted into the house with his wife, Lucretia; his eldest son, Washington; his 15-year-old daughter, Virginia; and his two young twin boys.

  3. Mrs Otis noticed a dull red bloodstain on the floor. The housekeeper explained that it was a bloodstain since the murder of Lady Eleanore.

  4. The Lady was killed in 1575 by her husband, Sir Simon de Canterville.

  5. Washington brought Pinkerton’s Champion Stain Remover, scrubbing it onto the spot. It was gone. But as soon as the stain was erased, lightning blazed, and a sound of thunder shook the house.

  6. The next morning, Otis observed that the stain had returned. For some days, they routinely tried to clean it, but it always reappeared every morning.

  7. Walking into the hallway at night, Mr Otis encountered the spirit of Sir Simon. The ghost was covered with metal chains, which made an eerie sound.

  8. Rather than being afraid, he politely insisted the ghost oil his chains. He also gave him a bottle of Tammany Rising Sun Lubricator.

  9. Totally offended, Sir Simon went down the hallway where he encountered the twins, who threw pillows at his head. Determined to scare them, Sir Simon stayed up all night plotting his vengeance.

  10. Though the bloodstain outlasted, the family humorously noted that it was changing its colour daily.

  11. Virginia Otis, however, did not find the changing stain colour amusing.

  12. To scare the Otis family, the Canterville Ghost came out of his chamber but got terrified when he came across another ghost.

  13. He discovered later that it was just a plain white sheet with a drawing of a ghost. It was put up by the twins to scare him.

  14. He again tried to scare them. As soon as he entered the room of twins. A jug of water fell on him, wetting him. He gave up all hope and disappeared after that night.

  15. After a few days, while riding the horse, Virginia’s dress got torn. She came back home and quickly went upstairs so that no one noticed her.

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  16. She passed the sewing room and saw the ghost, looking out of the window. Virginia confronted him.

  17. The ghost admitted that he had killed his wife. He justified himself by saying that she was a bad wife.

  18. Virginia also scolded him for stealing paints from her box to recover the bloodstains. Ghost apologized for his behavior and asked Virginia for a favor.

  19. Virginia did not return home for hours. The entire family began searching for her in every corner of the house.

  20. In the morning, when Mr Otis decided to contact Scotland Yard, a secret door opened in the wall. Virginia came out. Everybody ran up to her.

  21. Virginia said that she went with the ghost. She added that he was nasty, but he was sorry for all that he had done and gave her this box of beautiful jewels before he died.

  22. She led everyone down a narrow secret corridor to a room where Virginia knelt beside Sir Simon’s skeleton and prayed.

  23. Four days later, a funeral was organized in the churchyard where Sir Simon’s skeleton was buried.

Indeed, a humorous ghost story. We recommend you to read this one in your free time!

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