Read this article to know about The Canterville Ghost Summary by Oscar Wilde.
The Canterville Ghost Summary
“The Canterville Ghost” starts with the sale of an old British mansion called Canterville Chase to Horace B. Otis, an American minister. Though the prior owner, Lord Canterville, notifies Mr. Otis that the mansion is haunted, Mr. Otis is not feeling terrible and replies with bravery that ghosts do not exist even its all about to develop terrible effect.
After a short time, Mr. Otis moves into the Chase with the rest of his family: his better half-life partner, Lucretia; his eldest son, Washington; his beloved fifteen-year-old daughter, Virginia; and his two young twin sons. Upon moving in, Mrs. Otis finds a dull red stain on the floor and desires that it be cleaned.
“Pinkerton’s Champion Stain Remover and Paragon Detergent”
– Oscar Wilde
Their housekeeper discloses that it is a stain of blood from the murder of The Lady Eleanore de Canterville, who was get victimised in 1575 by her husband, Sir Simon de Canterville, and that it cannot vanish. She gives warning Mrs Otis that Sir Simon’s guilty ghost still haunts Canterville Chase.
Dismissing the housekeeper’s story as nonsense, bothering it is all about the rumour, Washington speedily pulls out an ampoule of Pinkerton’s Champion Stain Remover, scouring it onto the spot until the stain is cleaned. As the stain is removed, lightning sparks and a peal of thunder rocks the full house. The housekeeper faints in horror.
The next day, the Otises shocked, find that the stain has strangely returned. For the next few days, they habitually clean the stain only to see it return back the next day morning. Intrigued, the family of Otis decides that the house is, in fact, ghostly.
A few nights later, Mr. Otis is waked in the half of the night by a clanging voice. Venturing into the lobby, he encounters the ghost of Sir Simon. Rather than being scared by Sir Simon’s (ghost’s) burning red eyes, matted hair, and rusty manacles, Mr. Otis asks the ghost to oil its chains as it’s impossible for him to sleep with such a noise going on outside the bedrooms.
Extremely humiliated, Sir Simon retreats down the hallway until he encounters the twins, who throw pillows at his head. Returning to his chamber, Sir Simon recalls his long and prosperous future as a ghost, furious that never approximate in three hundred years of haunting maids and guests has he been so disrespected.
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Determined to fright these “wretched modern Americans,” Sir Simon stays up all night intrigue his revenge. The ghost disappears from the rest of the week. The only strange thing blood-stain found every day with change color.
Virginia was annoyed to see the blood stain, she nearly cried the morning when the stain was green. Silent night, the family went to bed terrible smash in the hallway. Unexpected things happen suit of armor fallen, twins start shooting peas. The ghost stood up with an annoyed howl and passed through them like a haze.
Having failed to frighten the family, the ghost returns back to the room and for a few days, he does nothing to frighten the family. He just renews the blood-stains. Once he assumes a white sheet as a ghost and gets frightened but soon comes to know that it is not a ghost.
The twins keep on annoying him. One night when he tries to open half-closed door of the twins, a jug full of water, falls on him thus wetting him completely. The twins burst into laughter. The ghost gives up all the hopes of frightening the family and disappears.
The turning point comes when Otis’s teenage daughter, Virginia, takes the time to dialogue with the ghost seriously. She finds out what really occurred: after Sir Simon killed his wife, her brothers starved him to death as punishment. The poor fellow discloses that he hasn’t slept in 300 years and longs for the peace of mercy and death.
Virginia decides him to pray for him and support him find peace in death and get relief. She shadows him into the death portal that opens in the house, assured that she’ll be harmless due to her virtue and purity.
Virginia comes back in the morning, having escorted the forgiven spirit into the afterlife. The family has done a frantic search for Virginia and are much relieved to hear what really occurred.
A funeral is organized in a corner of the churchyard and Sir Simon’s skeleton is buried there. All ends well, as the ghost is now dead and at peace, the house is free from his dreadful antics, and young Virginia weds her Duke. British and American customs are now reconciled.
“When a golden girl can win
Prayer from out the lips of sin,
When the barren almond bears,
And a little child gives away its tears,
Then shall all the house be still
And peace comes to Centerville.”
_Oscar Wilde, The Centerville Ghost