The Canterville Ghost

By Oscar Wilde,

Book cover of The Canterville Ghost

Book description

Despite warnings from Lord Canterville that their new home is haunted and that several family have fled form it in the middle of the night the Otis family chooses to go forward with their relocation. Almost immediately the Otis Family discovers that the stories are true and that their house…

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Why read it?

4 authors picked The Canterville Ghost as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Oscar Wilde gave us a genuinely chilling gothic tale in The Picture of Dorian Gray, but in this short story, the supernatural is a source of fun.

The Otis family, pleasant, sensible, and up-to-date Americans, move into a haunted English manor and immediately antagonize Sir Simon de Canterville, the house’s resident spectre. Sir Simon has a theatrical flair for haunting, pulling out all the stops to terrify his victims into gibbering wrecks, but it’s all wasted on the Otis family, who are hilariously unbothered by the spookiness.

If you’re staying in a haunted house, I highly recommend channeling your inner…

From Lauren's list on books to read in a haunted house.

When I grew up, we had a very small bookcase filled with very special books, including a family a bible, a very large dictionary, and the complete works of Oscar Wild. I badgered my Dad into teaching me to read, and Oscar was one of the first books I read cover to cover. I don’t know where the others are, but that compendium is still one of my most treasured possessions.

I was very taken with it because we emigrated to Australia, and while I didn’t find a ghost in the house, my imaginary friend was Dennis. We learned to…

From Alexandria's list on ghosty best friends.

Not strictly written for children, this classic parody provides the model for countless hilarious hauntings that have cropped up in children’s books ever since. The style is somewhat outdated but that won’t stop you from enjoying the frustration of 16th century Sir Simon de Canterville meeting his match in the Otises, a no-nonsense 20th century American family. Horrific bloodstains are whisked away by Pinkerton’s Champion Stain Remover and Paragon Detergent; clanking chains around Sir Simon’s skeletal wrists and ankles are oiled with a small bottle of the Tammany Rising Sun Lubricator; and most humiliating of all, the ghost’s…

From Griselda's list on ghost stories.

As far as I know, Oscar Wilde was the first writer to use the idea that a ghost is someone who is somehow trapped in the past and unable to move on because of something that he or she did when they were alive. Sir Simon Canterville murdered his wife in 1575, and is still haunting Canterville Chase 350 years later – rattling his chains, looking after the bloodstain where his wife died, and frightening anyone he meets in the corridors, until…

Well, you’ll have to read the story to find out what happens to him, but it is without…

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