The Canterville Ghost Summary (Part 1)
This is The Canterville Ghost Summary. Mr. Hiram B. Otis was a rich American minister who had just moved to London. His work brought him there. Mr. Otis did not want to stay in London. So he looked for a house in the countryside outside London. Canterville Chase seemed like the best choice. Read more about The Canterville Ghost.
Mr. Otis decided to buy it from Lord Canterville. Canterville Chase was a spacious old house near London. When Mr. Otis had gone to visit the old castle, the owner, Lord Canterville told him about the ghost that haunted the castle. “I do not care, Lord Canterville,” Mr. Otis had said, “I will buy your castle and the ghost in it for a fair price.”
“But I must insist, Mr. Otis,” Lord Canterville had tried to reason with Mr. Otis, “The ghost has been haunting this house for more than three centuries. We cannot live there because of it. my wife can’t sleep at night because of the strange noises.” All was said and done, Mr. Otis had made up his mind and Canterville Chase was bought. “Please remember I told you about the ghost before you bought the house,” were Lord Canterville’s last words.
There is no such thing as ghosts, Mr. Otis had thought. Soon Mr. Otis and his wife Lucretia moved to Canterville Chase, along with their three sons and a daughter. The Canterville Chase was vast and trees grew all around it. The family had traveled to London by train and then a wagon had brought them to their new home.
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Mrs. Umney, their housekeeper had been waiting for them, when the family arrived. She was quite old. “Would you like some tea?” Mrs. Umney asked Mrs. Otis. Mrs. Otis nodded. Mrs. Umney led the family to the library, where she placed the teacups on the large table. There the family sat and drank their tea. It had started raining outside.
The library was filled with books and paintings. Mrs. Otis noticed red stains by the fireplace and some were on the floor too. “What are those stains?” she asked Mrs. Umney. “It is blood, madam,” the housekeeper replied in a quiet voice. “Clear it up then,” Mrs. Otis said. “I don’t want any bloodstains in my living room.” “It cannot be removed, madam,” Mrs. Umney replied. “It is the blood of Lady Eleanor de Canterville. Lady Eleanor de Canterville was murdered at that spot by her husband. The bloodstains have been there for centuries.”
“What nonsense!” the eldest son, Washington said, “stain remover will clean it up.” Washington quickly found the stain remover and started at the stains. But as soon as the bloodstains disappeared, a bright flash of lightning lit up the room and the Canterville Chase shook. That night except for the loud thunder and heavy rain, nothing scary happened.
The next morning, when the family came down for breakfast, they saw another bloodstain. It had reappeared. Washington cleaned it again and it reappeared the next morning. The bloodstain appeared on the floor even when Mr. Otis, himself had locked the library.
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The following night, all doubts and rumors about the ghost were uncovered. After the family went to bed, a strange noise woke Mr. Otis. It sounded like metal clanking. And it seemed to be getting closer every minute. Mr. Otis looked at the clock, and it was one in the morning.
Mr. Otis put on his slippers and opened his bedroom door. And there, in front of him, stood the Canterville Ghost. The ghost’s eyes were red, and long gray hair fell on his shoulders. His wrists and ankles were hung in heavy chains. “You must really oil those chains,” Mr. Otis told the ghost. “It is difficult to sleep with that noise,” Mr. Otis lay down a bottle of oil and said, “Here, use that. And if you ever need more, I’ll have a supply for you.” Then Mr. Otis shut the door and went back to sleep. The Canterville ghost stood there utterly shocked. He growled angrily.
Just at that moment, the Otis twins, the younger sons of Mr. Otis, came out and threw a large pillow at the Canterville ghost. The ghost hastily escaped through the wall, and the house was quiet again. “No ghosts in history have been treated as I have been,” the ghost thought. After that, he went to his secret chamber and stayed there.
After the incident with Mr. Otis and the twins, the ghost did not appear for a week. The only strange thing that happened in Canterville Chase was the stains on the library floor. The stains appeared repeatedly, only the color of the stains changed. Sometimes the color was red, sometimes green or brown or purple.
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Everyone in the house was amused at the sight of the bloodstains. They made bets on the color every day, all except the daughter, Virginia. For some reason, Virginia was annoyed at the bloodstains. One morning, when the green stain app, she almost cried!
The second sighting of the ghost happened on a Sunday night. Shortly after the family had gone to sleep, a loud crash in the hall woke everyone. “What’s that?” Mrs. Otis inquired.
The Canterville Ghost had knocked down an armor in the hall. He seemed hurt, he was sitting in a chair, rubbing his knees. The Otis twins found the ghost in the hall and started shooting peas at him. The ghost became angry and passed the twins like a white mist. He even blew out the candle. With the light gone, the twins were helpless. The Canterville ghost reached the top of the stairs and laughed his wicked laugh. “Hahaha!,”
“Hahaha!,” rang his voice through the hallways. It was Mrs. Otis who opened the bedroom door this time. The ghost turned around and faced her. Mrs. Otis said, “I think you are not well. I have some medicine for you.”
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The ghost became furious at this. He suddenly disappeared in a green cloud and returned to his secret chamber. The poor ghost was unhappy and exhausted. He had only wanted to scare them. The armor he had tried to put on, had been too heavy for him. He stayed in his secret room the whole day. When it was night, he would repaint the bloodstains on the library floor. But every time he repainted the bloodstain, Washington would remove the stain every morning.
The ghost’s supply of red paint had ended quickly. “The brown and purple paints are almost finished as well”, the ghost said, “I am only left with green and blue paints.” The ghost had a brilliant idea next. “I will scare the twins first,” he said. “I will paint myself green and go to their bedroom when they are sleeping. And I will touch them with my cold, cold hands! That should frighten them.”
So the ghost left his secret chamber at midnight. He knew the twin’s room was at the end of the corridor. The Canterville ghost glided the dark stairs and through the dark corners. As soon as he reached the door, he saw a frightening face. The fire shone out the eyes and mouth of the head.
“What…?” he screamed with fear, “It is a ghost. A ghost!” and he ran away, back to his secret room. Before daylight came, the Canterville ghost felt a little better. “Are there two ghosts in this house? I must meet the second ghost.” The Canterville ghost decided.
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So he left his secret room and floated to the twin’s room. When he reached there, he saw that the other ghost was still there. It was exactly where it had been before. But the other ghost’s eyes and mouth did not have a fire in them anymore. When the Canterville ghost touched the other ghost, it fell off the door. “What?!” the Canterville ghost exclaimed, “It is a pumpkin!” The twins had placed a candle inside the pumpkin.
There was a card on the floor and it said – THE OTIS GHOST, THE ONLY TRUE CANTERVILLE GHOST. The twins had put the pumpkin there. They wanted to scare the ghost. The ghost could not think of anything to do so he went back to his room.
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