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The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde

It is a short story that mixes mystery with very refined humor, typical of the Victorian era. Without a doubt, it is a classic worth enjoying and here you can download a copy of The Canterville Ghost in PDF format.

It was published in 1891 and written by Oscar Wilde, a major and controversial author at the time.

This story is one of Wilde’s best known along with the theatrical comedy The Importance of Being Earnest and the novel The Picture of Dorian Gray.

The Canterville Ghost reflects the cultural differences between England and the United States, but with a certain sarcasm that keeps a bit of social criticism.

Its brevity and its elegant and entertaining language make reading this work a real pleasure.

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The Canterville Ghost in PDF format

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Summary of The Canterville Ghost

The Otis family moves to Canterville Castle, a place that, according to its owner, is inhabited by a ghost that belonged to his lineage.

The specter has been there for over 300 years and has caused quite a bit of trouble for guests.

Mr. Otis, the US ambassador, doesn’t seem impressed, so he decides to take the castle regardless.

Already being warned, Mr. Canterville settles them and leaves. Immediately after the Otis begin to live in the place, strange events present in front of their eyes.

The family is made up of Lucrezia, Mr. Otis’ wife; Washington, the eldest son; Virginia, the beautiful middle child, and the twins who are just children.

The first thing the Otis noticed was a bloodstain in the study, which they had immediately cleaned. The housekeeper warned them that this stain always reappeared, no matter how many times they washed it.

Sure enough, the next day, the stain reappeared. And so on many other times, despite the fact that Mr. Otis made sure that the study remained totally closed every night.

The housekeeper also told them that the Canterville ghost, who had been Sir Simon in life, had committed horrific crimes and disappeared one fine day. His spirit, then, remained wandering in the house.

For his part, the ghost began to plan his way to scare this family from his castle. It was what he always did and it worked for him. Finally, no one resisted the horror and ended up dead or running away.

But this time it would be different, it seems that the Otis are not very easy to scare or even impress. Besides, the twins were true little devils who lost no opportunity in making life impossible for the old ghost.

The only one who did not seem to be precisely the target of the terrifying specter was Virginia since he found her too beautiful and angelic to make her a victim of his evil deeds.

Will the Canterville Ghost succeed in striking fear into this peculiar American family?

FAQ about The Canterville Ghost

What is the main theme of The Canterville Ghost?

A ghost has haunted those who inhabit Canterville Castle for 300 years. His main purpose is to cause people torment, without caring if they suffer serious consequences.

We will see the journey of this character to scare away the Otis, an American family that has just moved to England and who seem to have a very different way of life.

Why did Sir Simon die?

In life, Sir Simon murdered his wife Lady Eleanor of Canterville in their own home. This event aroused the wrath of her brothers, who took Sir Simon to a hidden place in the house and there chained him, with no water or food within his reach. Sir Simon died there, so his family was never able to bury him.

What is the conflict in the novel The Canterville Ghost?

The conflict develops when the Otis, an American family, decides to buy Canterville Castle and inhabit it. The ghost thought this was like any other family, easy to terrorize.

Soon the ghost of Sir Simon realizes that the task was not so easy this time, because they were people very different from the English, with strange customs, so he would have to develop new strategies.

What did the ghost ask Virginia to rest in peace?

Already a little hopeless, the ghost was looking through a window, when Virginia showed up in the room.

After an interesting conversation about death, Sir Simon asks Virginia to be an intermediary between him and the angel of death so that he can be forgiven and rest in peace.