Published: 1887 Categorie(s): Fiction, Ghost, Humorous, Short Stories Source: Feedbooks
About Wilde: Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde (October 16, 1854 – November 30, 1900) was an Irish playwright, novelist, poet, and short story writer. Known for his barbed wit, he was one of the most successful playwrights of late Victorian London, and one ofthe greatest celebrities of his day. As the result of a famous trial, he suffered a dramatic downfall and was imprisoned for two years of hard labour after being convicted of the offence of "gross indecency". The scholar H. Montgomery Hyde suggests this term implies homosexual acts not amounting to buggery in British legislation of the time. Source: Wikipedia Also available on Feedbooks for Wilde:• The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891) • The Importance of Being Earnest (1895) • The Nightingale and the Rose (1888) • A House of Pomegranates (1892) Note: This book is brought to you by Feedbooks http://www.feedbooks.com Strictly for personal use, do not use this file for commercial purposes.
When Mr. Hiram B. Otis, the American Minister, bought Canterville Chase, everyone told him he was doing a very foolish thing, as there was no doubt at all that the place was haunted. Indeed, Lord Canterville himself, who was a man of the most punctilious honour, had felt it his duty to mention the fact to Mr. Otis when they came to discuss terms. “We have not cared to live in the place ourselves,” said Lord Canterville, “since my grand-aunt, the Dowager Duchess of Bolton, wasfrightened into a fit, from which she never really recovered, by two skeleton hands being placed on her shoulders as she was dressing for dinner, and I feel bound to tell you, Mr. Otis, that the ghost has been seen by several living members of my family, as well as by the rector of the parish, the Rev. Augustus Dampier, who is a Fellow of King’s College, Cambridge. After the unfortunate accidentto the Duchess, none of our younger servants would stay with us, and Lady Canterville often got very little sleep at night, in consequence of the mysterious noises that came from the corridor and the library.” “My Lord,” answered the Minister, “I will take the furniture and the ghost at a valuation. I come from a modern country, where we have everything that money can buy; and with all our spryyoung fellows painting the Old World red, and carrying off your best actors and primadonnas, I reckon that if there were such a thing as a ghost in Europe, we’d have it at home in a very short time in one of our public museums, or on the road as a show.” “I fear that the ghost exists,” said Lord Canterville, smiling, “though it may have resisted the overtures of your enterprising impresarios. It hasbeen well known for three centuries, since 1584 in fact, and always makes its appearance before the death of any member of our family.” “Well, so does the family doctor for that matter, Lord Canterville. But there is no such thing, sir, as a ghost, and I guess the laws of Nature are not going to be suspended for the British aristocracy.” “You are certainly very natural in America,” answered LordCanterville, who did not quite understand Mr. Otis’s last observation,
“and if you don’t mind a ghost in the house, it is all right. Only you must remember I warned you.” A few weeks after this, the purchase was concluded, and at the close of the season the Minister and his family went down to Canterville Chase. Mrs. Otis, who, as Miss Lucretia R. Tappan, of West 53rd Street, had been acelebrated New York belle, was now a very handsome, middleaged woman, with fine eyes, and a superb profile. Many American ladies on leaving their native land adopt an appearance of chronic ill-health, under the impression that it is a form of European refinement, but Mrs. Otis had never fallen into this error. She had a magnificent constitution, and a really wonderful amount of animal spirits....