Short summary - The Canterville Ghost - Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde

British literature summaries - 2020

Short summary - The Canterville Ghost
Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde


The American ambassador buys an English haunted castle that has scared its inhabitants for three hundred years. The family is not afraid of a ghost, but the purity and love of a good girl saves his soul.

US Ambassador Hyrum B. Otis buys a castle from Lord Canterville. The Lord warns that a ghost is found in the castle, which spoiled the blood of many representatives of his family for three hundred years. Mr. Otis replies to this: “... if in Europe there was even one ghost, it would instantly end up in our museum”.

The ambassador moves to the castle with his wife and children: Washington, a pretty beautiful young blond, fifteen-year-old Virginia, a slender girl with big blue eyes and restless twins. They are met by an elderly housekeeper, Mrs. Amni. In the Otis library, they see a red spot on the floor that practical Washington cleans up with the Pinkerton Model Stain Remover. A flash of lightning and thunder deprives Mrs. Amni of feelings. The ambassador offers to fain out of the salary of the housekeeper. After two to three seconds, Mrs. Amni returns to life.

The morning after the storm, a bloody stain appeared on the floor again. Washington wipes it. Every day, the stain is washed off, but it appears again and again.

One night, Mr. Otis hears a rattle of metal and footsteps. He leaves his room and sees a ghost - a terrible old man. The ambassador offers him the Rising Sun of the Democratic Party engine oil for lubricating rusty shackles. With these words, Otis is hiding in the room. On the stairs above the ghost, a pillow thrown by the twins flies. The ghost is outraged by such a terrible insult.

The stain in the library begins to show a chameleon-like nature: each time it acquires a new color until it becomes emerald. This upsets Virginia so much that she cries when she sees green blood. At night, a ghost makes a terrible roar below, trying to put on knightly armor. The twins reward the ghost with shots from a slingshot. Hearing his terrible laughter, Mrs. Otis offers the spirit potion, deciding that he is sick.

The ghost from the experienced gets sick, but soon comes to his senses. It comes up with a plan that scares all these Americans. A ghost sneaks into Washington's room, but meets a ghost there. The spirit of Canterville is at first frightened, but then decides to unite with it. However, the ghost is just a stuffed animal from a white canopy, broom and pumpkin. The Canterville Ghost has not been shown for several days. Finally, choosing one of his most spectacular images, he goes to the twins. A jug of water is tipped over him, and laughter is heard from beneath the canopy. Later, the twins scare the ghost by jumping around the corner near the library. Washington is waiting on the stairs with a garden sprayer. The ghost is offended and does not go out of its shelter for a long time: the twins in vain ambush him. But the ghost has a new idea: the young Duke of Cheshire, the bridegroom of Virginia, is coming soon. His cousin, Lord Stilton, was once paralyzed after meeting with the Canterville spirit. But upon the arrival of the duke, the ghost does not decide to leave the shelter due to fear of the twins.

After a walk with her fiance, Virginia runs into the tapestry room, where a ghost sits. The girl pities him, asks to continue to behave well, because during his life the ghost was nasty and killed his wife. To this ghost he replies that the brother-in-law starved him to death. Virginia reproaches the spirit for dragging her paint: “... all this is just ridiculous: well, where did you see emerald-colored blood?” The spirit is indignant: “What could I do? Now it’s not easy to get real blood ... And the color, you know, who likes what. Canterville, for example, has blue blood ... "

Virginia can help a ghost - Love is with her, and Love is stronger than Death. A ghost shows a child a prophecy on the library window: a golden-haired child will help the spirit find peace. The girl agrees. She must mourn his transgressions and pray for his soul. The ghost takes Virginia by the hand, the wall in the room melts, and they hide.

The Otsis and the Duke are looking for the missing girl everywhere, but they are not. Finally, in the evening, Virginia appears after a deafening thunderclap with a jewelry box in her hands. She leads loved ones to the closet, where a terrible skeleton is chained to an iron ring. Opposite him are dishes and a jug that could not be reached. Outside the window, a dried almond tree blooms illuminated by moonlight - the prophecy comes true, the spirit is calm. Mr. Otis wants to return the jewelry to Lord Canterville, but he refuses: they belong to Virginia.

When the duke reaches adulthood, he marries Virginia, and the girl receives the ducal crown. After the honeymoon, Virginia and her husband Cesl visit the grave of Sir Simon Canterville, the deceased ghost. Cesl asks her husband to tell what they did to the ghost that evening, but she does not want to talk about it: Sir Simon revealed to her why Love is stronger than Death.