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The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde


The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde is an amusing short story about a brash American family that knowingly moves into a haunted English house.  They’re not afraid, no siree.  The ghost, Sir Simon de Canterville, wastes no time in starting his tricks the moment the family of six settles in. But, this time, he’s the one in for a shock, as this American family proves more difficult to scare.  In fact, his tenured position as head horrorfier is no match as the Otis gang has their own tricks up their sleeves. Instead of fainting at a blood stain that continuously returns on a rug, the elder son quickly pulls out Pinkerton’s Champion Stain Remover and Paragon Detergent to clean it. When the rattling chains prove to interrupt Mr. Otis’s sleep, he opens the door and insists the apparition uses Tammany Rising Sun Lubricator on his manacles.  Even the mother is tough as nails.  The ghost is getting frustrated and demonstrates his most demonic laugh, only to have Mrs. Otis offer him a bottle of Dr. Dobell’s tincture for his apparent indigestion problem. To his consternation, Sir Canterville’s solid reputation of 300 years of haunting is laughable to the Otis twins who make his un-life a living hell with all kinds of pranks. So, what happens to silly Simon and the Otis opponents?  You’ll have to read it.  It’s very short and like most classics, you can find it online.  Visit to read this 30+ page story.

I happen to have a soft spot for Oscar Wilde.  If you have read some of my reviews in the past, you may know that I loved his novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, as well as his play, The Importance of Being Earnest October 16 is Wilde’s birthday, and in honor of that I have included a short quiz below for other Wilde fans.  The answers can be found in the “Quiz Answers” top tab of my blog.

   1.  In The Picture of Dorian Gray, who was Dorian’s love interest?
a.    Sibyl Vane
b.    Catherine Barkley
c.    Zeena Frome

    2.  Oscar Wilde was born in:
a.    Massachusetts
b.    Ireland
c.    Scotland

    3.  Oscar Wilde was convicted and sentenced to two years hard labor for:
a.    Plagiarism
b.    Embezzlement
c.    Gross Indecency

    4. In The Canterville Ghost, the Otis twins were affectionately known as:
a.    Rock’em and Sock’em
b.    Heckle and Jeckle
c.    Stars and Stripes

    5.  In his lifetime, how many novels did Oscar Wilde publish:
a.    1
b.    17
c.    85

    6.  Which of these is not written by Oscar Wilde?
a.    The Metamorphosis  
b.    A House of Pomegranates
c.    The Ballad of the Reading Gaol

    7.  Which museum displays the painting “Picture of Dorian Gray” by Ivan Albright which was used in the 1945 film “The Picture of Dorian Gray” starring Angela Lansbury?
   a.    The National Gallery in London
   b.    Art Institute of Chicago
   c.    Los Angeles County Museum of Art

The answers can be found in the “Quiz Answers” top tab of my blog.

Happy Reading,


  1. I have not read anything from Oscar Wilde, but thanks to you I have pushed him to the top of my list. Especially this short story. I love Halloween and can't wait to read it. Also loved the quiz. I didn't do well but still had fun. Thank you. Happy Halloween!!!


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