The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde

The Canterville Ghost - Oscar Wilde, Inga Moore

This short-story by Oscar Wilde was charming and not in the least bit scary. I will say, however, that it’s amongst one of my least favourite works of his. The ending made me smile, though, and elevated it for me.


It’s likely that most people have read this or heard a lot about it, so I won’t go into too much detail. The story revolves around a family who buy a house that’s in possession of a ghost. The story opens up with the family examining a blood stain on the carpet in one of the rooms that’s been there for years and refuses to give in to cleaning. A member of the family cleans it up and so begins what I believed to be a sinister tale about a vengeful ghost. However, I was very wrong. This story if full of levity and humour and of course Wilde’s trademark observation.


It’s hard to thoroughly connect with a short story as it is, by definition, short. I thought this one was longer than it was and was surprised to find I was nearly finished having only read for a brief time.


The story wasn’t so much about a ghost, but more the seriousness with which we understand life. Wilde loved to poke fun and he does it here again, but at humanity in general, rather than the Victorian middle classes. In this regard it shined in its objective.


I read this for this square: