‘‘The Night the Ghost Got In’’ is a fictionalized account of life in the Thurber household while its author, James Thurber, was growing up. Early on, Thurber gives the exact date when the events related in the story take place: November 17, 1915. The story begins with a short introductory paragraph that prepares readers for the more colorful events that will unfold in the pages to come—his mother throwing a shoe through a window, his grandfather shooting a policeman—and then goes right into the events of that night.
It starts with the narrator, James Thurber, coming out of a bath at 1:15 in the morning and hearing a noise downstairs in the dining room. It sounds to him like footsteps, like someone walking quickly around the dining room table. He assumes that it is his father or older brother, just home from a trip, but after a few minutes have passed and the walking has not stopped, he goes to wake his brother Herman. Wakened suddenly, Herman is frightened when he is told that there is someone downstairs, although the story never does indicate whether he hears the same sound the narrator does. He goes back to bed, slamming the door. The noise downstairs is gone, and, Thurber explains, ‘‘None of us ever heard the ghost again.’’ However, the slamming door brings their mother out into the hall.
The mother asks about all of the footsteps she has heard and then comes to the conclusion that there are burglars downstairs. Because...
(The entire section is 970 words.)
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