Describe the first appearance of the ghost.

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sciftw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I am going to assume that you mean the ghost's first appearance to the Otis family.  The ghost has been active for about 300 years and has appeared in various forms in order to affect the right kind of scare.  The latest inhabitants of the house are the American Otis family. They have been informed that the house is haunted by a ghost, but they do not care mainly because they do not believe in the ghost.  

Chapter 1 establishes the presence of the haunting as alive and well, but no ghost sightings are seen. The Otis family begins to believe that the house might actually be haunted when they cannot get rid of a blood stain. The maid claims that the stain has been there for a long long time, and that no amount of cleaning can get rid of the stain.  

"That is all nonsense," cried Washington Otis; "Pinkerton's Champion Stain Remover and Paragon Detergent will clean it up in no time," and before the terrified housekeeper could interfere, he had fallen upon his knees, and was rapidly scouring the floor with a small stick of what looked like a black cosmetic. In a few moments no trace of the blood-stain could be seen."

The blood stain came back, though. The Otis family tried a few more times to get rid of the stain. Each attempt failed. At that point, the family became willing to admit that there might be some truth to the ghost stories.  

Within that same week, the ghost first appeared to Mr. Otis. It happened around 1 a.m. Mr. Otis was woken up in his sleep by the clanking and creaking of chains. He came out of his room to find out what was making all of the noise, and he came face to face with the red eyed ghost. The description is quite scary, but Mr. Otis's reaction is priceless. He tells the ghost to use some oil on the chains and stop making so much noise. Mr. Otis then goes back to bed. The ghost is dumbstruck at not being able to scare Mr. Otis and huffs and moans down the hall in an angry sulk.  

 "He put on his slippers, took a small oblong phial out of his dressing-case, and opened the door. Right in front of him he saw, in the wan moonlight, an old man of terrible aspect. His eyes were as red burning coals; long grey hair fell over his shoulders in matted coils; his garments, which were of antique cut, were soiled and ragged, and from his wrists and ankles hung heavy manacles and rusty gyves.

"My dear sir," said Mr. Otis, "I really must insist on your oiling those chains, and have brought you for that purpose a small bottle of the Tammany Rising Sun Lubricator. It is said to be completely efficacious upon one application, and there are several testimonials to that effect on the wrapper from some of our most eminent native divines. I shall leave it here for you by the bedroom candles, and will be happy to supply you with more, should you require it." With these words the United States Minister laid the bottle down on a marble table, and, closing his door, retired to rest."