Describe the two appearances of the ghost in "The Canterville Ghost."

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kmj23 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In "The Canterville Ghost," the ghost makes his first appearance in Chapter Two. The family are in bed, having spent a full day driving, and the ghost plans to scare them by carrying his chains up and down the corridor. The noise wakes Mr Otis who gets out of bed and opens the door to find an "old man of terrible aspect" stood before him. His eyes were as "red as burning coals" and his clothes were "soiled" and "ragged." Instead of being terrified, however, Mr Otis offers the ghost a bottle of Tammany Sun Rising Lubricator to oil his chains and to prevent any further noise. This confuses the ghost and prompts him to flee down the corridor and return to his chamber.

The ghost makes his second appearance on a Sunday night in Chapter Three. Again, the family are in bed when they are awoken by a sudden crash in the downstairs hallway. When the family arrives downstairs, they find the ghost injured, "with an acute expression of agony on his face," because he has tried and failed to wear an antique suit of armor. Suddenly, the twins begin firing their pea-shooters at him while Mr Otis threatens him with a revolver. In response, the ghost lets out of a "wild shriek of rage" and then flees the room, extinguishing Washington's candle as he goes.

From the top of the stairs, the ghost laughs demonically, in an attempt to scare the family, but this fails. Instead, Mrs Otis opens her bedroom door and offers him some tincture for his "indigestion." Indignant and humiliated, the ghost turns "faintly phosphorescent" before vanishing into thin air.

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The Canterville Ghost

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