The ghost‘s appearance as the "Headless Earl" to frighten the twins was not very successful. What actions of the twins made the ghost flee? What was his only consolation?
The ghost decides to appear as Reckless Rupert, the Headless Earl, a trick that he found successful in the past in scaring people. He spends three hours applying his make-up and costume to get ready, but when he enters the twins' room, also called the Blue Bed Chamber, by flinging the door open, a jug of water falls on him. His clothes are soaked, and the twins are laughing at him. He is so shocked that he runs away back to his room as fast as he can. His only consolation is that he did not bring his head, as that would have become soaked as well. After this incident, he despairs of ever scaring the American family, and he resorts to creeping about the hallways in slippers. He seems more afraid of the twins than they are of him.