The Canterville Ghost Questions and Answers
by Oscar Wilde

The Canterville Ghost book cover
Start Your Free Trial

How did Lord Canterville warn Mr. Otis about the Canterville house?  

Expert Answers info

Thomas Mccord eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2010

write2,306 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

In the story, Lord Canterville warns Mr. Otis about the ghost by telling him of its existence. In addition, Lord Canterville tells Mr. Otis about his family's experience of living at Canterville Chase and, specifically,  of the ghost's activities. Lord Canterville recalls, for instance, how the ghost terrified his aunt, the Dowager Duchess of Bolton, by placing two "skeleton hands" on her shoulders as she dressed for dinner.

Lord Canterville also claims that the ghost has been seen by several other people, including the Rev. Augustus Dampier.

Lord Canterville makes it very clear to Mr. Otis that the only reason he has sold Canterville Chase is because of the ghost. The young servants refused to stay there at night, for instance, and his wife, Lady Canterville, could not sleep because of the noises made by the ghost.

Despite his warnings, Mr. Otis is not put off: he buys Canterville Chase and immediately moves in with his family.

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Jonathan Beutlich, M.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseTeacher (K-12), Professional Writer

bookB.A. from Calvin University

bookM.A. from Dordt University


calendarEducator since 2014

write6,399 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Science, and History

Lord Canterville warns Mr. Otis about the Canterville ghost in a very blunt and straightforward manner.  Lord Canterville flat out tells Mr. Otis that there is a ghost in the house.  

Indeed, Lord Canterville himself, who was a man of the most punctilious honour, had felt it his duty to mention the fact to Mr. Otis when they came to discuss terms.

Additionally, Lord Canterville tells Mr. Otis that he and his wife haven't really lived in the house too much.  His wife and various other family members have been scared too many times by the ghost and refuse to be in the house anymore.  Lastly, Lord Canterville tells Mr. Otis that even the young servants refuse to work in the house because of the ghost's presence.  

Mr. Otis does not believe the ghost is real at all.  He believes that if ghosts were real, Americans would already have them displayed in museums and circus acts.  

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial