illustration of a ghost standing behid an iron fence with its arm raised against a large mansion

The Canterville Ghost

by Oscar Wilde
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What did Virginia notice while running past the Tapestry Chamber?

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Virginia finds the Canterville Ghost in the chamber. In the story, she has been out riding and torn her dress; she goes up the back staircase and, passing the Tapestry Room, sees someone within. Thinking it is a maid, she goes in to ask if she can mend her dress....

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Virginia finds the Canterville Ghost in the chamber. In the story, she has been out riding and torn her dress; she goes up the back staircase and, passing the Tapestry Room, sees someone within. Thinking it is a maid, she goes in to ask if she can mend her dress. But instead she finds the ghost, lost in gloomy thought. It is through this chance meeting that Virginia learns of the ghost's lonely existence in the house and his longing for the peace of the Garden of Death, and it is partly out of pity for him that she agrees to intervene on his behalf with the Angel of Death, although it is never clear how she is able to do this. Virginia succeeds; the ghost is at last able to die, and an elaborate funeral is held for him.

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At this point in the story, Virginia initially believes that the figure in the Tapestry Chamber is her mother's maid, working in that room as she did on occasion. However, upon further inspection, she realizes that it is the Canterville Ghost, behaving in his typical negative manner (rattling chains, groaning through keyholes, etc.). The exact quote is as follows:

As she was running past the Tapestry Chamber, the door of which happened to be open, she fancied she saw some one inside, and thinking it was her mother's maid, who sometimes used to bring her work there, looked in to ask her to mend her habit. To her immense surprise, however, it was the Canterville Ghost himself!

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