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So little sunlight ever found its way to this spot, that it had an earthy deadly smell; and so much cold wind rushed through it, that it struck chill to me, as if I had left the natural world.

The narrator describes the signal-man's box as supernaturally eerie, resembling hell.

The monstrous thought came into my mind as I perused the fixed eyes and the saturnine face, that this was a spirit, not a man. I have speculated since, whether there may have been infection in his mind.

The signal-man appears like an apparition, or ghost, to the narrator. It is almost as if the signal-man is an emissary from a supernatural netherworld.

He had been, when young (if I could believe it, sitting in that hut; he scarcely could), a student of natural philosophy, and had attended lectures; but he had run wild, misused his opportunities, gone down, and never risen again. He had no complaint to offer about that. He had made his bed and he lay upon it. It was far too late to make another.

The signal-man is portrayed as having fallen, both physically and socially, in life, until the point at which he rests in an area that resembles...

(The entire section is 401 words.)