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The Canterville Ghost

Mr Otis and the Ghost

Nobody talked about the supernatural, and Sir Simon de Canterville's name was not mentioned at all. At eleven o'clock the family went to bed, and by half-past eleven all the lights were out. Some time after, Mr. Otis was awakened by a curious noise in the corridor, outside his room. It sounded like the clank of metal, and it was coming nearer every second. Mr Otis got up at once, lit a match, and looked at the time. It was exactly one o'clock.

He was quite calm, and his heart was not beating any faster than usual. The strange noise still continued, and with it he could clearly hear the sound of footsteps. He put on his slippers, and took a small bottle out of his bedside table. He opened the door. In the pale moonlight, he saw a terrible old man standing right in front of him. The man's eyes were like red burning coals; he had long , dirty grey hair curling over his shoulders. His clothes were dirty and ragged, and in a very old-fashioned style. Heavy manacles and rusty chains hung from his wrists and ankles.

`My dear sir,' said Mr. Otis, `I really must ask you to oil those chains. You can do this easily, because I have here a small bottle of the Tammany Rising Sun Lubricator. It works very well, and I am told that you only have to use it once. If you don't believe me you can see that some of our most respected experts in religion have written this on the label of the bottle. I shall leave it here for you by the bedroom candles, and if you need any more I will be very happy to supply it.'


Supernatural: Things that can't be explained in nature
Curious: Here it means 'strange'.
Corridor: The room in the house that joins other rooms together
Clank: The sound of metal hitting something.
At once: Immediately.
Beat: What your heart does to move blood around your body.
Slippers: Soft shoes for inside the house.
Manacles: chains for the wrists.
Rusty: Iron that has gone red.
Lubricator: Something that oils dry things.
Efficacious: Effective.
Supply: Allow someone to have.

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