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Compare three Victorian Ghost Stories

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Lit C/W on Pre-1914 Prose Three Victorian Ghost Stories "The Signalman" by Charles Dickens "The Red Room" by H.G. Wells & "The Monkey's Paw" by W.W. Jacobs. All these stories were written in the Victorian era and ghost stories were popular. The reasons that ghost stories were popular was because people were learning to read and write, there was not much entertainment and people had a fascination of supernatural events. The Victorian era was starting to develop more technology such as steam trains and education was becoming more compulsory than optional because people wanted young children and themselves to read and write and since they had fascinations of supernatural events, ghost stories was perfect in this era. One of the famous Victorian ghost stories was "The Signalman", which was written by Charles Dickens. The story is about a signalman whose job is to make sure that the track is in the right position when the train comes and must also make sure that the track is clear. In this story the signalman hears another man shouting, "Halloa, below there!" and this was reminding the signalman about the spectre that appeared a year ago. ...read more.


The sergeant major explained about the paw. He said that the paw had a magical spell on it by a Fakir, which is a magician. He also mentioned that the paw was bad luck because he explained about the last person that had the paw died after he asked for his three wishes. ... "And has anybody else wished?" persisted the old lady "The first man had his three wishes. Yes," was the reply. "I don't know what the first two were, but the third was for death. That's how I got the paw." The old couple were very interested in the paw so they decided to ask the major to buy. At first he refused to sell but after a while he agreed to give the paw if he gets the pie in return, so it was agreed. The old couple were thinking about their first wish. After a while they wished for �200 to pay off their house payments. The next day there was a knocking on the door and Mr. White answered the door. It was a man and he said that he was from "Maw and Meggins" the place where the old couple's son works. ...read more.


Wells used quite some archaic words and phrases in "The Red Room". For instance "Eight-and-twenty years" this mean twenty years. Another archaic phrase would be "That it will take a very tangible ghost to frighten me". This phrase means that it will take a solid ghost to frighten the person, tangible meaning solid, concrete or real. In "The Monkey's Paw" written by W.W. Jacobs there are also some archaic words and phrases used in this stories like the other two stories have. "Hark at the wind". This means listen to the wind as hark means to listen. "Father and son were at chess". This means that the father and son were playing chess. "I should like to see those old temples and fakirs and jugglers". The word that is an archaic word is fakir and that means a holy magician. In each of these stories that is tension and suspense. For instance in "The Signalman" the narrator indicates the disturbing climb down the abrupt embankment that: - "it struck chill to me as if I had left the natural world behind." The main aspect in this story would be the atmospheric description used. "Down in the deep trench, and mine was high above him, so steeped in the glow of an angry sunset. ...read more.

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