• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Comparing Two Ghost Stories, The Woman in Black and The Signalman.

Extracts from this document...


Comparing Two Ghost Stories, The Woman in Black and The Signalman By Henry Cuthbertson Ghost stories are very common and popular across all ages and people all over the world. Readers are scared and fascinated by these books, and although it is hard to say why ghost stories are so popular, it is probably because the existence of ghosts can be neither proved, nor disproved. In Britain, especially in Victorian times, ghost stories were traditionally told at Christmas. During Victorian times ghost stories were extremely popular, as there were not many other forms of entertainment. Many Victorian authors wrote popular ghost stories, including Charles Dickens with 'The Signalman', and also the well known 'A Christmas Carol'. Even more recently, many authors are still writing successful and popular ghost stories, such as Susan Hill's 'The Woman in Black'. Readers are still fascinated and scared by these books. Although it is hard to say why exactly ghost stories are so popular among people of all ages, but it is probably because the existence of ghost can be neither proved, nor disproved, unlike other horror stories, or science fiction. ...read more.


Every time that Arthur Kipps saw the ghost she was always wearing the same clothes. Each time she appeared these clothes made a rustling sound, which adds to the atmosphere, and in a way, announces her presence, to the reader. Another event that is linked to the ghost is the noises out on the marsh which are heard, to the horror of the narrator. They are noises of a pony and trap walking out into the marshes, with a man and child on board, whom are pulled underneath the marsh and drowned. The ghost in 'The Signalman' is never seen in person by the narrator, but is described to him by the signalman himself. The ghost in 'The Woman in Black' is described as female, but the ghost that the signalman describes is in a male form. The signalman does not describe how the ghost looks, but describes its actions, showing how it covered its face with one arm, and violently shook the other, whilst saying "Halloa! Below there! For God's sake, clear the way!" What the ghost said to the signalman is the same as what the narrator said to him at the beginning of the story. ...read more.


The woman in black is obviously a malignant ghost, only existing to cause pain and suffering to others, and seeking revenge for the loss of her own child, on innocent people. In the case of the ghost who appears to the signalman, it is harder to say whether it is an evil spirit, or a benign one. In the end of the signalman, the signalman himself is killed, by a train, with the train driver carrying out the same actions, and saying the same words as the ghost had said. It is difficult to tell if the ghost was appearing to the signalman to torment and torture him, or whether it had been trying to save him, but did not have the means with which to do so effectively. I think that it was a benign spirit, which was trying to warn the signalman of his death, but could not do so. Both stories have greatly chilling atmospheres, and the fact that they are written in the first person means that you can really get to understand the emotions of the character involved, especially in 'The Woman in Black'. These stories are great examples of ghost stories, and both, although they are very different, follow the same literary tradition of many other famous ghost stories. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE The Signalman section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE The Signalman essays

  1. The black cottage - review.

    As the narrator explains from his own view there was something peculiar about the manner of the signalman as if something was on his mind or as if something was wrong. A bit in the first paragraph of the story which leads you to this conclusion is where the narrator

  2. We have been studying a selection of ghost stories, which were written before 1914 ...

    Everything changes when Rebecca starts to settle down to married life. 'She grew sullen and contemptuous. She formed acquaintances of the most dangerous kind ....' Tension also arises because everyone including the reader seems to know Isaac has made a serious mistake and is in danger but Isaac himself seems totally oblivious.

  1. 'The Signalman' and 'The Black Cat'

    there is no real existence of this cat as t disappears into thin air, can make itself invisible and appear from no where. The cat actually appears six times in which the man notices. The cat also appears in his dreams where he is awoken by a fright and the cat is present.

  2. A comparison between 'The Woman In Black' and 'The Signalman!'

    Both these two texts are written in the 1st person but Dickens uses his narrator in the Signalman to tell the story in the perfect tense. In, 'The Signalman,' the narrator is not actually haunted by ghost so he cannot describe his emotions and feelings whereas in the 'Woman in

  1. Pre 20th Century Prose- A Christmas Carol and The Signalman.

    But when the signalman was confronted about it he said that he would explain his troubles on the next night. The stranger agreed that he would come back, but the signalman told him not to call out as he did the first night if he was going to return.

  2. Wider Reading unit - Ghost stories.

    It is created through the use of language tools: such as similes, metaphors and onomatopoeia. The atmosphere of the story is developed right from the beginning. It largely depends on the writers purpose/intentions. So you do expect different kind of atmosphere to be created in both of these stories because

  1. Comparison of "Black veil" and "The Darkness out There".

    Both the reader and surgeon are confused, during his journey through "Walworth," he is on threatening territory. Part of the complication begins when the surgeon is "left" in "a little cold room," he is unaware of what is happening and neither does the reader who is placed in exactly the same position as the surgeon.

  2. Having Read The "Woman in Black" and "The Signalman", say Which one You Think ...

    His reaction seems very odd, but as the rest of the story unfolds, it seems there is a method to his madness. In WIB, the narrator the most important narrative device. The narrator is also the 'victim', as it were, of the hauntings.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work