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

Ghost stories were first written in the bible, they carried on being written to convince people of life after death, and the continuation of the soul.

Extracts from this document...


Coursework Ghost stories were first written in the bible, they carried on being written to convince people of life after death, and the continuation of the soul. This was believed up until the 1600's/ 1700's where people started questioning the stories and wondering whether they are true. The age of rationalism, the 18th century, ghost stories were dismissed as untrue, as people were getting more cautious over their beliefs. At the start of the 19th Century writers such as W.Wilkie Collins, Charles Dickens and H.G.Wells, started writing ghost stories as a form of entertainment for the public. Modern ghost stories raise questions about whether the soul continues life after death, as modern society is unsure about supernatural existence. In the three ghost stories I have studied, 'The signal man', 'Inexperienced Ghost' and 'The Dream Woman' the settings have al been different. The setting is a key element in creating a scary atmosphere in the readers mind, e.g. traditional settings include and old abandoned house, an overgrown field or a castle. ` It is vital for the author to describe the setting as detailed and as clear as possible to the reader. The better the author does this, the more effect the story has on the reader. A good example of describing the setting well is from 'The Signal man' by Charles Dickens, it reads, 'I stood on the top of the steep cutting nearly over his head. His figure was foreshortened and shadowed, down in the deep trench.' 'the cutting was unusually precipitate, it was made from clammy stone, it became oozier and wetter the further I walked.' This describes the setting very well and puts a clean image of the dark, wet, cold, gloomy railway cutting into the mind of the reader. This is also a typical example of a scary setting for a ghost story. In 'The dream Woman' the setting is also very traditional, 'The Dream Woman' is set in an inn on the outskirts of a dark forest on a night which happens to have a thunderstorm. ...read more.


Isaac alerts the innkeeper of the woman, and he thinks he is crazy and kicks him out. Isaac walks home and is back in time for his birthday celebrations. He tells his mother about what happened and as he is telling her she writes the whole story down and locks it in a draw. Years pass and Isaac forgets about the dream. Unexpectedly his mother falls ill, one day she runs out of medicine so she asks Isaac to go to the chemist. Whilst he is in the queue for his medicine a woman in front is asking for poison but the clerk manages to get her to come back later, Isaac is attracted to the woman and after he gets his medicine he goes after her and walks with her around the streets for a bit and eventually persuades her to meet him the next day. The next day Isaac goes to the field the next day where they arranged to meet, after a few minutes of waiting the girl turns up. She and Isaac become good friends and then progress to become a couple. After a while Isaac asks her to marry him and she agrees. He then arranges for her to meet his mother, and as soon as his mother sees her she realises that she is the dream woman and reminds Isaac. But Isaac has give his word in marriage so he must marry her. After a while of being married 'The Dream woman' starts to become violent as she has become an alcoholic. Isaac becomes scared and leaves to his mothers. After a few weeks Isaac returns home where he and his wife make up. A few days later Isaacs mother dies, this leaves Isaac feeling very afraid. Many weeks of rowing leads to Isaacs's wife leaving him and swearing never to come back. Isaacs knows that she will because his dream for a few nights Isaac manages not to sleep but one night he dozes off. ...read more.


He also creates a lot of tension throughout the story and has the reader trying to work out what the ghost is trying to warn the signal about. I was a bit disappointed by the ending as I thought it was a bit short and it cuts off but I thought it was a very good story. I think that the Dream Woman by W.Wilkie Collins was the best story out of them all by far. I think this is because W.Wilkie Collins creates tension from virtually the beginning of the story, rite through until the end of the story; this makes the story more enjoyable. I also think that the dream woman is the most believable story out of the three because the waiter keeps assuring the doctor that the story is true and he is not making up a word. I also think the ending was good where it goes back to the waiter and the doctor watching Isaac sleep whilst he is saying the dream in his sleep, this also makes the story feel true. The Inexperienced Ghost by H.G.Wells in my opinion is the worst out of the three stories. My reasons for thinking this are that the plot was not really very interesting because Sanderson didn't show the slightest bit a fear towards the ghost which is not very believable. Then Sanderson takes the ghost into his room and has a conversation with him, and because the ghost is not very clever Sanderson discovers the dance you have to perform to go through the passes, which again is not very believable. So to top the whole story off Sanderson performs the dance and his soul leaves his body and goes through the passes whilst his body just falls to the floor dead. This overall is a poor story in my opinion. To conclude my essay I am going to answer the original question. I think ghost stories are quiet easy to compare, as most ghost stories are very similar if you think carefully about the meanings of the stories and study in depth the setting and the characters. ...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. Discuss the effectiveness of the ghost stories by Dickens, Hughes and Rhys. Show some ...

    The best bit in the story is the end. The whole of the story has been building up to this and all the haunting and the repetition of the key phrase of 'halloa!' The narrator comes back to see the signalman and looks down into the cutting.

  2. Examine how the theme of isolation and the supernatural are explored in 'The signalman', ...

    "His mother's face grew paler and paler". This shows how his mother cared about the things her son was talking about.

  1. This essay will consider four of this type of story, by short story writers ...

    Excitement is maintained right through to the end by the writers' refusal to fully explain what has happened. Such inconclusive endings leave much to the imagination of the reader, making the tales not only evocative but haunting. We never learn who the 'spectre' is in 'The Signalman', or why he is giving his warnings.

  2. In what ways is "The Signalman" a typical ghost story?

    The signalman is used to the monotony and loneliness of his occupation and passes the time learning a language and experimenting with algebra. He is "alienated" from his environment: "he is an intelligent and imaginative man who is forced to live his life deprived of sunlight, with little to occupy his mind."

  1. Comparative Essay between "The Signalman" and "The Pit and the Pendulum"

    More mystery was caused the next night when the narrator saw a man using the exact posture and position that the Signalman said the spectre used. The narrator described it as a "nameless horror" and couldn't "describe the thrill that seized upon him".

  2. In this essay I am going to examine the techniques used by Charles Dickesn ...

    The first quotation 'the dead of night' could mean that at night everything seems dead as it could be 'silent' and maybe unsettling. The next quotation 'sounds appear to slumber' suggests that because it was silent it felt that all sounds were sleeping and fits in with the danger atmosphere.

  1. Comparing The Red Room, H.G.Wells, The Signalman, Charles Dickens, He Ostler, Wilkie Collins.

    The Red Room is the only story that is set in a stereotypical place for a gothic story; a castle. Normally people would expect it to be set in a castle or an abbey. The main character in the Signalman, we do not find out what his name is but

  2. Looking further into the aspects of Gothic Horror, three short stories, 'The Black Cottage' ...

    This tells us that he has a lot of love to give; yet he does not even have any patients to share his compassion with. This makes the reader feel sorry for the Doctor, and he becomes a character that the reader now likes.

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