My post this week for the Rainbow Snippets group is a little different: We usually post a snippet featuring at least one LGBT character. None in this, but the writer is an LGBT icon–the legendary Oscar Wilde! And as Christmas is a time for ghost stories here’s six lines from Wilde’s “The Canterville Ghost,” a story that is readily available to read in print or online.
In the story so far, the Otis Family (the American Minister and their children) have moved into Canterville Chase, a home haunted by the restless (and very theatrical!) spirit of Sir Simon de Canterville who is determined to scare the vulgar Americans out! They earlier attempted him to lubricate his clanking chains with oil and now the ghost has confronted a frightening spectre in a hallway! We join him as he creeps back to investigate this interloping spirit.
Something had evidently happened to the spectre, for the light had entirely faded from its hollow eyes, the gleaming falchion had fallen from its hand, and it was leaning up against the wall in a strained and uncomfortable attitude; he rushed forward and seized it in his arms, when, to his horror, the head slipped off and rolled on the floor, the body assumed a recumbent posture, and he found himself clasping a white dimity bed-curtain, with a sweeping-brush, a kitchen cleaver, and a hollow turnip lying at his feet! Unable to understand this curious transformation, he clutched the placard with feverish haste, and there, in the grey morning light, he read these fearful words:-
YE OLDE GHOSTE
Ye Onlie True and Originale Spook. Beware of Ye Imitationes. All others are Counterfeite.
And I take back what I said earlier; the theatricality of this ghost, who has a costume room of spooky get-ups is certainly redolent of the LGBT attitude of the stage!
Here’s a link to Rainbow Snippets:https://www.facebook.com/groups/963484217054974
As I mentioned, Wilde’s story is readily available online and in print. It starts as a spoof of haunted house stories and turne into something quite different. Here’s the link to read it onlinehttps://www.wilde-online.info/the-canterville-ghost.html.