’31 Tales of Terror’ #22: A Ghost Story

*Title: A Ghost Story by Mark Twain
Date Read: 26 October 2008
Available Online?: YES
Briefly: The narrator takes up residence in a room in an old, unoccupied building in New York opposite the museum. His perception that the place is haunted, turns out to be correct and a night of ghostly terrorising begins.
Afterthoughts: This story from the great Mark Twain begins genuinely scary, probably as scary as a ghost story can get. However, from the mid-way point onwards the story falls a bit flat, with the focus turning to a conversation with the ghost, where a genuine, and famous hoax that occurred during the period, is revealed. Good for historical purposes maybe but a real shame that the story didn’t end as it began.
Notable Quote: “I slept profoundly, but how long I do not know. All at once I found myself awake, and filled with a shuddering expectancy. All was still. All but my own heart — I could hear it beat. Presently the bedclothes began to slip away slowly toward the foot of the bed, as if some one were pulling them! I could not stir; I could not speak.”

Rating: ★★★☆☆

*Story read as part of the 31 Tales of Terror reading challenge.

About Rob

Rob, a self-confessed bibliophile, is without any hope of rehabilitation. He gets unnaturally excited over anything book-shaped, and if book sniffing were a crime then he would have been locked up years ago (which wouldn't bother him in the slightest provided his cell was lined with books).


  1. I somehow enjoyed it, it was funny. But of course with this kind of start, I was totally shocked at the turn of events 🙂

    • Rob (Twitter: robaroundbooks)

      See for me Veena, it would have been better if Twain had finished in the same way that he started. It all just felt a little disjointed to me.