Thu Oct 25, 2: I took a large room, far up Broadway, in a huge old building whose upper stories had been wholly unoccupied for years until I came. The place had long been given up to dust and cobwebs, to solitude and silence.
Featured in our Halloween Stories Excavation of the "Cardiff Giant" in Excavation of the "Cardiff Giant" in I took a large room, far up Broadway, in a huge old building whose upper stories had been wholly unoccupied for years until I came.
The place had long been given up to dust and cobwebs, to solitude and silence. I seemed groping among the tombs and invading the privacy of the dead, that first night I climbed up to my quarters. For the first time in my life a superstitious dread came over me; and as I turned a dark angle of the stairway and an invisible cobweb swung its slazy woof in my face and clung there, I shuddered as one who had encountered a phantom.
I was glad enough when I reached my room and locked out the mold and the darkness. A cheery fire was burning in the grate, and I sat down before it with a comforting sense of relief. For two hours I sat there, thinking of bygone times; recalling old scenes, and summoning half- forgotten faces out of the mists of the past; listening, in fancy, to voices that long ago grew silent for all time, and A ghost story mark twain once familiar songs that nobody sings now.
And as my reverie softened down to a sadder and sadder pathos, the shrieking of the winds outside softened to a wail, the angry beating of the rain against the panes diminished to a tranquil patter, and one by one the noises in the street subsided, until the hurrying footsteps of the last belated straggler died away in the distance and left no sound behind.
The fire had burned low.
A sense of loneliness crept over me. I arose and undressed, moving on tiptoe about the room, doing stealthily what I had to do, as if I were environed by sleeping enemies whose slumbers it would be fatal to break.
I covered up in bed, and lay listening to the rain and wind and the faint creaking of distant shutters, till they lulled me to sleep. I slept profoundly, but how long I do not know. All at once I found myself awake, and filled with a shuddering expectancy.
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.
Still the blankets slipped deliberately away, till my breast was uncovered. Then with a great effort I seized them and drew them over my head. I waited, listened, waited. Once more that steady pull began, and once more I lay torpid a century of dragging seconds till my breast was naked again.
At last I roused my energies and snatched the covers back to their place and held them with a strong grip. By and by I felt a faint tug, and took a fresh grip. The tug strengthened to a steady strain--it grew stronger and stronger.
My hold parted, and for the third time the blankets slid away. An answering groan came from the foot of the bed! Beaded drops of sweat stood upon my forehead. I was more dead than alive. Presently I heard a heavy footstep in my room--the step of an elephant, it seemed to me--it was not like anything human.
But it was moving from me--there was relief in that. I heard it approach the door-- pass out without moving bolt or lock--and wander away among the dismal corridors, straining the floors and joists till they creaked again as it passed--and then silence reigned once more. When my excitement had calmed, I said to myself, "This is a dream--simply a hideous dream.
I got up and struck a light; and when I found that the locks and bolts were just as I had left them, another soothing laugh welled in my heart and rippled from my lips. I took my pipe and lit it, and was just sitting down before the fire, when-down went the pipe out of my nerveless fingers, the blood forsook my cheeks, and my placid breathing was cut short with a gasp!
Then I had had a visitor, and the elephant tread was explained. I put out the light and returned to bed, palsied with fear. I lay a long time, peering into the darkness, and listening. In distant parts of the building I heard the muffled slamming of doors. I heard, at intervals, stealthy footsteps creeping in and out among the corridors, and up and down the stairs.
Sometimes these noises approached my door, hesitated, and went away again.The Mark Twain Page at American Literature, featuring a biography and Free Library of the author's Novels, Stories, Poems, Letters, and Texts.
Documenting all of Mark Twain's known public speeches, readings and lectures is a monumental undertaking first attempted by Paul Fatout in his classic volume MARK TWAIN SPEAKING published by University of Iowa Press, Fatout's listing has been updated at least once by noted Twain scholar Louis Budd in "A Supplement to 'A Chronology' in MARK TWAIN SPEAKING" published in Essays in .
A Ghost Story by Mark Twain. A Ghost Story, alternate title A Ghost's Tale (), is Twain's unique twist of the ghost story genre, mocking superstition, and proving he's a master employing satirical wit across his broad range of works.
Featured in our Halloween Stories. Mark Twain was born Samuel Langhorne Clemens on November 30, , in Florida, Missouri, the sixth of seven children born to Jane (née Lampton; –), a native of Kentucky, and John Marshall Clemens (–), a native of rutadeltambor.com parents met when his father moved to Missouri, and they were married in Twain was of Cornish, English, and Scots-Irish descent.
Mark Twain is one of our nation's defining cultural figures. The Mark Twain House & Museum has restored the author’s Hartford, Connecticut, home, where . This lesson will provide a brief summary and analysis of Mark Twain's 'A Ghost Story,' with particular attention paid to its inventive commentary.