show how wide has created humour by reversing the expected behavior of ghost and the behavior of the ghost and haunted family
Wilde plays upon the conventional images of how a ghost has been represented in popular imagination and literature to draw his portrait of the ghost. The ghost of Canterville looked like an old man of terrible aspect, his eyes were like red burning coals, long grey hair that fell over his shoulder in matted coils and garments of antique cut, solid and ragged. From his wrists and ankles were hung heavy manacles and rusty gyves. This was the stereotypical picture of the old manorial ghost in a suitably haunted house, playing on key elements from gothic and supernatural stories. The blood stain, the back-story of the ghost and usage of the tropes from this genre add to Wilde's object of stereotyping the ghost. In spite of the fact that the ghost had come to this state by murdering his wife, Wilde did not let the story become macabre or sinister. He maintained the humour by making the ghost an object of humour, the narrative offered by the ghost himself. The ghost was actually quite benevolent as is reflected by his treatment of Virginia. Also, he had been harassed and hassled more than the human beings in the story. As a ghost he is portrayed as ineffectual in scaring the human beings away, instead the human beings force him to beat a hasty retreat. The ghost undergoes a metamorphosis, confiding in a sweet young girl like Virginia who helps him in the attainment of salvation.