A Ghost Story & Other Short Stories
"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!" In Mark Twain’s "A Ghost Story" from 1875, the narrator rents a room in an old New York City building with upper stories long since given up to dust, cobwebs and silence. On his first night, he experiences something so dreadful that he convinces himself it must be a dream. It isn’t until he finds a giant footprint in the ashes near the hearth, that he realizes something more, perhaps sinister, is at play. Mark Twain masters the balance between horror and humor in this thrilling short story inspired by an infamous real-life nineteenth century hoax. Mark Twain, pseudonym of Samuel Langhorne Clemens, (1835-1910), was an American humorist, lecturer, journalist and novelist who acquired international fame for his adventure stories of boyhood, especially "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" and "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" as well as for his travel narratives, especially "The Innocents Abroad", "Roughing It", and "Life on the Mississippi". Twain transcended the apparent limitations of his origins to become a popular public figure and one of America’s most beloved writers.