This atmospheric and creepy ghost story is full of nostalgia for me. It is one of the earliest ghost stories that I can remember, and it frightened me to death. Now as an adult, finding myself alone at Halloween, I decided to read it again.
t is a very short story and published with two other ghost stories. The story was first read aloud to me, which is how Dickens is meant to be. He was a lover of words and his attention to detail is how he creates great atmosphere. So I read it to myself slowly, hearing my own voice, so I didn't miss anything.
Despite there being a couple of train crashes, there is no gore. It is the man with his face obscured that proves to be terrifying, the ghostly apparition who may or may not be real. The nervous signalman tells his tale.
A little formal in places - it is Victorian after all - but as accessible today as any other book. And, unlike most of Dickens' other works, this can be read in about half an hour. Great stuff.
Originally published as part of the Mugby Junction collection in the 1866 Christmas edition of All the Year Round.
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