The Woman in Black

Susan Hill
May 18, 2011

A ghost story, this is considered by many to be the best in modern time. Written in 1983, made into a successful stage play in 1989, and soon to be a major motion picture, this atmospheric tale is set in the stormy moors on the coast of England where the fog is so dense one can become lost in an instant. Arthur Kipps, attorney, is sent by his firm to settle the Drablow estate following the death of the last family member, Alice. He decides to stay in her isolated home for a few days to complete his work. This turns out to be a bad decision. At Alice’s funeral he sees an ethereal woman, dressed in black, that his companion will not acknowledge seeing. Out on the moors while walking for exercise Arthur sees her again, walking among old gravestones in the ruins of an abbey. He accepts that she is a ghost, but there are more eerie happenings while Arthur attempts to stay at Eel Marsh House. Will it end when he leaves? Fog, isolation, strange sounds, a ghost with a “cause;” this is a classic that will appeal to Jane Austen fans, but probably not to hard-core horror enthusiasts.

Reviewed by Library Staff