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The Woman in Black…read more

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The plot
The Woman in Black is a ghost story by Susan Hill, in which Arthur Kipps relates his
haunting experiences at Eel Marsh House
The tale begins on Christmas Eve, when Arthur's step-children invite him to tell a ghost
story. Arthur is too disturbed by his memories to share his story aloud, so he writes it down.
In his story, a young Arthur Kipps, a junior solicitor, is sent to settle the affairs of Alice
Drablow. He sees a woman dressed in black at her funeral, though apparently no one else
does. At Eel Marsh House, a house beyond a causeway, Arthur is haunted by noises and
sightings of the woman. Eventually a local man, Sam Daily, reveals the full story of how
Alice Drablow's sister, Jennet, haunts the house. He explains that a child dies each time the
woman in black is seen. At the end of the story, Arthur sees the woman in black again and
his wife and son die in a terrible accident. The Woman in Black is a ghost story about
heartbreak and revenge.…read more

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Key plot points
1.On Christmas Eve Arthur Kipps' stepchildren invite him to
tell a ghost story. He has one but is too disturbed to tell it, so
he writes it down.
2.In the story, a young Arthur Kipps is sent by his employer
to settle the affairs of Mrs Alice Drablow, of Eel Marsh
House. The house is cut off from the mainland at high tide. At
her funeral, Arthur sees a sickly-looking young woman
dressed in black. No one else sees her.
3.Keckwick, caretaker, drives Arthur to Eel Marsh House
where he sees the woman again. He finds piles of Mrs
Drablow's papers to sort and is haunted by the sound of a
pony and trap.
4.He stays overnight at the house and is persuaded by
Samuel Daily, a local landowner, to take his dog, Spider, for
company. The dog and Arthur are spooked by rumblings,
cries and bumps in the night.
5.A locked door becomes mysteriously unlocked and Arthur
finds a nursery filled with toys and a rocking chair in motion.
6.Samuel Daily rescues Arthur from the house and eventually
tells him how a child dies by accident each time the woman
in black is seen.
7.Arthur returns to London with his fiancée Stella. They are
soon married and have a child together.
8.Arthur sees the woman in black again in London and
moments later his wife and child die.…read more

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The chapters
Christmas Eve In the nursery
Samuel Daily rescues Kipps
The story begins on Christmas Eve. Arthur Kipps No one will help Arthur clear the estate, so he decides he
will need to stay the night there until he has collected all Samuel Daily arrives at the house in the early hours
is with his wife Esme and her children. They the papers. Samuel Daily offers him his dog, Spider, for of the morning. He has been worried about Arthur. He
encourage him to join them in the tradition of company and Arthur accepts. The night at Eel Marsh drives him back across the causeway and eventually
House is disturbed by a regular bumping noise that comes explains that Alice Drablow had a sister, Jennet
telling ghost stories. He is upset by his memories from behind a locked door. The next evening, Arthur is Humfrye, whose child died in an accident. He says
and decides he needs to exorcise them by writing sorting through papers and letters when the bumping that the sightings of the woman in black began when
starts again. He becomes increasingly afraid as he hears
Jennet died. He also tells Arthur that every time
it down. someone sees the woman in black their child dies in
the pony and trap and child's cry again. Back in the house, dreadful circumstances
the door to the locked room is suddenly flung open and
through it Arthur finds a nursery filled with toys and a
Mrs Drablow rocking chair in motion.
The young Arthur Kipps, a junior solicitor, is sent The Woman in Black
by Mr Bentley, his employer at a firm of lawyers, A pony and trap Arthur falls ill and is cared for by Samuel Daily and
to sort the estate of Mrs Alice Drablow. He is told his wife. The woman in black haunts him in his fever,
to attend her funeral and bring back all her Arthur sees the woman in black again and starts to appearing at the end of his bed.
documents from Eel Marsh House where she feel very frightened. In the house he finds that Mrs
lived. Drablow has left papers in almost every drawer and As he regains his strength, his beloved fiancée,
desk. He realises that his job will take a long time and Stella, arrives and the following day they both leave
Crythin Gifford for London. Arthur feels relieved that
that he will need to come back the next day. He goes nothing has happened since his sighting of the
out to meet Keckwick and hears the noise of a pony woman - no children have died. He feels hopeful that
and trap followed by the sound of a child screaming. the curse has ended.
The funeral He is terrified by the time Keckwick turns up.
Stella and Arthur are soon married and have a child
together, Joseph. One day the family visit a park
On the train to Crythin Gifford, Arthur meets Samuel where Joseph insists on riding in a pony and trap. As
Daily, a local landowner, who comments that Arthur his wife and child move out of sight, Arthur sees the
will be one of the only people at Mrs Drablow's Eel Marsh House woman in black. She steps into the path of the pony
funeral. This turns out to be the case - apart from and trap, which careers into a tree and crashes. Both
Arthur Kipps, only Mr Jerome, Mrs Drablow's agent, After the funeral, Arthur gets a lift across the Nine Stella and Joseph die in the accident.
attends. However, Arthur sees a sickly-looking Lives Causeway to Eel Marsh House with the
woman dressed in black at the church and again at Arthur finishes his story by saying that he has seen
reserved caretaker, Keckwick. He turns up in a the ghost of Jennet Humfrye and she had her
the graveyard. When he mentions her later to Mr pony and trap and says nothing all the way revenge. 'They have asked for my story. I have told it.
Jerome, the agent is visibly upset, but denies having across the marsh. Enough.'
seen a woman.…read more

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Characters…read more

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Arthur Kipps
Arthur Kipps is the main character and narrator
of the story. We see him as a contented man at
the start of the novel, but he is haunted by
memories of his past. As he narrates his own
ghostly tale we are first presented with a rational,
keen and positive young man. He is determined
to complete his work at Eel Marsh House, no
matter how strange or scary the place is. He
maintains his optimistic streak even after being
haunted to a state of fevered terror. He hopes
that he will be the last person the Woman in
Black will torment.
At the end of the story his first wife and son are
killed after he sees the ghost of Jennet Humfrye
(The Woman in Black) one more time and finally
we understand his unwillingness to share his tale
on Christmas Eve.…read more

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