Character Analysis

The woman in black (a.k.a. Jennet Humfrye) is not some friendly Caspar-type ghost. She's not even your typical ghost who wanders through a big old house, weeping and trying to find its way to a better place. Nope. This ghost is angry and filled with vengeance and will not let anyone stand in her way.

A Woman Wronged

The woman in black was once just a young woman who happened to have a child out of wedlock. This being England in the nineteenth century, way before Teen Momstepped in to destigmatize out-of-wedlock birth, she couldn't exactly run off and raise the child on her own. So, her sister Alice Drablow convinced her to give the child to her and her husband to raise as their own.

Sounds great, right? Jennet keeps her reputation; the barren Drablows get a child; and the kid grows up with two loving, apparently wealthy parents. She even gets to hang around Eel Marsh House to keep an eye on him.

Not so much. Jennet—like a lot of moms strong-armed into adoption—isn't too pleased about having to give up her son. In a letter that Arthur finds, she writes:

He is mine. Why should I not have what is mine? He shall not go to strangers. I shall kill us both before


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