The lesson "The Night that the Ghost Got In" is written by James Grover Thurber. It is taken from his \(1933\) book My Life and Hard Times, a fictionalised narrative of his childhood in Columbus, Ohio.
In My Life and Hard Times, James Thurber looks back fifteen years to tell nine stories about the strange family circumstances he grew up in during World War I.
The stories revolve around the following major characters:
  • A grandfather, whose mind and temper constantly goes back to his fighting days of the American Civil War
  • A panicked and vibrant mother
  • A father who is at conflict over the condition of the household
  • Herman, a dutiful older brother
  • Roy, a typically "quiet and self-contained" younger brother, who, at times, can be quite good at playing pranks
  • The narrator, whose poor eyes never overlook the vibrant elements of life
The other stories in the collection are,
  1. "The Night the Bed Fell"
  2. "The Car We Had to Push"
  3. "The Day the Dam Broke"
  4. "More Alarms at Night"
  5. "A Sequence of Servants"
  6. "The Dog That Bit People"
  7. "University Days"
  8. "Draft Board Nights"
The lesson "The Night the Ghost Got In" appears as the \(4\)th story in the collection. The story takes place late at night when suspicious noises in the narrator's house lead to a police invasion. Over the course of bizarre events, the whole affair ends with the grandfather wounding one of the officers with his gun.
The characters who appear in the lesson are,
  1. The narrator
  2. The narrator's mother
  3. Herman, the narrator's brother
  4. The narrator's grandfather
  5. Mr Bodwell
  6. Mrs Bodwell
  7. Joe, the policeman
  8. Reporter