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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.
The story took place on November \(17\), \(1915\). Around \(1.15\) am, the narrator hears footsteps downstairs in the dining room as he steps out of his bathroom. Believing that it is a ghost, he alerts his older brother, Herman, and they unknowingly awaken their mother. Thinking that there was a break-in, the mother seeks the assistance of their neighbour, Mr Bodwell, to call the police. However, the mother’s method of alerting the neighbour was a case of worry to the narrator. She throws a shoe through Mr Bodwell’s window, causing the glass to shatter. Hence, she wakes up the sleeping Bodwells and gets the now furious Mr Bodwell to telephone the police. Police arrive prompt, and the squad gets into a rigorous search for the burglar. However, they are surprised to find no stranger in the house, despite the door and windows having remained shut from inside. They then hear some noise from the attic, where the narrator's grandfather sleeps. The police officers rush to investigate; however, the grandfather shoots one of the officers, believing they were deserters from Meade's army. With no suspects, the police retreat. Meanwhile, a reporter asks the narrator what all the commotion is about, to which the narrator earnestly replies that they had ghosts in the house. The following day, it is revealed that the footsteps belonged to the grandfather, for he had walked around the dining room looking for some drinking water.