‘The Monkey’s Paw’ and ‘The Red Room’ are both horror stories written in the nineteenth century. ‘The Red Room’ is a psychological horror story, which deals with fear and tension and ‘The Monkey’s Paw’ is a factual horror story, which deals with mystery and death. Both authors set out to frighten the reader, but do it in very different ways. In ‘The Red Room’ we know straight away that it is about a man who is going to go into a haunted red room. An old man had told him about a woman who had been murdered in this room, and people don’t know if it is haunted by her or by her husband.
The old man had been advised by three weird people not to go into the red room as it is haunted. The old man said, “the three of them made me feel uncomfortable, with their gaunt silences, their bent carriage, their evident unfriendliness to me and to one another”. The man didn’t agree with the old man. He was determined to find out what was in the red room, and find out what it was haunted by. The man asked the old man to show him to this red room, the old man was in shock he couldn’t believe that the man wanted to go into the red room. “Tonight of all nights” he said.
The old man decided to show him to the red room, but he wasn’t going to go with him. “There’s a candle on the slab outside the door, you go along the passage for a bit, until you come to a door, and through that is a spiral staircase, and half-way up that is a landing and another door covered with baize”. The man had a plan the plan was that when he got inside the Red Room he would light the room so that he could see what was happening. The man got to the room and walked in. “I left the door wide open until the candle was well alight, and then I shut them in and walked down the chilly echoing passage”, said the man.
The man pushed the baize-covered door and stood in the corridor. Everything was in its place. The door to the red room and the steps up to it were in a shadowy corner. The man opened the door and went in the room. A feeling of horror is created by the shadowy window bays, the recesses and alcoves. One could well understand the legend that had sprouted in its black corners, its germinating darkness. The man was looking round the room, peering round each article of furniture, tucking up the valances of the bed, and opening its curtains wide. He pulled the blinds and examined the fastenings of the several windows before closing the shutters.
He leant forward and looked up the blackness of the wide chimney, and tapped the dark oak panelling for any secret opening. There were two big mirrors in the room, each with a pair of scones bearing candles and on the mantelshelf too were more candles in china candlesticks. The man lit one after the other. The room was very bright. It was after midnight that the candle in the alcove suddenly went out. His first match would not strike, and as he succeeded with the second, something seemed to blink on the wall before him. The two candles on the little table by the fireplace were extinguished.
The man walked across the room to the fireplace and relit one of the candles and suddenly it went out. All of a sudden candles started going out one at a time until the whole room was pitch dark. The man was now almost frantic with fear of the darkness and his self-possession deserted him. He bruised him self on the thigh against the table, he sent a chair headlong; he stumbled and fell and whisked the cloth from the table in his fall. The man made a run for the door, he couldn’t remember anything else. The last paragraph of the story tells us that there is a ghost in that room which follows anyone who goes in there.
The ‘Monkey’s Paw’ is about a family, called White. The family weren’t that well of, and were desperate for some money. A Sergeant Major had come to visit the family. The Sergeant started to talk about himself “I should like to see those old temples and fakirs and jugglers,” said the Sergeant. He came with a paw, but it wasn’t just any old paw it was a monkey’s. The monkey’s paw was attached to a dried little mummy. It could make magic things happen. In other words it was a magic monkey’s paw. According to the story it had a spell put on it by an old fakir, a very holy man.
He wanted to show that fate ruled people’s lives, and those who interfered with it did so to their sorrow. He put a spell on it so that three separate men could each have three wishes from it. The fakir’s manner was so impressive that his hearers were conscious that their laughter jarred somewhat. One man had his three wishes. We don’t know what his first two wishes were, but his third was for death. That’s how the Sergeant got the paw. The Sergeant decided to give the paw to the White family, because it was no use to him as he has already used his three wishes and it had already caused him enough trouble.
The White family were extremely happy it was their chance to become rich, they decided to wish for i?? 200. Next morning a representative from the factory where Mr White’s son, Herbert, worked came to the White family house. Mr White answered the door. The man came in and sat down and said, “Your son got caught in some machinery and was killed. Here is i?? 200 in compensation. ” You could understand how devastated the White family were, and they were extremely angry at the monkey’s paw. About two weeks after the funeral of their son the mother decided to use their second wish to bring their son back to life.
About two hours after they had made the wish there was a knock at the door of the house. Mr White knew it was his son, but he didn’t answer the door, instead he used the last wish to wish his son dead. The reason why Mr White did this was because he thought that his son would come back the way he had died, and he had been in a grave for two weeks and would look very messy and dirty, and would scare the life out of Mrs White. I think ‘The Red Room’ is a very tense and spooky story. I think the man was very unwise to go into ‘The Red Room’. His idea of lighting the room with candles failed, and he ended up hurting himself and feeling petrified.
I think ‘The Monkey’s Paw’ is a mysterious horror story. I think the white family were very unwise to make a wish as, they didn’t listen to the sergeant’s warning, and they paid the price. Their second wish for their son to come back to life was, a silly decision, because they should have just let him rest in peace. Their third wish was a wise decision, because he would have appeared the way he died. The thing, which makes me like ‘The Monkey’s Paw more than The Red Room’, is that ‘The Monkey’s Paw’ is more interesting and more mysterious.