Class 10 Literature Reader

A Shady Plot

Elsie Brown


This story is about a writer who writes ghost stories. The writer is assisted by a ghost; named Helen. Helen is a member of Writer’s Inspiration Bureau which helps those writers who do not have an idea how to write stories.

But the ghosts are annoyed at people who play with Ouija boards. They are threatening to go on strike so that people would stop using Ouija boards. Helen comes to the writer with this message. But the writer’s wife has recently bought an Ouija board in a bargain sale. She drags her husband to participate in the Ouija game. The game does not reach its conclusion because it is disturbed by Helen; the ghost.

Writer’s wife is quite angry with him and threatens to leave him forever. The writer’s cook also threatens to resign from her job because she is afraid of Ouija board. The writer’s wife is also angry because she suspected some affair between her husband and one of her friends during Ouija game. She tells the cook to get rid of Ouija board. After that; all of them are happy and back to their normal life. The ghost also leaves them forever. Finally, the writer gets a strong inspiration to work on his next assignment.

Exercise Questions

Part 1

Given below is a list of words related to ghosts and ghost stories with their jumbled up meanings against them. Match the words/expressions with their correct meanings:


Apparitiona supernatural appearance of a person or thing, a ghost, spectre or phantom
Clairvoyancethe supposed power to see objects or events that cannot be perceived by the senses
Crystal Balla globe of quartz crystal in which images, believed to portend the future, are supposedly visible to fortune tellers
Eerieso mysterious, strange, or unexpected as to send a chill up the spine
Mediuma person through whom the spirits of the dead are alleged to be able to contact the living
Transmigrationto pass into another body after death: going from one state of existence or place to another
Psychiccapable of extraordinary mental processes, such as extrasensory perception and mental telepathy
Ouija Boarda spelling board device intended to communicate with and through the spirit world, obtaining answers to questions
Exorcista conjurer who expels evil spirits by conjuration
Premonitiona feeling of anticipation of or anxiety over a future event
Paranormalbeyond the range of normal experience or scientific explanation
Tarot Cardany of a set of 22 playing cards bearing allegorical representations, used for fortune telling
Vampirea reanimated corpse that is believed to rise from the grave at night to suck the blood of sleeping people
PoltergeistGerman word, meaning "noisy ghost"-a troublesome spirit that announces its presence with unexplainable sounds and the creation of disorder

Multiple Choice Questions:

Question 1: The narrator earns his living by ………………………….

  1. writing ghost stories
  2. working as a reader for a magazine
  3. working as a stenographer
  4. working as an accountant in a lumber company

    Answer (a) Writing ghost stories (d) Working as an accountant in a lumber company

Question 2: The writer was overconfident about his ability to write ghost stories because ……

  1. whenever magazines wanted a ghost story, they got in touch with him
  2. he was always able to write a ghost story whenever he had to write one
  3. the readers appreciated his ghost stories
  4. he knew the ghost lady would help him write a good ghost story

    Answer (b) He was always able to write a ghost story whenever he had to write one

Question 3: The sight of the ghost materialising in his room filled the narrator with ………

  1. fear
  2. excitement
  3. joy
  4. anticipation

    Answer (d) anticipation

Question 4: The ghost wanted John to …………………………………………..

  1. stop his wife from using the Ouija board
  2. stop using the Ouija board himself
  3. stop his guests from using the Ouija board
  4. stop people from using the Ouija board

    Answer (d) Stop people from using the Ouija board

Question 5: John wants the ghost to disappear before his wife enters the room and waves his arms at the ghost with something of the motion of a beginner when learning to swim. His movement shows his

  1. fear
  2. amusement
  3. desperation
  4. anxiety

    Answer (c) Desperation

Question 6: When the narrator says his wife is never so pretty as when she's doing something she knows he disapproves of, his tone is …………………….

  1. amused
  2. ironic
  3. angry
  4. irritated

    Answer (b) Ironic

Question 7: The ghost says "It's all your fault. 'It' here refers to ………………………

  1. the narrator's wife's anger
  2. the ghost's anger
  3. the narrator's wife leaving him
  4. the ghost materialising in sections

    Answer (d) The ghost materializing in sections

Question 8: Gladolia wishes to leave the narrator's house as ………………….

  1. she does not like the Ouija boards
  2. she is afraid of the ghost
  3. she is afraid of magic and hoodoo
  4. she likes Ouija boards and hoodoo

    Answer (c) She is afraid of magic and hoodoo