Supernatural Book Cover – The Canterville Ghost
A book cover for young readers
I was commissioned by Spanish publishing house, Austral, to design a cover for Oscar Wilde's, The Canterville Ghost and Other Stories, or El Fantasma De Canterville y Otros Cuentos. It's not your usual haunted house story but a playful twist on the genre, with the ghost becoming the terrorised victim of the family he's supposed to be haunting.
Chains hang from the lettering in reference to a key part of the story and there are several other amusing situations in the tale that provide inspiration for the little illustrations hidden within the light effects. The cover had to appeal to young readers from the age of twelve, as well as adults, so the design maintains a bright fantastical feel.
The story begins with Mr Otis and his ‘thoroughly modern’ American family move into Canterville Chase, despite warnings from its previous owner that the house is haunted.
Rather than be terrorised by the spirit's antics the family refuses to be frightened, leaving the ghost feeling increasingly helpless and humiliated. At one point, on hearing clanking noises at night, Mr. Otis gets out of bed offers the ghost some lubricating oil for his chains.