The Lamp

  • Short Story
  • 1933

Mrs Lancaster moves her family to a house apparently haunted by a child ghost waiting for his father. From The Hound of Death and The Golden Ball and Other Stories.

More about this story

A child ghost haunts the house where his father left him and never returned. The title is taken from a poem, the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam and is quoted by the grandfather in the story: “What lamp has destiny to guide her little children stumbling in the dark? A blind understanding, Heaven replied.” This is one of Agatha Christie's most chilling supernatural tales.

The story was first published in book form in the Oldhams Press edition of The Hound of Death in 1933, available only by collecting coupons from a magazine entitled The Passing Show. It was first published in the US in the 1971 collection The Golden Ball and Other Stories.

It has never been adapted.

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