One afternoon in June when the governess first arrived at the country estate at Bly where she was to supposed to take care of Miles (10) and Flora (8). The two children were to be under her complete care The uncle who had married her, said that he did not want to be bothered with his orphaned niece and nephew.
The weeks of June passed very slow and boring. Then one evening, while she was walking in the garden at twilight, the governess was stunned to see a strange man at a distance. The man looked at her and then disappeared. The incident angered the young woman After thinking about it for a while she decides the man was just a trespasser.
The following Sunday evening, the young woman was suprised to see the same man looking in at her through a window. Once again he stared at her for a few seconds and then disappeared. This time the governess realized that the man was looking for someone in particular. A few minutes later the governess told the housekeeper, Mrs. Grose, of the incident and described the appearance of the man. Mrs. Grose told her that it was a perfect description of Peter Quint, the valet to the governess' employer but that Mr. Quint was dead.
One afternoon shortly afterward, a second ghost appeared. This time the ghost of Miss Jessel, the former governess, appeared in the garden to both the governess and the little girl (Flora). The strange part of the situation was that the little girl refused to let the governess know that she had seen the figure and knew who it was.
The governess learned from the housekeeper that the two ghosts had been lovers while alive. For what evil purpose these two spirits wished to influence the seemingly innocent children, neither the housekeeper or the governess could guess. The secrecy of the children about seeing the ghosts made the two women mad. They both felt that the boy was continuing to see the two ghosts in private. Yet, the governess sometimes felt that it would be impossible for the two children to be influenced into evil.
The third time the ghost of Quint appeared to the governess inside the house. Hearing someone on the stairs, she went to investigate and saw the ghost, and then it. Each night after that she inspected the stairs, but she never again saw the ghost of the man. Once she glimpsed the ghost of Miss Jessel as it sat on the lowest stair. Worse than the appearance of the ghosts was the discovery that the children had left their beds at night to wander on the lawn in communication with the ghost who were leading them to
unknown evil. It became apparent to the governess that the children were not strong enough inside. In their imaginations, they were living in a world populated by the evil dead.
In all that time, the children had given no sign of awareness of the ghosts. Knowing that her influence with the children was as strong as a thread which would break at the least touch, the governess did not give in to the ghosts. She had often felt the children's attitude that the ghosts were close at hand. What was worse for the angered woman was the thought that what Miles and Flora saw were things still more terrible than she imagined, visions that sprang from their association with the evil figures.
One day, Miles went to her and announced his desire to go away to school. The governess realized it was only proper that he was sent to school. She feared the results of influences once he was beyond her care. Later, opening the door of the schoolroom, she again saw the ghost of Miss Jessel. As the ghost disappeared, the governess realized that her duty was to stay with the children and fight the ghost and their deadly influence. She decided to write immediately to the children's uncle, even though he didnít want to be bothered. That night before she wrote, she went into Miles's room and asked the boy to let her help him in his secret troubles. Suddenly a rush of cold air filled the room as if the window had been