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Innocence dies hard in “The Turn of the Screw,” playwright Jeffrey Hatcher’s creative stage adaptation of Henry James’ 1898 novella about two malevolent ghosts; two orphan siblings and an ingenuous young Victorian governess who is determined to exorcise the demon spirits at all cost.
Considered by many to be the gold standard for ghost stories, “The Turn of the Screw” was serialized in Collier’s Weekly in 1898 and subsequently published as a novella. It tells the story of a young governess who is hired to look after two orphan siblings, Miles and Flora, who live on a remote estate outside London. It is not long before the governess comes to believe that the children are being haunted by the specters of their previous governess, Miss Jessel, who committed suicide, and the estate’s groundskeeper, Peter Quint, who died under mysterious circumstances.