Discussion question that came to mind the other day (and seemed appropriate for the approach of Halloween!):
Dickens used ghosts and spirits and supernatural happenings freely in his shorter works, most notably A Christmas Carol . . . but not in his longer works. Occasionally in the novels you get someone telling a ghost story, as in The Pickwick Papers, and you get lots of references to God and angels and demons and their activities. You even get some events that seem caused by divine judgment, like spontaneous combustion or the fall of the old Clennam house. But not ghosts.
Why do you think this might have been? Was it by accident, or design?
And a follow-up: If Dickens had written a novel with ghosts, what do you suppose it might have been like? Very different from the novels the way they are now? Or would they have been seamlessly woven into the story?