Things Fangirls Say Regarding Color Symbolism of the Ghosts in Crimson Peak
You really need to pay attention to the color symbolism, particularly with the ghosts in Crimson Peak. These aspects are made so much more clear in the novel and the visualization of them are so important and meaningful. If you love the movie and haven’t read the novel you really need to– the way it presents the ghosts is awesome.
In the novel he is described as redeemed. His ghost being white reflects that in some way he has found peace in death and he died without the madness and darkness overtaking him. We were gifted with a lot of foreshadowing regarding this change in Thomas when he was reading Edith’s novel and she discussed her characters and the concept of choices. Her character of Cavendish is literally Thomas. Ultimately, Thomas decided to choose love and to do the right thing even knowing that he would likely hang for his involvement in everything that had happened at the house (something his sister often uses against him when he showed signs of wanting to back out). His eyes are also described as golden in the novel, giving more credence to his redemption– it represents the idea of ‘light’. The house, or the entity that has become the house (recall their discussion of the house becoming a living thing), literally claims that Thomas is no longer part of the house or the family because he chooses to leave– he chooses Edith.
Crimson Peak Ghosts: Red
The ghosts of the house are lost souls who are attached to the house after death due to their gruesome end. They are unable to move on because they are essentially trapped there and are buried, or kept, in the vats of red clay, and are seeking a form of vengeance. Their souls were not prepared to death. Their color is both representative of their connection to the house, their vengeance/rage, and reflective of where their physical bodies were placed after death. These ghosts have lingered a long time and along with the gruesomeness of their deaths causes them to look as they do.
The ghost of Lucille despite having died at Crimson Peak is not red. Instead, her ghost is black and the symbolism in this is amazing when you read the novel. There are paragraphs where an entity (the house) literally claims Lucille as the one and only Sharpe, a representative of all the evil that has taken place in the house because of her willingness to give into the darkness and do its biding. She gives herself to the darkness even going so far as to kill her own brother, the only person who loved her. Her soul is blackened by the evil of the house and as such her ghost is black.
Edith’s Mom: black
She suffered from an illness that actually turned her skin black. It represents sickness as well. Physical sickness in the mother and a sickness of the soul or mentality in lucille. It is also a means of foreshadowing. The messager reflects what they are warning edith about—lucille…its not the land and it’s ghosts (crimson peak) that she is being warned about, but the house of crimson peak or more specifically lucille as she is described as being taken in or becoming the entity of the house . One black ghost warns of the dangers of the other.
In the novel the house becoming an actual narrator is amazing– seeing it think about how Thomas is no longer a sharpe and actually hearing it decide that Lucille is all that is left, the one it finds pride in for her actions as she gives her soul to the house– by killing her brother. The ghosts are also narrators– the novel has sections that begins with “It watched…” as it shows the ghosts observing the happenings within the house.