First named specifically in an 1894 essay by Sarah Grand, the “New Woman” was described as morally strong and socially aware, “awaking from [her] long apathy” to respond to the cries of “the desolate and the oppressed” (270). In the same year, an essay by Ouida offered a critique of this figure, characterizing her as both a ridiculous contradiction and a dangerous threat to the fabric of conventional society, “with her fierce vanity, her undigested knowledge, her over-weening estimate of her own value and her fatal want of all sense of the ridiculous” (61). She is a spectral figure, comprised of an indeterminate and often contradictory assortment of conflicting definitions and assumptions about evolving gender roles. At once a textual construction and a cultural phenomenon, this identity provides an appellation for a conglomeration of characteristics that threaten the existing social order, including sexual agency, intellectual curiosity, political awareness, and gender fluidity. That the New Woman—or often her historical avatars—frequently appears in Gothic ghost stories of the 1890s is therefore not surprising, since the genre itself represents reality as a shifting and imprecise paradigm. As Sally Ledger argues, this figure is “central to an account of fin-de-siècle culture” precisely because of “her entanglement (whether as feminist activist, woman writer or textual construct) with such cultural phenomena of the 1880s and 1890s as decadence, socialism, imperialism and emergent homosexual identities” (4). Supernatural tales concern themselves with many of the same elements, making them a suitable arena for interrogating the changing gender dynamics that the New Woman personifies.