Helen Alving, widow of Captain Alving, has been careful to cover up the truth about her depraved husband. Unable to leave him prior to his death for fear of being shunned by the community and her pastor, she had to make do. When the play begins, she is about to celebrate the dedication of the orphanage built on her estate and named after him. She has hidden the evils of her marriage, and has built the orphanage to deplete her husband's wealth so that their son, Oswald, might not inherit anything from him. Yet, despite her noble actions, she discovers Oswald has inherited from his father just the same.
Considered one of the greatest plays written, Henrik Ibsen’s Ghosts was banned from production in his home country of Norway for several years because of its shocking depiction of the mendacity of Victorian society. Today, the work still haunts us, as an exposé of the evils of privilege, an indictment of double standards for men and women, and a reminder as to the futility of hiding the wrong committed by others in the past.