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The Bottle Imp by Robert Louis Stevenson is a short story in which the main character buys a bottle with an imp inside that grants wishes. However, the bottle is cursed; if the holder dies bearing it, his or her soul is forfeit to hell.
Note: This story may be more appropriate for 10-12th grades. A story that may be more suited to middle or early high school is The Monkey’s Paw by W.W. Jacobs.
Download a copy of the story from the column on the right.
- The Devil and Tom Walker, a short story by Washington Irving, also explores the topic of selling one’s soul to the devil.
- The Devil and Daniel Webster, a short story by Stephen Vincent Benet, explores the topic of selling one’s soul to the devil, also.
- All three stories are based on the German legend of Faust, of which the best known version was written by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. You can purchase a copy of the book here.