There are very few things in Jane Eyre that are actually supernatural, but the supernatural is still a major theme in this novel. How can that be? Over and over, events that seem eerie, uncanny, Gothic, or supernatural will be explained away by rational circumstances. But here’s the kicker: those rational explanations will turn out to be far more sinister than anything otherworldly. We’d tell you more, but we don’t want to spoil it. Oh, and those few things that are actually supernatural? Well, they add an interesting layer of ambiguity to the novel at the very beginning and the very end.
Jane Eyre uses supernatural imagery, but not actual supernatural elements, in order to create a mood and tone of Gothic horror in the context of social realism.
Jane’s characterization in terms of elfin or fairy-like qualities creates a dark, eerie undertone to her usually staid and proper exterior.