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11 Christmas Ghost Stories to Read This Holiday Season

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Christmas ghost stories: Dark Christmas by Jeanette Winterson

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Winter stories were the fanciful folklore and old wives tales that made up much of the cautionary teachings and superstitions passed down from generation to generation. While enjoying a traditional Victorian Christmas in England, the narrator says:. Now I dug into the Saducismus Triumphantus a little when researching this piece, and believe me, Glanvill likes to hammer his points home ad nauseam.

As those eerie nights glided by and years progressed, society progressed along with them. And these quaint winter tales fell into the realm of scholars, folklorists and antiquarians. But one of those antiquarians carried the tradition of Christmas Eve ghost stories into the 20 th Century.


His name was M. James was a medieval scholar and provost of Kings College at Cambridge circa But far from being a musty don, James was a popular extrovert who also dabbled in ghostly fiction.

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And he would read a new story to friends and students each Christmas Eve. And this enduring legacy inspired the BBC to carry the Christmas Eve ghost story tradition into modern times. I hope your Christmas is — as M. Perhaps I may be a Luddite for saying it, but I find something strangely comforting in that. Something consoling and hushing and chilling. Perhaps you will, too.

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Do you believe in ghosts? Not monsters, not floating objects or unexplained coincidences, but an actual presence — a flicker in the corner of the eye, a shadow in a darkened hallway, a hand pressed against the window, or a figure at the end of the bed. Sometimes they are a malevolent warning, or they come seeking revenge, or as a horrible reminder of past misdeeds.

The great writers of the nineteenth and early twentieth century, from Elizabeth Gaskell to Rudyard Kipling, also produced some of the most influential ghost stories ever written, shaping the conventions of the form for generations of writers to follow. Le Fanu and Algernon Blackwood. One of them may have already killed for it. It may seem like any other home in the Wharton State Forest of New Jersey, but come Christmas each year strange happenings occur in a remote cabin at the center of this tale. From a s businessman to a family in the 70s to a present-day family looking for a holiday getaway, none seem to be able to escape the evil lurking in the woods.

Halloween might seem like the spookiest time of year, but Charles Dickens felt otherwise.

Christmas ghost stories: A history of seasonal spine-chillers | The Independent

He was among the many authors who set their scariest stories during the dim and shivering days of—yes, Christmas. An eerie story of isolation, dread, and supernatural visitation, this book is a small treasure, meant to be read aloud on a cold, dark winter night. When he finds an abandoned duck punt on Christmas Eve, a hunter rows out into the marsh and comes across a shipwreck.

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  • The tradition of Christmas Ghost Stories – C.A. Asbrey.

He climbs aboard to explore—and finds himself trapped when a surge snaps the mooring line and his punt floats away. Bestselling author and trusted storyteller Barbara Smith delves into the heartwarming but sometimes sinister stories at that time of year when people may encounter the specters of those who have passed on to the other side:.

Let me know in the comments — or share your own favorite collection of Christmas ghost stories!