Did you know the practice of gathering around the fire on Christmas Eve to tell ghost stories was as much a part of Christmas for the Victorian British as Santa Claus is is for many of us? Well truly, it is! And it’s no surprise that the great Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is the most famous ghost story of all (and with a Christmas theme and great morality play)!
It’s a good balance to all the festivities, the present-giving and overindulging we tend to do, to then sit back and read or watch a good old ghost story–something to blow away the cobwebs, to clear our heads a little. A good scare always works! It wakes us up and gets us focused! And what a treasure trove of ghastly tales there are! Have your pick from MR James to Henry James or something contemporary!
The tradition still exists although some say it is nearly forgotten. Well, it isn’t with me! I read The Woman in Black in one sitting! My hand shook when I turned the pages, some of the scares were just too much! Yes, I get scared too, believe me.
Wherever you live, if you are any sort of fan of horror and the supernatural, please read or watch something scary this holiday season! There are so many good tales to choose from. Some of my recommendations are:
The Woman in Black – Susan Hill
Seven Collected Stories by MR James
The Turn of the Screw – Henry James / The Innocents (film)
The Haunting of Hill House – Shirley Jackson/film: The Haunting
Ghost Story – Peter Straub (film of the same name)
Come on! Whatever your taste, go on! Get something you know will scare you, curl up with a book or watch something. Let yourself be embraced by the dark. Spook yourself out!
Okay? Good! Have a great Christmas, too! and BOO!