I love a good ghost story. The UK has such profound and dark historical roots that tales of the paranormal are everywhere. From the headless horseman that rides out on Halloween, to the White Lady that appears whenever disaster is near, their stories are spine chilling and engrossing. You might be forgiven for thinking that Halloween is the best time for such supernatural frights, but in the UK there is a strong tradition of telling ghost stories at Christmas.
Author, M R James would write a different story every year to be read out at his Christmas Eve party. In my imagination, it was between eggnog and charades (but I’m only guessing!) and of course, let’s not forget the classic Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol that boasted four ghosts all going above and beyond to teach Scrooge a valuable lesson.
So, why don’t you indulge a little ghostly Christmas chills and either read or watch something a little less festive, but with a bit more spirit:
Read a little of Susan Hill. This author has scared me silly in the past. Her story The Little Hand still makes me shudder!
Joe Hill’s (wait, I’m sensing a pattern…) Heart Shaped Box is another tale that will have you blowing out the atmospheric candles and running for the light switch.
Graham Masterton’s collection of stories, Figures of Fear will make you lock all the doors and not open them to a single carol singer.
Watch the new Annabelle Creation movie. Dolls are pretty scary on their own but are so much worse when they’re inhabited by a demon.
My personal favourite, The League of Gentleman’s Christmas Special, aired in 2000, many stories all dripping in dark humour and a dash of festive frights.
So, forget the turkey and the presents, curl up on the couch and get yourself a dash ghostly goodness to see you through the Christmas period.
But, I will leave you with my favourite (clean) Christmas joke:
How did Scrooge win the football game?
The ghost of Christmas passed.
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good write!