Do you ever find yourself wondering what’s happening to time? I sometimes swear it’s in a state of constant acceleration, hurtling towards the abyss at breakneck speeds and dragging us with it. It seems like just yesterday that I was tearing all the Christmas decorations down, and now they’re all back up again.
Frightening intimations of impending mortality notwithstanding, I do love Christmas. The decorations, the presents, the gargantuan amounts of food we somehow manage to put away during the month of December… and the Christmas ghost story, of course, that well-known festive tradition. There’s something about the contrast between the Christmas atmosphere and the creepiness of a good ghost story that helps make Yuletide what it is.
There are so many to choose from, too! There’s the granddaddy of all festive ghost stories, A Christmas Carol; the creepy tales of M.R. James and E.F. Benson; Henry James’ masterful The Turn of the Screw. These are the classics, the ones that spring immediately to mind.
At the other end of the scale is my seasonal ghost story, It Came Upon a Midnight Clear. If this one tops no other charts, it is at least quite possibly the most obscure ghostly Christmas tale currently in existence, partly because I only finished it recently and partly because it’s not for sale anywhere and only a handful of people have ever read it. Still, this being the season to be jolly and all that, you can download it for free in a format of your choice here, if you want.
A young man takes refuge in a lonely old house over Christmas, hoping to catch up with his studies. As the hours and days pass, however, he begins to suspect that he might not be alone after all. Is something else in the house with him, or is he afflicted only by worry and illness?
I wish you and your loved ones a merry Christmas and a very happy New Year!