Have yourself a scary little Christmas 🎄
Season’s creepings! With the holiday season in full swing, you’re probably hanging stockings and sipping on eggnog while visions of sugarplums dance through your head. But what about sharing spooky stories?
Long before present-day forms of Christmas tradition, telling supernatural stories around the fire was all the rage. Why else would Andy Williams promise that “there’ll be scary ghost stories” in his hit Christmas song “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”?
Ghost stories at Christmastime may seem out of place amongst today’s traditional holiday celebrations, but they were once a timeless Christmas ritual. Think about Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol (a must-read, BTW). Here are some other holiday horror stories that you can enjoy right now:
“Dark Christmas” by Jeanette Winterson
In this chilling Christmas ghost story from the author of Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, a woman and her friends head to a remote Victorian manor for the holidays. They had “borrowed the house from a friend none of [them] seemed to know” …because that’s not suspicious at all, right? Things quickly go from cozy to creepy when the friends discover an old nativity set in the attic…
“A Strange Christmas Game” by Charlotte Riddell
In this 1868 tale from prolific writer Charlotte Riddell, Clare and her brother John inherit Martingdale, an obviously haunted Victorian estate. Here, they witness a ghostly re-enactment of a chilling murder on Christmas Eve. This Christmassy ghost story meets murder mystery is the perfect old-timey English Christmas tale.
“The Shadow” by E. Nesbit
“The Shadow” has everything you’d want in a Christmas story — snow, good friends, partying — and a twist you’ll never see coming. After a long night of holiday festivities galore, a group of friends decide to wind down by the fire and tell some ghost stories. When the housekeeper, Miss. Eastwich, offers a ghost story of her own, it hits a little too close to home for some of the girls…
“The Kit-Bag” by Algernon Blackwood
This ghostly short story will stay with you long after you read it. The story follows Johnson, a law assistant whose boss represents a man accused of murdering a woman. Once the unpleasant trial is finished, Johnson looks forward to going on vacation and forgetting all about this trial. He asks his boss if he can borrow his “kit-bag” (aka a duffle bag). However, the bag proves to unleash unexpected terror upon Johnson…
“The Old Nurse’s Story” by Elizabeth Gaskell
This tale contains haunted organs, a gloomy mansion, and vengeful ghosts of the past. What’s eerier than that? When an elderly nursemaid tells a story from her harrowing past, a jealousy-fueled mistake reveals a haunting string of family trauma and a frosty demise… And – to make things extra creepy – it all takes place during a blizzard.
Ho, ho, the horror! Looking for more creepy Christmas tales and stories to share with friends and family? Check out 5 Creepy Christmas Urban Legends… if you dare.