“There’ll be scary ghost stories….”
Two festive episodes in which we invoke the dark winter’s night and the roaring fire in the venerable old tradition of the Christmas ghost story.
In part one we’ve a number of ghost stories, featuring peculiar Medieval spooks of Yorkshire, toe-curlingly embarrassing attempts at emulating the crypt Keeper, Lovecraftian horrors of Victorian London and the nineteenth century’s most unflappable headmaster.
Following that we’ve got a slightly unusual (and never to be repeated because it wasn’t that popular) reading of a ghost story: E. Nesbit’s “The Shadow”.
And not featuring “A Christmas Carol”. Watch the muppets’ version – it’s far superior than anything I can come up with.
“A sad tale’s best for winter, I have one of sprites and goblins.”– William Shakespeare, “A Winter’s Tale”
More E. Nesbit?
if you liked the E. Nesbit story and want more then this audio book on youtube is a good place to start.
Lord Halifax’s ghost book
If you want a full taste of the bizarreness that is Lord Halifax’s ghost book then you can find the whole thing at archive.org: Lord Halfax’s Ghost book.
And if you just want to go straight to the vampire cat, then it’s here: Vampire cat (but slightly disappointing).
Going wildly off topic here it was from reading the Biography of Lord Halifax for this episode that I learned the term “Uranian”, a positive nineteenth century term for gay men, derived from classical Greek mythology: Uranian on wikipedia
A few festive images
Most of these stories have gone generally unillustrated in the public domain.
I’ve thrown together a collection of images more, or less, related to the tales and the general theme of Christmas ghosts to get you in the mood. There are no good images of Snowball and his utterly bizarre ghost anywhere that I can find. If anyone knows differently I’d love to see it.
Spot the one photos from Tales of Britain and Ireland HQ…
And yes, the wonderful stair climbing Octopus is supposedly from Berkley square, and is amazing.
A very merry Christmas and a happy New Year from Tales of Britain and Ireland!
- Lord Halifax’s Ghost Book
- Twelve Medieval Ghost Stories – M.R. James
- Ghosts of London – Elliot O’Donnel – Note that this is the most complete and latest account, and not the earlier newspaper stories.
- The Shadow – E.Nesbit
Musical credits for Episodes 14 & 15: Christmas Ghosts
Intro and outro theme from the incredibly talented Alice Nicholls Music
Other music, used under various Creative Commons licenses:
Tales from the asylum
Castle of Darkness
Rise of the evil
What’s behind the Door
Ben Von Wildenhaus
Maid behind the bar
Sound effects from
Swiftoid : freesound.org/people/swiftoid/sounds/117611/
Chance Media: freesound.org/people/chancemedia/sounds/360372/