For many Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year . . . I do like the song and have always been a bit puzzled about the line: “There’ll be scary ghost stories and tales of the glories of Christmases long, long ago.” I like a good ghost story — but at Christmas . . . It seems fitting the season is in the dead of winter. So why not?

Let’s Look At The Origins Of The Christmas Season

Orginally, it had to do with the pagan Winter Solstice celebrations and Yule Festivals that predated both Jesus and Christianity. It’s believed that the Christian Church although in conflict with pagan beliefs embraced their celebratory season hoping Christianity would reach more people.

The pagan tradition of telling ghost stories in winter has continued for some. It is believed that during the Winter Solstice the dead can easily cross over into the living world — thus the concept of the “darkening of days.” Such beliefs can be traced in many writings of the late 1500’s. 

It was during the Victorian Era when telling Christmas Ghost Stories hit the mainstream. It was due to the writings of Charles Dickens and his “A Christmas Carol”, first published in 1843 which kicked off the an annual tradition of releasing ghost stories at Christmas. 

This tradition of telling ghost stories on Christmas Eve faded after the turn of the 20th century in American. The tradition failed to stay in place and was forgotten and left to Halloween and summer camp outs. America may no longer tell ghost stories on Christmas Eve, but many still do in Europe. However, you can inject some ghostly tales in your Christmas festivities. Embrase the traditions of our ancestors and of the Christmases of old. 

Way Back Then Many People Would Walk Or Ride Horseback To Get To Their Friends Or Families

So, it seems very likely that many of the scary tales they had to tell involved their journey that very night. With each taking turns trying to better each previous tale . . . I would have loved to have been there.

Although it’s not Christmas Eve, it may be fun to tell a good old Christmas ghost story to get a feel for the tradition. I’m sure I can scare up something . . .

The Tractate Middoth by M R James — A Ghost Story For Christmas fit the bill quite nicely. I hope you did enjoy it. Something to remember to tell on Christmas Eve.

Thanks for stopping by!