Spirits of the Season: Christmas Hauntings

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Title: Spirits of the Season: Christmas Hauntings

Writer: Tanya Kirk

Publishing House: British Library

Date of Publication: August 1st 2019

Rating: 5 stars

‘’The second Mrs. Ryder was a young woman not easily frightened, but now she stood in the dusk of the passage leaning back against the wall, her hand on her heart, looking at the grey-faced window beyond which the snow was steadily falling against the lamplight.’’

The Four- Fifteen Express by Amelia B.Edwards: A young man meets a peculiar passenger on his way to East Anglia.

The Curse of the Catafalques by F. Anstey: A very willing suitor must pass a test and meet the curse of a noble family with the blessings of his beloved. But which is this curse and why does it haunt the Catafalques?

Christmas Eve on a Haunted Hulk by Frank Cowper: The story of a man spending Christmas on a wuthering island and a haunted boat. Quite original and extremely atmospheric.

The Christmas Shadrach by Frank R. Stockton: I adored this one. A tale about a scoundrel that decides to finally grow up, a young lady in love and a strange paper-weight that seems to alter the personality of its owner. Marvellous!

Number Ninety by B.M.Croker: A young man decides to defy the legends of a haunted house and prove them wrong…Well, wrong choice…

The Shadow by E.Nesbitt: An eerie story of premonitions and harbingers of death plaguing parents and children.

The Kit-Bag by Algernon Blackwood: A trial, a murder, a strange spectre, an unreliable witness…

The Story of a Disappearance and an Appearance by M.R.James: A very peculiar Punch and Judy show and cruel murder.

Boxing Night by E.F.Benson: The uncanny tale of two sisters living in a remote farm, prophetic dreams that warn of danger and strangers seeking shelter from a nightly storm on a haunting Boxing Night…

The Prescription by Marjorie Bowen: A fishpond, a low door, arsenic and a doctor who found himself at the wrong place in the wrong time.

The Snow by Hugh Walpole: In my favourite story of all, a young woman has to face her mercurial nature and the vindictive presence of her husband’s first wife. Snow becomes a silent witness in a tragic tale.

Smee by A.M. Burrage: The hide-and-seek game of a jolly company on Christmas becomes rather unsettling when an unknown guest shows up…

The Demon King by J.B.Priestley: A play turns into a sinister pantomime when those involved ‘’play’’ with fire. There is always a feeling of uneasiness when plays about the supernatural are performed. This story accurately depicts the reason why.

Lucky’s Grove by H.Russell Wakefield: A haunted grove, a cursed tree and an unfortunate family…

Fourteen beautifully haunting stories about the darker side of Christmas nights, part of a lovely collection by British Library.

‘’Nothing satisfies us on Christmas Eve but to hear each other tell authentic anecdotes about spectres. It is a genial, festive season, and we love to muse upon graves, and dead bodies and murders, and blood.’’

2 Comments

  1. Lovely time of the year for this book! Merry Christmas Amalia!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Merry Christmas, Marialyce!

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