Valancourt Christmas Ghost Story #3

Horror: A True Story – attributed to John Berwick Harwood

One tale led to another. Every one was called on in turn to contribute to the public entertainment, and story after story, always relating to demonology and witchcraft, succeeded. It was Christmas, the season for such tales…

Horror: A True Story

What a chilling evening this would have been. Yet for the heroine of our story, what follows the storytelling will be so much worse.

Rosa will soon be retiring to a room very far from the rest of the family and guests, to make room for the unexpected arrival of her godmother. That godmother and Rosa’s sister will each offer a bed in their own bedchamber, knowing how frightening that remote room must seem, but foolish pride will prevent the young woman from accepting the offer.

She will be lucky to reach morning alive, but she will leave that room so much changed that her fate, once so promising, is dismal. This isn’t really a ghost story, but the events of the night were so horrifying that a ghost may as well have been involved.

This story is in the public domain; if you don’t have access to and don’t want to buy the Valancourt book, you can read it free on Project Gutenberg’s website. It is one of the stories in The Lock and Key Library: The most interesting stories of all nations: American but its title is Horror: A True Tale as listed in the Gutenberg collection.

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