Your Weekend Reading for a (Ghostly) Holiday Season

Are you looking for some holiday-themed weekend reading?

I’ve mentioned in other posts that ghost stories were a Victorian tradition.  Why not read one or two this weekend? All are free on Amazon except The Christmas Angel, which is $1, and they’re mostly quite short. Here are some to get you started:

Book cover reading A Christmas Carol, with christmas decorationsOf course, the most well-known Christmas ghost story is Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. It’s worth reading, even if you’ve seen every film version of the story out there.

Louisa May Alcott wrote The Abbot’s Ghost, or Maurice Treherne’s Temptation: A Christmas Story.  Slightly saccharine, it’s written in the style  Jo March would have used when she penned her adventure stories.  Still, if you are devoted to Miss Alcott, this might be the story for you.

In 1910, Abbie Farwell Brown wrote a story called The Christmas Angel. It’s similar to A Christmas Carol in sentiment, and very easy to read.

Dawn Summers published a short and non-scary modern ghost story in 2011.  The Christmas Ghost is the story of a young girl who has a Christmas dream with a time-slip. But is it really a dream?

Christmas treeWhile not Christmas-related, M.R. James’ Ghost Stories of an Antiquary is a great example of the late Victorian scary story, which makes it suitable for Christmas reading. For its time, the stories are surprisingly readable.

Fear Stalks on Christmas Eve sounds sensational, but it’s actually a motherlode of Christmas ghost stories, with authors like Robert Louis Stevenson, J.M. Barrie, and Saki.


I’m only writing about Christmas stories, because I am not familiar with the holiday literature of other cultures and my research didn’t lead anywhere. If you would like to share about books that are traditional or popular with another culture’s holidays, please do so in the Comments.   Stay well as you prepare to celebrate in this strange old world.

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