Knowledgeable types know that it use to be customary for people to share ghost stories at Christmas. There are those of us who still enjoy keeping this tradition alive. But where did it come from? Like so many of our Christmas traditions, it is a carryover from pre-Christian pagan winter celebrations. Like at Halloween (then Samhain) it was believed the barriers between the physical world and the world of the spirits became thinner during the days around the solstice, and it’s only natural, if you believe that ghosts are around, that you’d talk about them. Ergo, the tradition of ghost stories for Christmas!
There are some groovy ones, for sure. The most obvious and popular is Charles Dickins’ A CHRISTMAS CAROL. The best ones, though, to my mind, are the true ones. (Sure, put “true” in parenthesis if you wish, as some of them are more legendary than historically verified. The sheer number of such allegedly factual hauntings is testament to the formerly (and still, though less obvious) connection between this time of year and cases of paranormal activity. You may be reading this after December 25th, and if you’re one of those people who trip and fall over themselves to get their tree down and pack away the holiday until next year, well, sorry. I belong to a liturgical tradition and for me, there are twelve days of Christmas celebration (this also a carryover from pagan festivities), so I’m gonna still be talking about it in some of our sampling of articles for this week, sharing some of the best tales of holiday hauntings I could find. (Note: It’s better to read them late at night, with most of your lights off.)