The Ghosts of Christmases Past

We’re all familiar with the Dickens classic A Christmas Carol.  What you may not know, however, is that the story is part of a long tradition of ghost stories told at Christmas.  We’ve lost that tradition in present day America, but I propose we bring it back.  Our horror stories about the holidays tend to center on this tacky sweater, that drunken office party, the shrieking insanity of our dysfunctional families and the crushing disappointment of socks when you expected Samsung.  But that’s falling into the same problem as focusing on the commercial aspect of the holiday season: it is materialistic.  Christmas is about the transcendent; the spirit world touching the physical world, and that is an awesome and, yes, scary thing (it’s not for nothing that the angel’s first words to the shepherds was “Be not afraid!”)  Telling ghost stories is the perfect way to celebrate!

For some awesome ghost stories, check out this post from the Paris Review.

Merry Christmas!

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