Christmas Ghost Stories

There’ll be scary ghost stories
And tales of the glories of
Christmases long, long ago”
It`s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year: Andy Williams

   Whatever happened to the ‘traditional’ Christmas ghost stories anyway? Sure there is A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, but what else is there? Like the fairy tales, made popular by the Brothers Grimm and Aesop, these supposed children’s stories all had a grim undertone, a warning of sorts. Now what do we have? My Little Pony Christmas? Have we been reduced to this?

   I know, it’s tricky ground to tread, but given that my head has been firmly entrenched in Victorian Era and influenced by the likes of Poe, Dickens and Shelley, it’s a good fit. Historical ghosts literally haunt my waking moments and skew my perspective. I can’t listen to music anymore without hearing it dressed in the accoutrements of my stories. Witchy Woman by the Eagles becomes a song about werewolves, Herman’s Hermits become a parlour group popular in the early 1800’s.

   So when Good King Wenceslas came on the radio as we drove through the snow-globe of weather on the way to a funeral and then onward to a book launch for Dorothea Helms (the instrument of my first steps towards being a writer) last night,  this is the conversation subject Sue and I explored. Suddenly the carol expanded in my head into a story and I walked the fields of snow with the Good King and his page while silence descended in our truck.

   “You’re writing again, aren’t you?” Sue asked and I was back at the wheel, the song on the radio had moved on to Bruce Springsteen mangling some other poor carol. (I like him and all, but please Bruce, no more Christmas music. If I have to hear you talk about Clarence getting a saxophone from ‘Santy Claus’ I’m gonna lose the Christmas Spirit altogether.)

     So here I sit, keyboard happily clicking away again, a world of snow, mountains and dark forests filling the page, the Harry Simeone Chorale carolling in the background. Maybe it won’t be the next Christmas classic, but it feels… right.

   Stay tuned…

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About Dale Long

Writing ambushed me from the shadows. At first I pushed it aside as nonsense, but luckily my wife and two girls saw the potential. Since then I have had an article published by Metroland, placed as runner-up and in the top ten in humour writing contests and various other contests. The icing on the cake was placing as runner-up in the WCDR's Wicked Words contest (130 entries) and having my entry published in the contests anthology of the same name. My entry was an exerpt from my upcoming novel, Echoes.
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8 Responses to Christmas Ghost Stories

  1. Pete says:

    You know what you have a point
    I remember the X Files had a cool ghost story during season 6 called “How the Ghosts Stole Christmas” but it was more light hearted than a full blown horror. And then of course Dr Who does the christmas special but, with the exception of this years (what promises to be an interesting take on Dicken’s classic) they’ve mostly been cheesy little affairs involving invading alien races or even a replaying of the Titanic disaster, only now in space.
    As for movies, i think we’ve grown accustomed to the same old classics. The only christmas themed movies are usually poor attempts at comedies.
    Although now you’ve drawn attention to the fact, i think i just might write a little story myself. Its about time i wrote another short.

    • Dale Long says:

      HAHA! Go for it!
      I’m not a fan of the Black Christmas style gorefests, but an old-fashioned, honest-to-goodness ghost story with a moral, now that’s what I’m talking about. A Grimms fairy tales type Christmas story, something Dickens would approve of.

      • Pete says:

        Yeah of course, i’m definitely more a fan of those sort of tales anyway.
        I’ve actually got a vague idea in my head for a story, but i haven’t properly mulled it over yet. I’ll let it cook a bit more 🙂

  2. Lisa Llamrei says:

    Ahhhh….. ghosts in chains, old men frightened from their beds, blood-curdling phantoms. That’s what Christmas is all about. May the gods save us from My Little Pony Christmas specials.

    Let me know when it’s done.

    • Dale Long says:

      Unfortunately, there is not the same fright factor that you’ve come to expect from me, but it is a ghost story nonetheless. I’m tired of the blase childrens drivel they pump out nowadays. Whatever happened to tales like The Selfish Giant and the Happy Prince both by Oscar Wilde and both Canadian animation. Or even the Reader’s Digest, Richard Chamberlan narrated Little Mermaid?
      Oh, and it’s done. 😉

      • Lisa Llamrei says:

        I LOVE the Richard Chamberlain version of ‘The Little Mermaid’! Why don’t they show that on tv anymore?? And there was the one about the swallow who loved the statue and eventually froze to death because he wouldn’t fly south for the winter and leave the statue – he kept peeling off the statue’s gold leaf and giving it to the needy – was that ‘The Happy Prince?’ I guess we aren’t supposed to let children know that things die anymore.

        Will you be posting the story on your blog?

      • Dale Long says:

        Yep. Sunday I will post it once I’m happy with the way it looks and sounds. I like it right now, but it could probably use some tweaking.

  3. Pingback: Draggin’ ass. | Inkstroke's Blog

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