In the introduction to his 1891 book Told AFter Supper, a collection of ghostly stories set on Christmas Eve, the English writer Jerome K. Jerome wrote, “Whenever five or six English-speaking people meet round a fire on Christmas Eve, they start telling each other ghost stories.” Over two hundred and thirty years later, ghost stories are as popular as ever. Although its popularity has waxed and waned over the years, the Christmas ghost story is once again firmly established as an essential element of the Christmas festivitives. Despite the ever-growning number of new stories beeing written each year, it is the classics of the Victorian and Edwardian eras which remain firm favourites. It was to this golden age of the festive ghostly tale that I went back to when assembling my recent anthology Ghost Stories For Christmas, Volume One.
Following on from my list of my five favourite books on the Japanese supernatural, the book review website Shepherd invited me to return to make a list of my five favourite Christmas ghost books. The books which I chose were A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, The Collected Ghost Stories by M. R. James , Christmas Ghosts: An Anthology edited by By Seon Manley and Gogo Lewis, Ghosts for Christmas edited by Richard Dalby, and The Nightmare Before Christmas by Tim Burton. If you’d like to find out why they are my favourites, please visit my list on Shepherd.