Ghost Stories For Christmas, Part III

I love this series…

Romancing the Bee


Prior to the 19th century, the telling of ghost stories at Yuletide was largely an oral tradition. However, the Victorian Era brought industrial advances that made printing cheaper than ever before,  and the pastime of reading, once the preserve of the monied classes, boomed across all sectors of society. The Victorians were obsessed with ghosts and spiritualism, and there was a huge flowering of supernatural fiction during that era.

Periodicals, magazines, penny-dreadfuls and annuals published ghost stories throughout the year, but the form reached its peak at Christmastime.  Holiday gatherings provided the perfect audience at such a special time, plus supernatural tales appealed to both the young and the old.

Most of the famous literary names from the period produced such stories in addition to those they’re better known for – writers such as Rudyard Kipling (The Jungle Book), Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Sherlock Holmes), Elizabeth Gaskell (

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