One thing I’ve found very interesting talking to people about the holiday season is the difference in traditions according to where you’re from, even when you’re celebrating the same thing.
Now, it’s got to be said that I don’t really ‘do’ Christmas – I don’t have any particular faith and have already partied with the winter solstice yesterday but there are some things about the holiday that I do like – and they’re not all food either…
One festive tradition I love is of course the Christmas ghost story (traditionally told on Christmas Eve in the UK these days) and alongside Algernon Blackwood and M. R. James, we have an astounding number of talented modern writers offering up seasonal shivers for our fireside reading. So grab a glass of something warming, get comfy and join me in a trip round some of the best sites to keep you up at night.
First up is Short Scary Stories on Reddit. If you’re up to your ears in relatives this offers a quick fix and some giggles as well to help retain the last shreds of your sanity. I especially enjoyed ‘I Don’t Own a Cat’ by thecuriousdeadcat which begins
‘There is a thing upon the floor,
between me and the door.
It sits there silently, unmoving,
in desperate need of removing.’
When you hit the will-drink-anything-even-the-dodgy-homebrew stage of proceedings you can pass some of the screaming off as a consequence of reading Short’n’Scary Stories. Give ‘I Awoke’ by Robert Whitefield a go. A classic tale but with a nice little kick.
If you like your chills to come with the worrying thought that they are not entirely a work of fiction, check out Ghost Village. As well as a regular podcast in which Jeff Bellanger and Ray Auger travel to sites steeped in legend in search of ghostly goings on, it has a community section where readers can submit their own encounters. There’s also a interview/review section and news so if you’ve locked the bathroom door properly behind you, you could happily escape everyone for quite some time.
…and finally, whatever you are doing, or not, I wish you all the luck and hope the next week treats you well. Cheers !
Karen is a full time artist living in Whitby (perfect location for a horror fan). Her own monsters have taken over to the point where they actually have their own closet space and so she takes refuge in books and films, some of which she’d like to share with you.