Adding a Li’l Spookiness to Christmas Eve

24 Dec

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
and James Shaw (The Windup Geek)

ghost_stories_for_xmas_600

Winter chills can mean deathly thrills for the horror entertainment enthusiast. Just what does Christmas mean for them? There’s plenty of products to choose from, and this list is going to look at what’s truly ghostly to really send shivers done one’s spine. Some history and family friendly watches are also offered.

Ghost Stories for Christmas

Originally broadcasted on BBC One between 1971-78, and revived in 2005, this program hosts a wide collection of shorts by notable authors like, to name a few, M.R. James with “Whistle and I’ll Come to You” and Charles Dickens with “The Signalman.” Although Dickens was the writer who brought the tradition of telling ghost stories back to the fore on Christmas Eve, this fascination by the public with the supernatural during this season existed long before his contribution. The tradition for enjoying a spooky tale at this festive time may trace its roots to as far back as the 16th century, with Christopher Marlowe making references to spirits in his play The Jew of Malta (1589), in Act II, Scene 1 where the character Barabas states:

Now I remember those old women’s words,
Who in my wealth would tell me winter’s tales,
And speak of spirits and ghosts that glide by night
About the place where treasure hath been hid:
And now methinks that I am one of those;
For, whilst I live, here lives my soul’s sole hope,
And, when I die, here shall my spirit walk.

Thankfully, the British Film Institute has packaged the seminal episodes of this series into a video release. Fans interested in the film version can purchase this item through Amazon or look at the original works in this M.R. James collection, “Count Magnus and Other Ghost Stories (The Complete Ghost Stories of M. R. James, Vol. 1)

christmascarol71fredA Christmas Carol

In all this story’s many variations, from an animated Disney version, Mickey’s Christmas Carol, with Scrooge McDuck playing the seminal protagonist to the Muppets with Michael Cain as the beloved Ebenezer, not everyone is going to agree who can play the best Scrooge. But let’s not forget the seminal 1971 version which offered some gentle frights with Alastair Sim providing the voice of this miscreant. Even Bill Murray makes this list in the hilarious Scrooged. This movie has a surprisingly scary moment with how the Ghost of Christmas Future looks.

But there’s no denying the original is still the best. What fans can take from Dicken’s classic is a great life lesson in how not to let joy pass you by.

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One Response to “Adding a Li’l Spookiness to Christmas Eve”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Have Yourself a Spooky Little Christmas | paranormalvictoria.com - 2014-12-24

    […] tradition from long ago, may we recommend a few ghostly tales from About.com or Ed Sum’s own list of supernatural delights to partake […]

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