There is an eerie feeling to this time of year. An uneasy energy in the air. It’s something I’ve felt since the days when I still believed in Father Christmas. I lived for that feeling, for that energy. When I could feel it start to gather in the last days of November, a change would come about me, a change that’s hard to describe, though it’s something I still feel every winter time.
Telling ghost stories during the beautifully bleak and cold days (and nights) of winter is a hallowed tradition stretching back centuries. The bitter, chill breath of death always felt that little bit closer in times of old, creating conditions that were perfect for imaginations to run amok what what might be waiting beyond the grave.
The English writer and humourist Jerome K Jerome had it right back in the 1890’s when he said: “Whenever five or six English-speaking people meet round a fire on Christmas Eve, they start telling each other ghost stories…Nothing satisfies us on Christmas Eve but to hear each other tell authentic anecdotes about spectres. It is a genial, festive season and we love to muse upon graves and dead bodies and murders and blood.”
Oh, if only it were still true! It would make my year to learn of folk who still do share ghost stories during the darkest time of the year.