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MoLI Christmas Ghost Story

The Victorians invented many of our modern Christmas traditions: decorating trees, singing carols, and sharing food with family. These practices have their roots in the pagan celebrations of Yuletide. One tradition that has, unfortunately, disappeared over time is the practice of sharing ghost stories not only at Samhain, or Halloween, but closer to the winter solstice, when the days are short and the nights are cold. 

The Christmas ghost story was commercialised by Victorian periodicals that dedicated seasonal issues to the form. Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu’s ‘Green Tea’ (1869) was published in Charles Dickens’ Christmas issue of All the Year Round, and ‘The Judge’s House’ (1891) by Bram Stoker featured in the Holly Leaves annual.

RadioMoLI revives this forgotten tradition by publishing a Christmas ghost story every year in December. We invite you to listen with friends and family or, if you’re brave enough, on your own, as you walk through the cold deserted streets of your city.


Hertford O'Donnell's Warning

MoLI Christmas Ghost Story
Surgeon Hertford O’Donnell is a rising star at Guy’s Hospital, London, known for his steady hand and unshakeable bravery. In his personal life, however, the eccentric and lonely Irishman has a less than sterling reputation. 

The Familiar

MoLI Christmas Ghost Story
In 2020, MoLI presented this recording of Sheridan Le Fanu’s story ‘The Familiar’ in the ...

The Demon Lover

MoLI Christmas Ghost Story
The 2021 Christmas Ghost Story was Elizabeth Bowen’s ‘The Demon Lover’ (1945), performed in its ...

Number Ninety

MoLI Christmas Ghost Story
Long rumoured to be haunted, Number Ninety has never found a long-term tenant.