Three new Christmas Ghost Stories for 2022!
Reading a ghost story on Christmas Eve was once as much a part of traditional Christmas celebrations as turkey, eggnog, and Santa Claus. Biblioasis is thrilled to offer this series of beautifully illustrated, collectible books that share these classic Christmas ghost stories with readers across North America.
Seth, our world-famous and beloved cartoonist designs and illustrates each book in his own inimitable way. Trimmed to fit the coziest stocking, they’re perfect gifts for those who want a bit of extra Christmas chill.
Past books include Charles Dickens’ The Signalman, A.M. Burrage’s One Who Saw, Marjorie Bowen’s The Crown Derby Plate, Edith Wharton’s Afterward, M.R. James’s The Diary of Mr. Poynter, E. F. Benson’s How Fear Departed the Long Gallery, W. W. Jacobs’ The Toll House, Algernon Blackwood’s The Empty House, H.R. Wakefield’s The Red Lodge, Walter de la Mare’s The Green Room, Frank Cowper’s Christmas Eve on a Haunted Hulk, Daphne du Maurier’s The Apple Tree, R.M Malden’s The Sundial, and Elizabeth Gaskell’s The Old Nurse’s Story
The Corner Shop: A Ghost Story for Christmas (Seth’s Christmas Ghost Stories)
Peter Wood enters a charming antiques shop owned by two young women one stormy evening. But after he returns a second time to a strange old man and a far gloomier atmosphere, and leaves with an unusual jade frog, Peter soon discovers that his purchase was worth more than he paid.
Lady Cynthia Asquith (1887-1960) was an English writer known for her ghost stories and diaries. She was an English writer and socialite, known for her ghost stories and diaries. She also wrote novels, edited a number of anthologies, wrote for children and covered the British Royal family.
In 1957, Lady Cynthia Asquith appeared as a contestant in the ITV Quiz show 64,000 Question (hosted by Jerry Desmonde) where she won the top prize of £3,200 by answering questions about the works of Jane Austen.
The Dead and the Countess: A Ghost Story for Christmas (Seth’s Christmas Ghost Stories)
The dead sleep peacefully—until a railway is built near their cemetery. While the old priest works to keep them at rest, the count’s dying wife begs to be buried near the railway. But when her last wish is granted, the priest finds that the sound of the train leaves the countess far from at peace.
Gertrude Atherton (1857-1948) was an American novelist and short story writer. Many of her novels are set in her home state of California. Her bestseller Black Oxen (1923) was made into a silent movie of the same name. In addition to novels, she wrote short stories, essays, and articles for magazines and newspapers on such issues as feminism, politics, and war.
In 1919, Gertrude Atherton wrote an article for The New York Times, (entitled “Time as a cure for Bolshevism“) which condemned both the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic and the Americans who sympathized with it.
A Visit: A Ghost Story for Christmas (Seth’s Christmas Ghost Stories)
Margaret visits the lavish home of her friend Carla Rhodes for the summer holidays. But when Carla’s brother arrives with a mysterious friend, strange occurrences cause tensions to rise within the group, and secrets hidden within the house begin to emerge.
Shirley Jackson (1916-1965) is an American writer known primarily for her works of horror and mystery. Over the duration of her writing career, which spanned over two decades, she composed six novels, two memoirs, and more than 200 short stories.
In 2018, Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House was produced by Netflix as a ten-episode horror series based on the novel of the same name
Seth is the cartoonist behind the comic-book series Palookaville, which started in the stone age as a pamphlet and is now a semi-annual hardcover. His comics have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Best American Comics, and McSweeney’s Quarterly. His illustrations have appeared in numerous publications including the cover of the New Yorker, The Walrus, and Canadian Notes & Queries. He is the subject of a recent documentary from the National Film Board of Canada, Seth’s Dominion. Seth lives in Guelph, Ontario, with his wife Tania and their two cats in an old house he has named “Inkwell’s End.”
I like ghost stories. The literary kind. The well-written kind. I don’t much care for “real” ghost stories. They are generally dull and predictable and usually not all that well written either.
That said, like almost everyone in the world I have my own “real” ghost story. Let me start this off with the usual disclaimer. I don’t believe in ghosts. Or, maybe, I don’t believe in ghosts. I don’t think there is much basis for believing in the supernatural. I could be wrong but I suppose my bets are usually placed on dull reality rather than the more interesting realms of the mystic.
My ghost experience occurred about a decade ago when I was visiting a small Vermont town named White River Junction. I was there to give a lecture at my friend James Sturm’s cartooning school, The Centre for Cartoon Studies. White River Junction is a charming little town with a lingering grey-brown atmosphere of industrial mid-20th century America about it. As the name implies it was once an important railroad hub. Today it is an artsy conglomerate of trendy stores, coffee shops and tapas bars. Right downtown sits the imposing Hotel Coolidge—a giant hulk of an ancient railway hotel. Still in business and the place where the cartoon school always houses it, guests. I’d stayed there once before and liked the place. Its dreary maze of endless dark hallways appealed to my old-time sensibilities. I don’t want to overstate it but there is something of the Overlook Hotel about the place. I was booked in for two nights.
On the first night, I stayed up reading until rather late. Around 2 AM. Tired, I turned out the light and in the few moments before sleep I heard, very close by, the distinct sound of a human sigh. Just once. I thought it a bit odd but nothing to take notice of. I suspected it came from the next room. The walls were probably thin. I didn’t remember then that there was no one else in any of the rooms down my end of the dark hallway. In fact, I wouldn’t even recall this event if it wasn’t for what happened the next night.
The next night. This is the event I will never forget. Same routine. Up late reading. Finally turning in around 2 or so. I click out the light. It’s a very dark room. Pitch. I should mention I’m in a big bed. I’m scrunched over on one side—the left side. As I prepare my mind for sleep something bizarre happens. I’m not even quite sure how to say this—but here goes—suddenly from nowhere a tremendous weight drops onto the right side of the bed. As if a human body had just fallen from several feet above directly onto the bed. Not like someone had jumped, from the side, onto the bed—no, somehow I knew that the figure had come from DIRECTLY above.
Now, I suppose you’d imagine that in such an instance you’d instantly turn, open your eyes and check to see what was going on. Or, at the very least, leap up off the bed. Either would make sense.
That’s not what I did. Instead, I was seized by an overwhelming terror. I did not move. I did not open my eyes. I stayed there, facing the ceiling, utterly frozen for what seemed a very long series of minutes. I was convinced that someone was lying next to me but I was far too afraid to move or open my eyes to see just who it might be.
Finally, excruciatingly, I forced myself to turn my head toward the night table, open my eyes, and click on the light. I remember the tingle of dread upon me as I swiveled my head around to face the right side of the bed. The completely empty right side of the bed. There was nothing there. Of course, there was nothing there. Nor was there anyone in the room. Nor was there any evidence of anything out of the norm.
I stayed up a while with the light on anyway.
I don’t think I told my friend James about this experience the next day. I don’t think I told anyone about it for a long time. It didn’t convince me of the supernatural. Who can say what that event was all about? I will insist that it was not a dream but perhaps it was something else explainable. Night Terrors? I don’t know. All I know is that I was very frightened. And whatever happened there, it was very real.