Reading a ghost story on Christmas Eve was once as much a part of traditional Christmas celebrations as turkey, eggnog, and Santa Claus.
This statement, found on the back of each of the three paperbacks in the 2022 Christmas Ghost Stories set from Biblioasis, is just another reminder that I was born in the wrong era. Ghost stories on Christmas Eve? Sign me up!
This year’s bundle of Christmas creepiness features stories by Shirley Jackson, Lady Asquith, and Gertrude Atherton, each in a pocket-sized paperback designed and decorated by Seth. Seth’s illustrations, rendered in black-and-white in his signature style, are the perfect complement to each story, invoking their dark mood and atmosphere.
Jackson’s story is “A Visit,” centering around a girl named Margaret and her summer holiday visit to the estate of her friend Carla Rhodes. Carla’s brother soon shows up for a stay, and a dark shadow falls over the family, sucking Margaret into a dark season of strange occurrences and secrets.
Lady Asquith’s “The Corner Shop” is the story of seemingly innocuous purchase from a small antique store. However, as fans of scary stories know, seemingly innocuous purchases from small antique stores have a tendency to carry certain…consequences…as part of the price.
“The Dead and the Countess” by Gertrude Atherton was my personal favorite of the three. An old priest overseeing an ancient cemetery finds himself working to comfort the dead whose sleep is disturbed by the passing of a nearby train. This one fairly oozes with dread, and Seth’s renderings of gothic buildings and rows of headstones elevates the entire package.
If you’re looking to lace your Christmas cheer with a little fear, then Seth, Biblioasis, and these three authors have the perfect gift for you.