The Valancourt Book of Victorian Christmas Ghost Stories

20 January 2019

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Doesn’t Christmas feel a long time ago, but that isn’t true, it was less than a month ago. In the leadup I started reading this collection of Victorian Christmas ghost stories, and only finished them this week. Hence the slightly unseasonable title.

There are thirteen stories in this collection, all first published in magazines and newspapers in Victorian times. As is usual with collections of short stories some of them are better than others. For me some of these were a bit “say what now” when the ending came around, but for the most part I enjoyed the tales. In the main they did a good job of creating a slightly creepy atmosphere, although I wouldn’t say any of them were truly terrifying. Cosy horror, but that is what I was looking for.

    The stories :

  • The Tapestried Chamber • (1828) • short story by Sir Walter Scott
  • The Old Nurse’s Story • (1852) • novelette by Elizabeth Gaskell
  • Horror: A True Tale • (1861) • novelette by John Berwick Harwood
  • Bring Me a Light! • (1861) • novelette by J. M. H.
  • Old Hooker’s Ghost • (1865) • novelette by Anonymous
  • The Ghost’s Summons • (1868) • short story by Ada Buisson
  • Jack Layford’s Friend: With an Account of How He Laid the Ghost • (1869) • novelette by L. N.
  • How Peter Parley Laid a Ghost: A Story of Owl’s Abbey • (1875) • short story by Anonymous
  • A Mysterious Visitor • short story by Mrs. Henry Wood [as by Ellen Wood]
  • The Haunted Rock: A Legend of Port Guerron Cove • (1881) • short story by W. W. Fenn
  • The Lady’s Walk: A History of the Seen and Unseen • (1882) • novella by Margaret Oliphant
  • The Captain of the Pole Star • (1883) • novelette by Arthur Conan Doyle
  • The Doll’s Ghost • (1911) • short story by F. Marion Crawford

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