The Valancourt Book of Victorian Christmas Ghost Stories: Volume Four

Type: Books

The Valancourt Book of

​Victorian Christmas Ghost Stories

Volume Four

Edited by Christopher Philippo

Book Description

Victorian-era Christmas ghost stories are associated primarily with Charles Dickens and other British writers, but for this new volume, editor Christopher Philippo has discovered that the tradition of telling and publishing ghostly tales at Christmas flourished in the New World as well. These tales are set in places that are familiar and yet foreign to us—Gold Rush-era San Francisco, old New Orleans, the barren and frozen plains of Iowa and the Dakotas, the early days of the Puerto Rican commonwealth. Like their British cousins, these stories make perfect winter reading by candlelight or the fireside. This selection includes more than a dozen rare tales, most never before reprinted, along with a number of macabre Christmas-themed poems, and features a number of contributions by women and African-American authors.


“He turned and beheld a low black figure, with a body no higher than his knees, with a prodigious head, in the brow of which was set a single eye of green flame like a shining emerald, and with hands and arms of supernatural length.”--Joseph Holt Ingraham, “The Green Huntsman; or, The Haunted Villa: A Christmas Legend of Louisiana”


“There was a crash of the outer door​—then a staggering and uncertain step in the outer room. It approached the sick-room​—the latch lifted​, the door swung open​—and then​—my God! what a spectacle! Through the open door there stepped a figure​, not of Mrs. Hayden, not of her corpse, not of death, but a thousand times more horrible​, a thing of corruption, decay, of worms and rottenness.”--Anonymous, “Worse than a Ghost Story”




The Green Huntsman (1841) •  Joseph Holt Ingraham

Burt Pringle and the “Bellesnickle” (1853) •  Bill Bramble

Worse Than a Ghost Story  (1857) •  Anonymous

The Christmas Ghost  (1857) •  Lucy A. Randall

The Frozen Husband  (1869)  •  Frank Ibberson Jervis

A Sworn Statement (1881) •  Emma Frances Dawson

The Snow Flower of the Sierras (1884) •  Anonymous

The Devil’s Christmas  (1885) •  Julian Hawthorne

Harlakenden’s Christmas (1887) •  Thomas Wentworth Higginson

The Ghostly Christmas Gift (1887)  •  F. H. Brunell

The Blizzard (1888) •  Luke Sharp

Warned by the Wire (1895) •  Louis Glass

Poor Jack (1892) •  H. C. Dodge

Christmas Wolves (1897) •  Pierre-Barthélemy Gheusi

The Werwolves (1898) •  Henry Beaugrand

The Haunted Oak (1900) •  Paul Laurence Dunbar

The Anarchist’s Christmas (1901) •  Anonymous

Camel Bells (1903) •  Hezekiah Butterworth

The Ravings  (1903) •  Anonymous

Out of the Depths  (1904) •  Robert W. Chambers

Old Nick and Saint Nick (1906) •  Wallace Irwin

The Cremation of Sam McGee (1907) •  Robert W. Service

Xmas (1908) •  Amorel Sterne

A Cubist Christmas (1913) •  Kate Masterson

Desuetude: A Ghost Story (1914)  •  Anonymous

The Christmas Ghost (1915) •  Anna Alice Chapin

Merry Christmas  (1917)  •  Stephen Leacock