My Favorite Ghost Story

Ghost Selfie

Ghost Selfie. Did I scare you?


It’s Halloween and we’re reading ghost stories in my house. And HEEREE’S the best one of ALL:

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.

I found this lovely illustrated copy on Amazon (and another series called “Christmas Carol” that was less suitable for children – I’ll save that for another post.)

cute little Dickens

cute little Dickens

When I bought it, I thought it would be a nice holiday read. Then I read it and I couldn’t wait to share it with the kids. (It’s condensed – short enough for bedtime.)

“This is an old ghost story, and it’s really good. It’s by Charles Dickens,” I said.

“It can’t be that good,” my daughter said, “it doesn’t have a Caldecott Medal.”

“This story’s older than the Caldecott Medal. It’s probably older than Caldecott.”

(Love when I’m right: published in 1843, 3 years before Randolph Caldecott was born!)

“These ghosts aren’t scary ghosts, though,” said my son. “Christmas ghosts aren’t as scary as Halloween ghosts.”

So, I had to sell them. We read the story. I got to the part about the sound of rattling chains in the cellar.

They were scared.

I got to the part about the dead man’s bed curtains being sold in the rag-shop. (Did you forget that part? I had, too.)

They were wigged out by Tiny Tim’s empty chair.

I got to the part about Christmas morning…

They loved it. “Okay, that was really good,” she agreed.

I asked them which part they liked best:

My daughter liked that Scrooge’s nephew made a toast to him, wherever he was, and hoped he had a merry Christmas.

Maybe she died with it, maybe it's Maybelline

Maybe she died with it, maybe it’s Maybelline

My son liked the chains rattling in the cellar. And the Ghost of Christmas Past (she’s not scary – she’s drawn like a babe.)

So, there you have it. Why would I read them a Christmas book on Halloween?

Because it’s a damn good story.

Have a happy Halloween!


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