100 books like The Valancourt Book of Victorian Christmas Ghost Stories

By Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Walter Scott,

Here are 100 books that The Valancourt Book of Victorian Christmas Ghost Stories fans have personally recommended if you like The Valancourt Book of Victorian Christmas Ghost Stories. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of A Christmas Carol

Loquacious McCarbre Author Of The Legends of Grimous Ironblood: Curious Bottle Book 1

From my list on fantasy folktale campfire stories.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a writer and performer, I’ve always loved live storytelling! Stories really come alive when performed and there’s an unexplained magic that bonds an audience with the storyteller and connects us to our collective past. Having performed countless times in plays, murder mysteries, and storytelling, the joy and excitement felt crackling in the air is like nothing else. I’ve plenty of fond memories of storytelling over the years, from terrifying ghost stories around the campfire of Camp Wing in America to the fantastical folktales of my stage play The Storyteller’s Apprentice at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. So, next time you’re sitting at a campfire, give it a go! 

Loquacious' book list on fantasy folktale campfire stories

Loquacious McCarbre Why did Loquacious love this book?

This Victorian classic sent shivers down my back when the ghost of Jacob Marley rattles his spectral chains to send a dire warning to Ebenezer Scrooge about the perils of his miserly life.

I was gripped from the first word as his tragic life is revealed by the narrator in the most effective and emotive way. I remember feeling anger as Scrooge mistreats his underpaid clerk, Bob Cratchit, dismisses his kind and generous nephew, Fred, and believes Christmas to be a “Bah!” and a “Humbug!” However, as Scrooge was shown the error of his ways by three phantoms, my anger transformed into sadness and pity.

How could someone be given so many chances at redemption and spurn them all? Happily, Scrooge learned his life lesson before it was too late.

By Charles Dickens,

Why should I read it?

13 authors picked A Christmas Carol as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 7, 8, 9, and 10.

What is this book about?

Tom Baker reads Charles Dickens' timeless seasonal story.

Charles Dickens' story of solitary miser Ebenezer Scrooge, who is taught the true meaning of Christmas by the three ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future, has become one of the timeless classics of English literature. First published in 1843, it introduces us not only to Scrooge himself, but also to the memorable characters of underpaid desk clerk Bob Cratchit and his poor family, the poorest amongst whom is the ailing and crippled Tiny Tim.

In this captivating recording, Tom Baker delivers a tour-de-force performance as he narrates the story. The listener…


Book cover of The Krampus and the Old, Dark Christmas: Roots and Rebirth of the Folkloric Devil

Kyle Sullivan Author Of Krampus Confidential

From my list on delivering holiday magic with a dark twist.

Why am I passionate about this?

Since I was a child, Halloween and Christmas have held equally hallowed positions in my heart. When I learned of Krampus folklore in my teens, I was immediately fascinated. Krampus offered the best of both worlds—a dose of Halloween creepiness to counterbalance the bright jubilation of the winter holidays. Krampus Confidential, a middle-grade mystery, and adaptation of The Maltese Falcon, is my second children’s book that aims to introduce this magnificent creature to children in a way that doesn’t inspire nightmares. My first, Goodnight Krampus, is a board book for young readers that reimagines the monster as a rambunctious toddler who gives Santa a hard time by refusing to go to sleep on Christmas Eve.

Kyle's book list on delivering holiday magic with a dark twist

Kyle Sullivan Why did Kyle love this book?

In addition to providing an engaging and well-researched introduction to Krampus (the darkest winter holiday creature of them all), The Krampus and the Old, Dark Christmas is a wonderful exploration of a wide spectrum of delightfully sinister facets of European Christmas tradition. For centuries, grim entities have emerged from the Christmastime shadows to offer a counterbalance to the lightness and joy of the holiday season. Ridenour connects Krampus to this tradition by taking the reader on a thrilling journey to an old world seething with witches, ghosts, demons, and child-eating ghouls. This book provided invaluable context and detail as I crafted the monster-filled, festive and shadowy setting of my own book.

By Al Ridenour,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Krampus and the Old, Dark Christmas as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

With the appearance of the demonic Christmas character Krampus in contemporary Hollywood movies, television shows, advertisements, and greeting cards, medieval folklore has now been revisited in American culture. Krampus-related events and parades occur both in North America and Europe, and they are an ever-growing phenomenon.

Though the Krampus figure has once again become iconic, not much can be found about its history and meaning, thus calling for a book like Al Ridenour's The Krampus: Roots and Rebirth of the Folkloric Devil. With Krampus's wild, graphic history, Feral House has hired the awarded designer Sean Tejaratchi to take on Ridenour's book…


Book cover of The Twelve Terrors of Christmas

Kyle Sullivan Author Of Krampus Confidential

From my list on delivering holiday magic with a dark twist.

Why am I passionate about this?

Since I was a child, Halloween and Christmas have held equally hallowed positions in my heart. When I learned of Krampus folklore in my teens, I was immediately fascinated. Krampus offered the best of both worlds—a dose of Halloween creepiness to counterbalance the bright jubilation of the winter holidays. Krampus Confidential, a middle-grade mystery, and adaptation of The Maltese Falcon, is my second children’s book that aims to introduce this magnificent creature to children in a way that doesn’t inspire nightmares. My first, Goodnight Krampus, is a board book for young readers that reimagines the monster as a rambunctious toddler who gives Santa a hard time by refusing to go to sleep on Christmas Eve.

Kyle's book list on delivering holiday magic with a dark twist

Kyle Sullivan Why did Kyle love this book?

No list of the delightfully dark would be complete without an appearance by the preeminent gothic illustrator, Edward Gorey. Gorey’s wry, one-of-a-kind style brings to life (and death) John Updike’s dark deconstruction of 12 Christmas traditions. Though it’s now out of print, this title is a must-have for any Edward Gorey enthusiast, and for any fan of the unlimited imaginative potential when artists look beyond the lights of the holiday season to focus on the shadows instead.

By John Updike, Edward Gorey (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Twelve Terrors of Christmas as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Edward Gorey's off-kilter depictions of Yuletide mayhem and John Updike's wryly jaundiced text examine a dozen Christmas traditions with a decidedly wheezy ho-ho-ho. This long out-of-print classic is the perfect stocking-stuffer for any bah humbug. 32 pages, smyth-sewn casebound book, with jacket.


Book cover of Christmas is Coming: The original verse for children

Kyle Sullivan Author Of Krampus Confidential

From my list on delivering holiday magic with a dark twist.

Why am I passionate about this?

Since I was a child, Halloween and Christmas have held equally hallowed positions in my heart. When I learned of Krampus folklore in my teens, I was immediately fascinated. Krampus offered the best of both worlds—a dose of Halloween creepiness to counterbalance the bright jubilation of the winter holidays. Krampus Confidential, a middle-grade mystery, and adaptation of The Maltese Falcon, is my second children’s book that aims to introduce this magnificent creature to children in a way that doesn’t inspire nightmares. My first, Goodnight Krampus, is a board book for young readers that reimagines the monster as a rambunctious toddler who gives Santa a hard time by refusing to go to sleep on Christmas Eve.

Kyle's book list on delivering holiday magic with a dark twist

Kyle Sullivan Why did Kyle love this book?

Nobody does dark holiday tradition quite like the Icelanders. From a gigantic cat that preys on children who aren’t wearing new clothes to an ugly ogre who eats naughty children, Icelandic Christmas folklore is replete with macabre creatures ready to pounce. This collection of poems by Jóhannes úr Kötlum was originally published in 1932 and features the inspiration for several characters in my own book, including Grýla, Jóla the Yule Cat, and the Yule Kids (known in Icelandic folklore as the mischievous Yule Lads).

By Jóhannes úr Kötlum,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Christmas is Coming as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Since the first publication in 1932 Christmas is Coming has been an integral part of Icelandic Christmas traditions and helped preserve age-old folklore in modern culture. A seasonal bestseller from the start, few other books have been reprinted as many times.
A children’s favorite The Yuletide-lads are thirteen mischievous and sometimes scary characters, appearing in towns and farmsteads, one
by one, the first on December 12th and the last on December 24th.
The Ballad of Grýla tells the tale of an ugly and vile female ogre that starves if the children are nice and behave, but is quick to reach…


Book cover of Collected Ghost Stories

Lauren Owen Author Of Small Angels

From my list on books to read in a haunted house.

Why am I passionate about this?

My interest in ghosts is partly due to growing up in York, which is one of the most haunted cities in the UK. In that city, I think that pretty much every pub has its own ghost, and if you’re unlucky (or lucky) enough, you stand a good chance of spotting long-dead Roman soldiers, plague victims, or ghostly dogs as you walk the streets. This atmosphere has seeped into my fiction; I have written two novels of the supernatural and am currently working on a third. I’ve also made a study of the grim and gothic in fiction; my Ph.D. thesis was largely about vampires (especially Dracula) but also strayed into other monsters and uncanny stories over the past two centuries. 

Lauren's book list on books to read in a haunted house

Lauren Owen Why did Lauren love this book?

The other recommendations on my list are titles that will help you if you want to calm yourself down, maybe even get some sleep, whilst staying in a haunted house. But maybe you want to lean into the atmosphere. If that’s the case, you need M. R. James. 

His ghosts are rarely glimpsed clearly, you get troubling hints of their appearance, or you just see the horrible things they have done to their victims, and that makes them all the more terrifying. In these stories, anything could turn on you: a doll’s house, your Latin homework, the advert you see on your daily commute. Proceed with caution.

By M.R. James,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Collected Ghost Stories as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

M.R. James is probably the finest ghost-story writer England has ever produced. These tales are not only classics of their genre, but are also superb examples of beautifully-paced understatement, convincing background and chilling terror.

As well as the preface, there is a fascinating tail-piece by M.R. James, 'Stories I Have Tried To Write', which accompanies these thirty tales. Among them are 'Casting the Runes', 'Oh, Whistle and I'll come to you, My Lad', 'The Tractate Middoth', 'The Ash Tree' and 'Canon Alberic's Scrapbook'.

'There are some authors one wishes one had never read in order to have the joy of…


Book cover of Ghost Stories of an Antiquary

Lisa Morton Author Of Haunted Tales: Classic Stories of Ghosts and the Supernatural

From my list on collections of classic ghost stories.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've always been a fan of ghost stories. As a kid, I loved horror movies and the works of Edgar Allan Poe, Bram Stoker, and H. P. Lovecraft; later on, I discovered movies like The Innocents (based on Henry James's The Turn of the Screw) and The Haunting (adapted from Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House). As a ghost historian and editor, I've discovered dozens of brilliant tales from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries; these are stories that remain relevant, entertaining, and frightening.

Lisa's book list on collections of classic ghost stories

Lisa Morton Why did Lisa love this book?

Ask any scholar of horror fiction to name the greatest ghost story writer of all time, and chances are good they'll come up with M. R. James (1862-1936). James, who is also highly regarded for his scholarly works and translations, was a provost at King's College, Cambridge who entertained students during the Christmas season with his ghost tales (honoring the old English tradition of telling ghost stories at Christmas). His classics include such justifiably famous stories as "Oh, Whistle, and I'll Come to You, My Lad" and "Casting the Runes" (which was adapted into the classic 1957 movie Curse of the Demon). This edition also includes a superb introduction by David Morrell.

By M.R. James,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Ghost Stories of an Antiquary as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Dive into this collection of exquisite, classic horror stories-just make sure to have the lights on and the doors locked!
First published in 1904, Ghost Stories of an Antiquary contains eight tales of supernatural horror by genre master M.R. James. Highly regarded as a masterwork of horror, this collection is a must-have for fans of the frightful.
The stories in this collection include: "Canon Alberic's Scrap-Book," "Lost Hearts," "The Mezzotint," "The Ash-Tree." "Number 13," "Count Magnus," "Oh, Whistle and I'll Come to You, My Lad," and "The Treasure of Abbot Thomas."


Book cover of A Visit: A Ghost Story for Christmas

Melodie Ramone Author Of Falls the Breath

From my list on bending our mind.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been fascinated with the unseen hidden inside what is seen. In my life, I’ve tried to peer into dark corners and see reflections in lightless rooms. I’m captivated by ancient ways and alternate realities, and I love it when a new idea bends my mind and makes room for possibilities. I try to illuminate the subtle shadows many don’t notice or consider through my books, and I write Speculative and Literary Fiction to offer the potential of my imagination. I feel, in many ways, it’s the greatest contribution to humanity I can make.

Melodie's book list on bending our mind

Melodie Ramone Why did Melodie love this book?

This book is a fast read, but to tell the truth, I’ve never read it once without rereading it at least three times back to back. It’s moody and rhythmic, eerie enough to make the hairs on my neck stand up, and it rings of a desperate hope I know to be doomed.

Yet, it’s so beautiful and atmospheric that I want to be in the grand house anyway, with all the charming but creepy characters stitching away so the story can go on forever.

By Shirley Jackson, Seth (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Visit as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

World-renowned cartoonist Seth returns with three new ghost stories for 2022.

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.


Book cover of The Face in the Glass: The Gothic Tales of Mary Elizabeth Braddon

Lisa Morton Author Of Haunted Tales: Classic Stories of Ghosts and the Supernatural

From my list on collections of classic ghost stories.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've always been a fan of ghost stories. As a kid, I loved horror movies and the works of Edgar Allan Poe, Bram Stoker, and H. P. Lovecraft; later on, I discovered movies like The Innocents (based on Henry James's The Turn of the Screw) and The Haunting (adapted from Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House). As a ghost historian and editor, I've discovered dozens of brilliant tales from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries; these are stories that remain relevant, entertaining, and frightening.

Lisa's book list on collections of classic ghost stories

Lisa Morton Why did Lisa love this book?

Mary Elizabeth Braddon (1835-1915) may not be known by most contemporary readers...and that's a shame because her stories often include pointed observations about human nature that remain as relevant today as they were when first published. This wonderful collection, part of the superb British Library Tales of the Weird series, begins with an eerie and tragic ghost story, "The Cold Embrace," and ends with the lengthy "Good Lady Ducayne," which is often classified as an early vampire tale. 

By Mary Elizabeth Braddon,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Face in the Glass as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A young girl whose love for her fiance continues even after her death; a sinister old lady with claw-like hands who cares little for the qualities of her companions provided they are young and full of life; and a haunted mirror that foretells of approaching death for those who gaze into its depths. These are just some of the haunting tales gathered together in this macabre collection of short stories. Reissued in the Tales of the Weird series and introduced by British Library curator Greg Buzwell, The Face in the Glass is the first selection of Mary Elizabeth Braddon's supernatural…


Book cover of The Signalman: A Ghost Story for Christmas

Ian George Author Of Don't Go Home Tonight

From my list on for the twilight period between bed and sleep.

Why am I passionate about this?

My interest in the supernatural is a consequence of early life contact with the macabre fantasy works of authors such as Edgar Allen Poe, MR James, and HP Lovecraft. Influenced by my father in my early years, these were favourites of his, though I remain unsure if he ever actually read any of their works; I don’t recall seeing any of their titles amongst the textbooks and journals weighing heavily on the well-stocked bookshelves in the study. It was through watching television productions of the author's titles, one of the rare times the family gathered with our father, that linked the author's names in my mind to their works. 

Ian's book list on for the twilight period between bed and sleep

Ian George Why did Ian love this book?

This short story reminds me of a disused railway line that my siblings and I took to be a playground when we lived in a small village in North Wales. All that remained of the route was the track ballast. The route was some two miles long and at one point cut into the hillside before entering a long dark tunnel. It was easy to imagine a steam train from bygone years appearing in the mouth of the tunnel, much as the engine that brought the doom of the signalman in Dickens’s tale. 

By Charles Dickens,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Signalman as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"This book is amazing." Halloween might seem like the spookiest time of year, but Charles Dickens felt otherwise. He was among the many authors who set their scariest stories during the dim and shivering days of--yes, Christmas. First published in 1866 for a special yuletide issue of All the Year Round, Dickens' "The Signalman" has since fallen into obscurity. An eerie story of isolation, dread, and supernatural visitation, this book is a small treasure, meant to be read aloud on a cold, dark winter night.


Book cover of The Bewitching of Aveline Jones

Griselda Heppel Author Of The Fall of a Sparrow

From my list on ghost stories.

Why am I passionate about this?

I write adventure and mystery stories for children aged 9 - 13, involving battles with mythical creatures, dangerous pacts with demons, and other supernatural chills. My first book, Ante’s Inferno, won the People’s Book Prize and a Silver Wishing Shelf Award. For The Fall of a Sparrow, I drew on my love of ghost stories, not just for their scariness but also for their emotional complexity: ghosts don’t haunt just for the sake of it. They need something only the main character can give. Friendship, perhaps, a companion in their loneliness… or something much darker. Here’s my choice of classic stories in which ghosts pursue a wide – and sometimes terrifying – variety of agendas.

Griselda's book list on ghost stories

Griselda Heppel Why did Griselda love this book?

More of a supernatural mystery than a ghost story perhaps, but since the sinister magic that besets 13-year-old Aveline arises from a witch long buried in the cold, dark side of the churchyard, this fast-paced, imaginative tale qualifies as both. Particularly striking is that you can read it as a simple, scary ghost story – or as an unnerving portrait of someone with a narcissistic personality, alternating charm, menaces, and pathos to unsettle Aveline and bring her under her spell. Brrrr. 

By Phil Hickes, Keith Robinson (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Bewitching of Aveline Jones as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

Turn on your torches and join Aveline Jones!

Aveline is thrilled when she discovers that the holiday cottage her mum has rented for the summer is beside a stone circle. Thousands of years old, the local villagers refer to the ancient structure as the Witch Stones, and Aveline cannot wait to learn more about them.

Then Aveline meets Hazel. Impossibly cool, mysterious yet friendly, Aveline soon falls under Hazel's spell. In fact, Hazel is quite unlike anyone Aveline has ever met before, but she can't work out why. Will Aveline discover the truth about Hazel, before it's too late?

Join…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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