The Haunted Man and the Ghost’s Bargain
A Fancy for Christmas-Time
by Charles Dickens • Feedbooks
The Victorians had odd ideas about Christmas; for them, it was a sort of Halloween without the kids/costumes/candy, and with the trees/wreaths/holiday trappings. Spirits abound in the older Christmas stories, which we recall in Dickens’ more famous work, A Christmas Carol (also available over Feedbooks).
What many don’t know is that Dickens wrote other Christmas novels—The Haunted Man and the Ghost’s Bargain being a Christmas novella. The story involves a ghost that haunts Professor Redlow, a chemistry teacher who wallows in the troubles and tribulations of his past and, like Scrooge, though for different reasons, just can’t get the holiday cheer up.
Lesson for the wise: be merry over the holidays, lest ye be haunted by apparitions with Freudian analysis intentions.
You can also check out these other lesser-known Dickens Christmas fantasy novellas, both for young adults:
The Cricket on the Hearth
A cricket watches over two families and a mysterious lodger. No ghosts are involved, only sentient crickets. ((Okay, it might be a ghost.))
A poor misanthropist worker is shown through nightmare visions bestowed by Goblins ((Spirits. Dickens treats them as ghosts.)) that anybody can become evil through the wrong circumstances, so cheer the hell up.
What did I tell you?
So be of good cheer!