Ghost stories always seem to have a particular resonance at Christmas. Perhaps it’s the atmospheric frost, fog and snow that almost inevitably occurs. Perhaps it’s the late-night images of telling them around the fire, or the thought that somehow there is something about Christmas, the way that people are so open with one another and more forgiving, which thins the boundaries of this world and another. The Victorian Christmas annuals became a tradition of ghost stories, with famour authors vying to have their contributions accepted – particularly in those published by the likes of Dickens. The Turn of the Screw and A Christmas Carol were too long though they’re freely availavle at project gutenberg. So, on Christmas Eve, here is a short ghost story……
The Signalman (Charles Dickens)
“Halloa! Below there!”
When he heard a voice thus calling to him, he was standing at the door of his box, with a flag in his hand, furled round its short pole. One would have thought, considering the nature of the ground, that he could not have doubted from what quarter the voice came; but instead of looking up to where I stood on the top of the steep cutting nearly over his head, he turned himself about, and looked down the Line. There was something remarkable in his manner of doing so, though I could not have said for my life what. But I know it was remarkable enough to attract my notice, even though his figure was foreshortened and shadowed, down in the deep trench, and mine was high above him, so steeped in the glow of an angry sunset, that I had shaded my eyes with my hand before I saw him at all.