004 In the Spirit of Christmas

The ghost of Marley visiting Scrooge

In Ghostly’s fourth episode, Pat and Rebecca revive an old English tradition lost over the years, Christmas ghost stories. They, along with Pat’s friend Mondo, share three Christmas ghost tales guaranteed to make the listener want to curl up in front of the fire with a cup of hot chocolate while being transported to the Christmas spirit realm.

Telling these stories was tradition for many years not just around Halloween, but also around the holidays. As far back as Shakespeare, the English told ghost stories to celebrate the Christmas season (it’s not a coincidence that A Christmas Carol, a ghost story, is one of the most famous holiday stories). The American Puritans stopped this tradition, but now Ghostly is bring it back. Read this Smithsonian article to learn more about the tradition.

Mondo tells the first story, “The Highwayman of Kent.” Learn the history of highwaymen before hearing the terrifying tale of a father, his daughter, and their encounter late one Christmas Eve with a highwayman up to no good. 

View of Bramshill from George Prosser Select Illustrations of Hampshire (1834-39) Rare Books Cope quarto 91.5
View of Bramshill from George Prosser Select Illustrations of Hampshire (1834-39) Rare Books Cope quarto 91.5

Rebecca tells our second legend, set in Victorian England. “The Mistletoe Bride” is a special Christmas story of a wedding gone very, very wrong. Learn about one of the most haunted homes in Britain and about old English wedding traditions before hearing about the fate of the mistletoe bride!

Photo of the Rouse Simmons/Captain Santa  Christmas Tree Schooner by Charles Vickery. (Courtesy
Photo of the Rouse Simmons/Captain Santa  Christmas Tree Schooner by Charles Vickery. (Courtesy of the Clipper Ship Gallery, LaGrange, IL)  

In our third and final tale, Pat brings us back to Chicago and the story of “Captain Santa and the Christmas Ship.” Hear the fascinating history of Captain Herman E. Schuenemann and his Christmas tree business in downtown Chicago. Then listen to the tragic story of what happened to the captain and his ship one fateful trip on Lake Michigan. 

Also included in this episode are poll results from our previous episode on Bachelor’s Grove (check it out here if you haven’t had a chance to listen yet).

Be sure to vote on which story was your favorite! Click here to vote if you don’t see the poll: https://ghostlypodcast.com/polls/

[pinpoll id=66752]

Done listening to the episode? Please subscribe to Ghostly and give us a rating on iTunes. And be sure to find us on all social media at Ghostly Podcast. Then visit our website, www.ghostlypodcast.com, to learn more about Ghostly, and, of course, give us your opinion on our polls page. 

We want to hear from you! We would love your suggestions for stories to cover in the future. Email us both at info@ghostlypodcast.com or individually at pat@ghostlypodcast.com or rebecca@ghostlypodcast.com

Sources for this week’s episode:

“Highwayman from Kent” 



The Penguin Book of Ghosts 

“The Mistletoe Bride”

The Bridal Chest of Bramshill, or, A Ghost Tale from the Cope Collection

7 Spine-Tingling Tales of Christmas Ghosts

How a New York society girl came to inherit the ghost of an English bride

“Captain Santa and the Christmas Ship”

The Christmas Tree Ship


Armando“Mondo” Kent – Be sure to check out his wife’s awesome Halloween and Music website https://halloweenjeans.com/

Music for this episode was performed by Michael Rivers:

Intro: III. Allegro moderato from Gargoyles by Lowell Liebermann

Outro: Dream Images (Love-Death Music) by George Crumb

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