10 Classic Victorian Ghost Stories Everyone Should Read

The best ghost stories from the Victorian era to read for Halloween or Christmas – selected by Dr Oliver Tearle

As the nights are drawing in, how about a ghost story? The Victorians loved a ghost story, and many of the most celebrated writers of Victorian novels had a go at this ghoulish genre, from Elizabeth Gaskell to Charles Dickens to Robert Louis Stevenson. Here are ten of our favourites. If you like the sound of these suggestions, more blood-curdling reading matter can be found in our pick of Edgar Allan Poe’s best stories.

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The Advent Calendar of Literature: Day 17

Over the last few days, we’ve discussed Dickens’s A Christmas Carol and the various interesting facts that we’ve unearthed surrounding its composition, publication, and legacy. It is, of course, one of the most enduring stories of the Victorian age – perhaps of all time. But A Christmas Carol wasn’t the first Christmas story Dickens wrote. It … Read more

The Advent Calendar of Literature: Day 16

Yesterday we revealed why A Christmas Carol, despite being a huge success immediately after it was published in December 1843, didn’t make Dickens much money. Today, we’re looking at some of the surprising legacies and adaptations of this classic book. For instance, take the world of gastropods. There is a species of Fijian snail called Ba humbugi, … Read more

The Advent Calendar of Literature: Day 15

Yesterday’s Christmas fact concerned the original draft of A Christmas Carol, Dickens’s most popular Christmas book. Today’s piece of Christmas literary trivia concerns the impact of this novella – and why its enormous success still left its author in financial trouble. Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol in six weeks during October and November 1843, and it appeared just … Read more

The Advent Calendar of Literature: Day 14

Yesterday’s festive fact concerned ‘A Christmas Carol’, but not the Christmas Carol. Today we’re moving on to Dickens’s enduring story of redemption and goodwill – the modern book that, more than any other, helped to instil us with a sense of the true spirit of Christmas (which is, of course, getting the biggest turkey you can … Read more