Christmas, ’Tis the Season for Scary Stories

The Spectral Tales We Tell Respond to Our Deepest Desires—Especially on a Long, Dark Winter’s Night

Popularized by Charles Dickens in his 1843 A Christmas Carol, as well as in the yuletide editions of his literary magazine, All the Year Round, ghost stories were regular Christmas fare for the Victorians. “Nothing satisfies us on Christmas Eve but to hear each other tell authentic anecdotes about specters,” writes Jerome K. Jerome in the introduction to Told After Supper, his 1891 anthology of Christmas ghost stories.

In our contemporary moment, Halloween has supplanted Christmas in the popular imagination as the time of year best suited for tales of terror. …

Where I Go: Hunting Queer Ghosts in Chicago | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Where I Go: Hunting Queer Ghosts in Chicago

Why Being Gay and Being Haunted Go Together in Fundamental Ways

We think the ghosts will come to us as we sit in Kaitlyn’s car, once our car, on top of the man-made hill that houses the only mausoleum in Woodlawn …

Why Ghosts Gave Comfort to the Ancient Greeks | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Why Ghosts Gave Comfort to the Ancient Greeks

Classical Playwrights Used Spirits to Deliver Wisdom and Counsel—Some of It Still Relevant Today

The pandemic struck at a time when people’s confidence in their government was already shaky. Many decried the lack of attention being paid to information about public health and safety, …

The Ghosts of Mexico in Merced

My Grandfather's Disappearance Inspired My Film About the Dark Side of Immigration

I live in a forgotten region. Most Californians, if they know the Central Valley exists, forget it when they think of the state as a whole. Those that have been …

Why the Winchester Rifle Heiress Built Herself a Haunted Mansion

Ghosts and Guilt Compelled the Wealthy Widow to Build San Jose’s Winchester Mystery House

Once the United States’ largest private residence and the most expensive to build, today you could almost miss it. The Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California, sits between the …

I Choose Not to Believe in Ghosts

There Are Enough Things in the World to Haunt Me

Last December, a woman I was dating told me she believed in ghosts. We were chatting at a holiday party with two other guests, one of whom manages communications at …