Winter Ghost Stories


On a long car ride, I had the radio blaring Christmas songs. It’s the one time of year where you can really justify listening to Christmas music and not get funny looks. (Though, I admittedly enjoy Christmas songs in July and August when it’s over a hundred degrees Fahrenheit outside because it makes me think cool thoughts.) As the radio blared, I sang loudly. My cheeks were rosy with the effort of singing, and I was having a jolly old time even if I may have been off-key at times because I knew– despite the rare glimpse of other drivers– they couldn’t hear me, and therefore could not hear me make up words to songs I didn’t know!

On the radio came “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”, a 1963 song celebrating Christmas which was written by Edward Pola and George Wyle. It was performed by pop singer Andy Williams that same year. As I stopped singing to listen to the song’s lyrics, one of the lines from the song really struck me:

There’ll be scary ghost stories and tales of the glories of Christmases long, long ago.

The line made me stop and think about why we might not carry out this tradition– sung about a mere half-century ago. What caused it to fall out of favor?
Continue reading

Cemetery Series: London

While Highgate Cemetery is relatively young, as cemeteries go, it’s utter uniqueness is why I decided to add it to this cemetery series. Opened in 1839 during the reign of Queen Victoria, Highgate is actually one of seven large cemeteries – known as the “Magnficent Seven” – scattered throughout London. Highgate is so large that it is actually divided into two parts: East and West Cemetery – with a tunnel connecting the two halves so that bodies can be transported from one side to the other without leaving consecrated ground.
Continue reading