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Resurrect Ghostly Traditions This Christmas

Updated: Dec 26, 2019

Interested in 12 days of ghost stories? Today, Christmas time is known for its bright holiday lights, happy caroling, and the gathering of friends and loved ones. But what about ghostly apparitions lurking in the darkness? A very real Victorian Christmas tradition, once lost, is the sharing of ghost stories. This spooky tradition is being resurrected by Odd Tonic, one of the best eccentric podcasts to premiere in 2019. 

Jennifer Page & Maxwell Holechek of Odd Tonic

On Christmas Day, Odd Tonic will inaugurate a new era of the Christmas ghost story by kicking off Day 1 of 12, back-to-back days of frightfully festive tales, with a new ghost story dropping every day until January 6th!

And as an added holiday bonus, Odd Tonic is offering “Parlour Stories,” a curated collection of true, listener-submitted stories of ghosts and strange phenomena. Jennifer and Maxwell present each episode with dramatic flare, family-safe language, and music to set a spooky yuletide mood. 

“Newspapers and magazines used to take up the ghostly cause to print tales for reading on these darkest nights,” says Odd Tonic co-creator Max Holechek. “We lost something once that practice ended. But Odd Tonic wants to bring it back with our own modern spin and devices.” 

Long ago, ancient peoples gathered around the fires during the winter months, not just for entertainment and merriment, but because dangers lurked in the frigid darkness. They believed during the longest nights of the year, spirits would once again walk among the living. The stories told on Yule would include cautionary tales of reanimated corpses, bloodthirsty fairies, and the ritualistic remembrances designed to ask departed loved ones to protect their living kin. 

Christmas ghost story traditions continued on to the days of Charles Dickens. When Christmas Eve was a time more dedicated to exchanging tales than gifts, and a warm hearth was still the perfect place to gather on a freezing night. At a time before televisions, entertainment came in the form of gathering with friends and family, each taking a turn at spinning a yarn of spooky spirits, earthly regrets, and lessons learned ...or just plain fright. 

Photos by Marc Studer

“It’s time to reclaim our wintry spooky,” Jennifer Page of the Odd Tonic podcast explains. “I don’t think it’s a stretch to say a lot of people don’t buy into the sense of forced holiday cheer. Maybe we’re missing a deeper, more complicated layer of what this season really is. We are complex creatures. Material gifts aren’t the same as bonding with others over a good drink and a great story.”

Want to reclaim the ghost story tradition yourself? Make sure to subscribe to Odd Tonic on Apple Podcasts or any of your other favorite podcast apps to listen to 12 full days of Christmas ghost stories. Want more? Also play a ‘Parlour Stories’ edition of Odd Tonic. They make for excellent personal listening and are a great ice-breaker to get the stories flowing from friends and family. You can access the special playlist here, or visit their YouTube channel for a glimpse at the podcast’s parlour and it’s welcoming, eccentric vibe. 

If the long shopping lines and endless obligations aren’t ringing true, Odd Tonic will always have a seat waiting for you and a story to share. Settle in, dear guest, and listen to scary tales you won’t hear anywhere else. 

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