Most fans will tell you that M. R. James is one of the fathers of the English ghost story. And even though he was technically a bit beyond Queen Victoria, he still gets listed along with those classic “Victorian Ghost Story” tellers. So our scary story this year is from him, a wonderful tale called “The Story of a Disappearanace and an Appearance.”
There’s a catch, though: Americans are gonna be confused. This story has a lot to do with a traditional English puppet show called a Punch and Judy show. (It’s fun stuff.) But I got an actual Brit to help explain what that is, as well as to give us some background on James himself. Jim Moon, of the Hypnogoria Podcast, was kind enough to come talk to me, and his show is a wonderful collection of old horror/ghost/weird stories as well. (Also check out The Commentary Club, a show he does with his wife about older cult movies.)
A big thank you to all those who helped me read the story this year! In order of appearance, they are:
- Brian Carlton
- Ziah Grace – ZiahGrace.com and @Ziah_Grace
- Tessa Jansen – @Thexscha
- Dustin Pari – DustinPari.com and @dustinpari (Yeah, the Ghost Hunters guy!)
- Helen Forte – @dr_forte
- Chantelle Joy – All things Christmas, a wonderful Christmas site, @thingschristmas
- Old Man Freakboy of Hey You Kids, Get off My Lawn
- Todd Killian of the Christmas Clatter Podcast
- Fred Bitter – his blog
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If you like the cards and the podcasts, consider subscribing on Patreon. I’m putting out podcasts all year round, most with Christmas info but also major and weirder holiday stuff throughout the year. There are also other treats like real postcards sent you throughout the year and other treats. Go to Patreon and search for Weird Christmas or just click here: