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Getting into the Spirit(s) of the Christmas Season


Falling into the growing category of Places We Might Not Go in Normal Times, But Hey It’s on Zoom so Why Not: A presentation from the Miner Library in Roxbury, Conn., that expands the idea of how we celebrate the Christmas season. 

Or rather, it returns us to a venerable old tradition that associated Christmas with ghosts — think of Charles Dickens with his famous “A Christmas Carol” and his three other spectral holiday tales.

If you’re a fan of the ghoulish but didn’t get enough horror during this year’s limited Halloween festivities, and if 19th-century literature isn’t your thing, then the Miner Library’s presentation of Creepy Christmas Tales might be just right for you during this particularly horrid holiday season. 

This is not a play or a work of fiction (technically). Jeff Belanger, who lives in Massachusetts, is a specialist in ghostly tales and has hosted and written a TV series called “New England Legends,” which has been shown on PBS and Amazon Prime.

Belanger is presenting a free talk for the Miner Library called “New England Legends, Creepy Christmas Special” on Monday, Dec. 14, at 7 p.m. 

What’s in store for viewers of the program? Here’s how the press release describes it: “From the origins of the holiday to the monsters like Krampus, the Belsnickel and Gryla to the ghosts that lurk in the red and green shadows, Jeff will take you on a multi-media journey of this haunting holiday! This program is NOT suitable for young children.”

If this whets your appetite for spooky seasonal literature, look for “The Story of the Goblins Who Stole a Sexton,” “The Haunted Man and the Ghost’s Bargain” and “The Haunted House,” all by Charles Dickens, all available free online.

For me, I think the loveliest seasonal spirit story of all time is “Daniel Plainway: or The Holiday Haunting of the Moosepath League,” by Van Reid.

 For more information or to sign up for Jeff Belanger’s free talk for the Miner Library called “New England Legends, Creepy Christmas Special,” which is on Zoom on Monday, Dec. 14, at 7 p.m., call the library at 860-350-2181 or go to www.minormemoriallibrary.org. Reservations are required.

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