8 Christmas Ghosts to Haunt Your Holiday Season [12 Days of Creepmas]

On the 8th day of Creepmas, we’re celebrating the Victorian holiday tradition of sharing ghost stories. Telling ghost stories during winter was a folk custom that dated back centuries but slowly faded over time. Any tradition that involves scaring each other with horror stories feels like one worth reviving, so today’s Creepmas festivities embrace holiday horror movies that center around ghosts and hauntings. The eight titles below run the gamut from inducing warm holiday feels to ghostly insanity to chilling terror.

The 12 Days of Creepmas continues on Bloody Disgusting, this time with 8 Christmas ghosts to haunt your holiday season.

Keep track of the 12 Days of Creepmas here.

Anything for Jackson

Anything for Jackson

Sheila McCarthy and Julian Richings star as Audrey and Henry Walsh, a well-to-do couple mourning their young grandson’s tragic loss. Still deep in the denial stage of grief, they turn to Satanism. The couple kidnaps a pregnant woman for their ritual; they plan to transfer their grandson’s spirit into her unborn baby. The novice practitioners unwittingly bust the doors to the spirit world wide open, transforming their home into a house of horrors. Director Justin G. Dyck gives a darkly comedic and often spooky new entry in holiday horror. A winter set anti-nativity piece of Satanic terror, Anything for Jackson delivers fantastic scare sequences and creative ghost designs. It’s approach to setting makes it a perfect seasonal watch all winter long.

Blood Beat

Blood Beat

Sarah (Claudia Peyton) accompanies her boyfriend, Ted (James Fitzgibbons), home to rural Wisconsin for Christmas to meet his family. Mom Cathy (Helen Benton) is an eccentric artist who detects something psychically amiss with Sarah. When Sarah finds a trunk filled with samurai armor and a sword, she becomes possessed by a samurai spirit with murderous tendencies. Yes, this holiday horror movie is a supernatural slasher featuring a killer samurai ghost. The more the body count rises, well, the less the narrative makes any sense. That makes it a fun watch for those not in the mood for conventional holiday fare, or those that love “anything goes” DIY horror.

A Christmas Carol (2019)

A Christmas Carol

Pick just about any adaptation of Charles Dickens’ Christmas ghost story and it could apply to horror, as evidenced by this list. The BBC’s A Christmas Carol miniseries nudges the classic story further into horror with a foreboding atmosphere, witchcraft, and a slew of menacing ghosts and haunted memories. Guy Pearce stars as Ebenezer Scrooge, a miser visited by a trio of Christmas ghosts to change his selfish ways or else. In a much grimmer telling of the Dickens classic, expect Scrooge to get scared straight in a much more menacing form.

The Curse of the Cat People

Curse of the Cat people

The sequel to 1942’s Cat People is a very different beast from its predecessor, even though the core cast all reprise their roles. It’s a holiday set ghost story that follows the young daughter of Oliver (Kent Smith) and Alice (Jane Randolph). She’s lonely and friendless and finds herself befriending her father’s deceased first wife, Irena (Simone Simon). In other words, think a feel-good Christmas tale full of ghosts and acceptance, rather than scares. It’s a touching coming of age tale with a genre spin, directed by The Haunting’s Robert Wise and produced by the legendary Val Lewton.

Dead End

Dead End

Ray Wise and Lin Shaye lead in this road trip horror movie set on Christmas Eve. When Ray Wise’s Frank opts to take the scenic route on the long drive over to Frank’s in-laws, things go awry quickly. But never quite how you’d expect. Essentially a chamber piece, mostly set within the confines of the car, Dead End is an intelligent horror film with a great cast, unpredictable twists and lots of ghostly terror. There’s plenty of humor to help alleviate the tension, too.

Dead of Night 

Dead of Night Creepmas

This British horror anthology tells multiple tales of terror, but only one relates to the holiday. Even still, it’s a stone-cold classic, and there’s no better time than now to watch or revisit it. “The Christmas Party” spins a chilling story of a ghostly encounter during a children’s Christmas gathering. Hide and seek becomes the perfect recipe for one partygoer to encounter the unexpected when she finds a great hiding spot. Come for this children’s party of terror and stay for the other substantial segments.


Scrooged Christmas Ghosts

While there are a few memorable genre-leaning takes on Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol,” Richard Donner’s beloved ’80s film is one of the best. Frank Cross (Bill Murray) is a cynical, selfish TV executive haunted by the spirits of Christmas past, present, and future in this retelling. Sure, it’s a comedy, first and foremost, but some of those ghosts can be pretty terrifying. Thanks to Frank’s heavily decayed mentor Lew (John Forsythe) and nightmarish visions of Death, Scrooged presents family-friendly PG-13 holiday viewing that doubles as gateway horror.

Wind Chill

Wind Chill

A girl (Emily Blunt) finds a ride home through a bulletin board at her college, though she’s instantly put off by how much the driver (Ashton Holmes) seems to know about her. As if the icy tensions aren’t enough to deal with on the long drive, he takes a shortcut, and they wind up stranded in the middle of nowhere. A psychological chamber piece, enjoyment here will likely hinge on how well you tolerate the two leads. Blunt’s character is intentionally abrasive, and Holmes must work overtime to overcome his character’s initially creepy tendencies. Still, it offers some great scares and an interesting spin on the survival-meets-paranormal story.

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