Ghoultide Greetings, Wednesday, December 5 at 7:00 p.m.

Since its publication in 1843 the small novella, “A Christmas Carol,” has transformed our present day ideas of Christmas. Nearly everyone equates the Christmas holidays with the Charles Dickens classic.  In this the 200th year of the Victorian English author’s birthday, it is fascinating to note that long before he authored the well-known yuletide haunting with Scrooge and Marley, he penned dozens of Christmas ghost stories, many of which have been forgotten.  “The Story of the Goblins Who Stole a Sexton “from The Pickwick Papers is in fact the dry run to a Christmas Carol.

How did Dickens first become interested in ghost stories? (Childhood experience)  Victorians actively pursued weekly séances in hopes of contacting the afterlife.  In this respect, through his holiday ghost stories, he was truly a man of the times. How did his active pursuit of spiritualism translate into many of these Christmas “Ghost stories?” How is this demonstrated in the British Library’s new exhibition, “Hankering After Ghosts: Charles Dickens and the Supernatural”? How did this fascination with the paranormal permeate his life’s work?

• The Chimes
• The Ghost in the Bridal Chamber
• The Haunted House
• The Story of the Goblins Who Stole a Sexton
• The Trial for Murder
• The Signal-Man
• The Haunted Man and the Ghost’s Bargain

This program is free and open to the public. Call (732) 356-0043 to sign up or click on to register online.