Most of the cultured world is familiar with “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens in which the old money hungry miser Ebenezer Scrooge is haunted by his former partner, Jacob Marley, and three other ghosts throughout his Christmas Eve slumber. He also experiences strange echoes through his home, bells ringing on their own, and the apparition of a hearse driving away in the gloom. While this tale is purely fiction and has inspired countless numbers of movies and animated features either directly depicting the classic or are based upon the story, there are reports of holiday hauntings that are said to be true.
The Christmas Flute
Larry Dielman was the son of renowned musician Casper Dielman who came to America from Germany in the 1800s. Casper directed orchestras in New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore, and composed inaugural music for four presidents before settling down as a Professor at Mount Saint Mary’s College in Emmitsburg, Maryland, in 1834. Larry was not quite as talented as his father, but would often play at his father’s side and would use his talents to try to charm women. When his father died, Larry made a tribute to him by playing a flute at his gravestone, near Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes, the following Christmas. Upon hearing the music, many of the townspeople walked up the hill and paid their respects. This became a tradition each year after, and when Larry became too old to trudge up the snowy hill, townsfolk would pull him up by sled. After Larry’s death, the sound of his flute can still faintly be heard on the air every Christmas.
Lauren Danielle Bed and Breakfast
Located in historic Guthrie, Oklahoma, this once home of a Territorial Governor, Oklahoma’s first State Attorney General, and a US Marshall is also known for its holiday haunts. The Victorian house built in 1890 seems to pick up in paranormal activity after performances of the local Territorial Christmas play (a western version of “A Christmas Carol”) with sightings of a woman in a yellow ball gown. Guests have also seen a ghost cat prowling about the house, a man dressed in black but only seen from the knees up in the living room, and a couple little boys in one of the bedrooms.
Deep Creek Lake
One Christmas, a man and a number of his friends were riding new snowmobiles out on the frozen lake in Garrett County, Maryland. There was an unfortunate accident when one of the snowmobiles broke through the ice and three of the men drowned. The wives of one of the men had been decorating the Christmas tree with her daughters when there was a knock on the door. When she answered, her husband standing before her dripping wet. She tried to grab his arm to rush him inside, but her hand went through his form and then he disappeared. She thought she was imagining things and closed the door. A few minutes later the sheriff’s deputy arrived at the door to deliver the tragic news.
Tod House New Year’s Party
The historic Tod House in Victoria, British Columbia had already been rumored to have been haunted prior to a New Year’s Eve party held there in the early 1940s. The door to the cellar refused to stay shut even when fastened, an antique rocker in the living room would often start rocking on its own, and hats would strangely start tossing themselves off the hat stand in the hall. There was even one Christmas in which all the decorations had been taken off the tree and walls and placed in a pile in the middle of the floor. It was a different holiday, however, that brought the home paranormal fame when in front of a large number of guests at a New Year’s Eve party an attractive porcelain cookie jar hanging by the fireplace started swinging by itself for nearly a full thirty minutes. Spectators of the sight notified the press who began descending upon the haunted house to catch a glimpse of a ghost, and received something close to their wish in 1947 when the installation of a new oil furnace unearthed a human skeleton near the front porch.