Yuletide Terror: Christmas Horror on Film and Television

Activity: Talk or presentation typesPublic lecture/debate/seminar


For many, Christmas is an annual celebration of goodwill and joy, but for others, it’s a time to curl up on the couch in the dead of winter for a good old fashioned fright. The festive holiday season has always included a more somber side, and scary tales of child-stealing demons to ghost stories told ‘round the fireplace go back to pre-Christian celebrations. These long-standing traditions have found modern expression in the Christmas horror film, a unique and sometimes controversial subgenre that cheerfully drives a stake of holly through the heart of cherished Christmas customs.
To celebrate the release of Spectacular Optical’s new book Yuletide Terror: Christmas Horror on Film and Television, contributors Stephen Thrower and Derek Johnston will delve into the world of festive fright favourites and obscurities, from American Santa Slashers (and the ensuing controversies) to the quintessentially-English A Ghost Story for Christmas series, providing insight on these subversive film and television presentations that allow viewers to engage in different ways with the complicated cultural history of the Christmas season, while also examining literary precedents and the broader role of television and radio horror.
As part of this special event, we will also be premiering a new Christmas horror short film made to accompany the book by filmmaker Sean Hogan (THE DEVIL’S BUSINESS): a windswept ghost story set on England’s southeastern coast called WE ALWAYS FIND OURSELVES IN THE SEA.
Period14 Dec 2017
Held atThe Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies, United Kingdom


  • Seasonality
  • Horror
  • Television
  • Film