My two siblings and I always spent part of Christmas Eve at Aunt Amy’s… the
most mystical woman I have ever known.
Aunt Amy’s wonderful white washed cottage, sat beside a brook. On the
riverbank, a majestic weeping willow bowed its branches over her very
special bench. This had been made as a memorial to her beautiful retriever,
We always approached the cottage with the usual feelings of excitement and
trepidation. As we knocked on Aunt Amy’s door, she was hardly ever there to
greet us… the door just creaked open into a long, dark hallway, where the
sound of ticking could be heard from a tall, solemn clock on the wall. Aunt
Amy did her very best to make us feel like we were in a horror movie and it
I remember the smell… cinnamon! Aunt Amy would always light the joss sticks
just before we arrived.
We walked with feelings of nervous splendor into the hallway and then slowly
we pushed the lounge door open. There she would be… sat on the Jacobean sofa
in the arched recess at the side of the glowing fireplace… waiting and
Above her, hung an old portrait painting, surrounded with a large gilt
frame. The small oil print was of my dear old grandfather. His kind brown
eyes and his attire, in an old fashioned brown suit was so comforting
somehow in this spooky old house.
Aunt Amy would leave her seat and saunter across the wooden floor to greet
us. She then ran her perfectly manicured finger over our cheeks and
whispered, ‘come now children, I have a story to tell.’
Once my two siblings and I were seated around her open fireplace and below
her feet, she would lick her bright red lips in anticipation of the ‘very
secret’ supernatural tale she had in store for us.
I remember her light brown eyes would shine like andalucite gems from the
glare of the open fireplace… then they would rest heavily on each of ours
Her final gesture before her story began, was to shake her wild, auburn hair
in readiness… making sure her many bangles jingled, like the sound of
sleigh bells ringing in a land of snow and mystery.
Then her secret tales, which only my two siblings and I were allowed to
During her fable, she often reached for a piece of kindling to place on the
fire, whilst frightening us half to death. Then the flames would come
alive… dancing like tiny frenzied demons. Aunt Amy’s eyes would light up
at the sight… knowing it only brought more tantalization with her tale.
I remember the fear, anticipation and the knowing that she should not be
telling us these stories…’everyone should share a great ghost story,’ she
used to say… she was amazing and we loved her to bits for it!
Of course, these stories must remain secret, between my siblings and I… and
of course Aunt Amy, who sadly passed away in 2001.
She will never be forgotten though; if there is one thing I will always
remember at Christmas time… my magical Aunt and her Christmas ghost
Written by Jackie Stevens, Copyright 2009 David Slone