Emily Meet Heathcliff: The Twelve Ghosts of Christmas, 4

Emily Bronte was a brilliant writer who died young. Her novel, Wuthering Heights is considered a masterpiece--creepy, but a masterpiece nonetheless.

Emily Bronte was a brilliant writer who died young. Her novel, Wuthering Heights is considered a masterpiece–creepy, but a masterpiece nonetheless.

Blame it all on Dickens, I suppose, but I seem to have Yuletide English ghosts on my mind of late. How about a ghost named Emily? And where better to meet her than on the Yorkshire Moors?

Emily Bronte is perhaps the best known of that literary sorority, the Bronte Sisters, famous for her creepy supernatural romance, Wuthering Heights. Although a classic of literature, for many years it was out of favor (at least with the male gender) but as creepy supernatural romances have come back in vogue, this grandmother of all creepy romances has of course come into its own. That so morbidly romantic a mind could dream this tale up, it should not be surprising, that this nineteenth century authoress should haunt the very landscape she wrote about.

Emily Bronte wrote Wuthering Heights when she was only 27 years old. Set in the Yorkshire Moors she knew so well, it is a novel full of mood, yearning and secrets–and did I say, creepiness? Emily died only three years after writing her masterpiece, in that same rural Yorkshire countryside. Like her novel, hers was a life full of unfulfilled Victorian desires.

Emily Bronte is said to walk in the gardens of her former home in the Yorkshire village of Haworth. She only can be seen there between December 19th and January 2, closely coinciding to Yuletide season. Those who have seen her say she is deep in thought.  And of course what stroll on the Yorkshire Moor is not complete without encountering a Devil Dog?  This would be the “Gytrash” a phantom demon canine said to haunt Ponden Hall, where the Bronte sisters used to hang out.

Legend has it that Emily wrote a book even greater than Wuthering Heights but that it disappeared soon after her death.  Rumor has it that she wanders the moors looking for the lost manuscript and that until it is found her literary spirit will find no rest.

If one approaches her, she vanishes like a puff of smoke. So the beautiful young girl remains forever out of reach–even if your name be Heathcliff.

Happy holiday hauntings!

For more true ghost stories, see Strange Tales of the Dark and Bloody Ground, Dixie Spirits, and Ghosts and Haunts of Tennessee.

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