Have Yourself a Merry Little Yoole-Girthol – Holly Trinity and the Ghosts of York at Christmas

An interesting read from the keyboard of a fellow Harvey Duckman writer, the estimable Mr Benjamin Sawyer of the old much haunted city of York

Ben Sawyer

She lowered her phone and glanced at the screen. What she saw there provoked a cry of sheer joy that echoed around the empty church as she leapt into the air.

“Holy mother of flip, it’s only scutting Christmas!”

Holly Trinity has protected the city of York for over 400 years. That’s an awful lot of Christmases.

Because there are an awful lot of Christmases, really, a lot of different ones. In York, the Norse midwinter festival clung on well into the 16th century, and shadows of it continued for centuries to come. The 21st of December once marked a time of suspended order when “whores, thieves, dice players and other unthrifty folk” are granted free reign of the city, a celebration which carried the magnificently Lovecraftian name of the Yoole-Girthol. 

Christmas stories, including the ones I have written, are often about chaos. If Christmas Day represents stability, Christmas Eve…

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