Have yourself a scary little Christmas in aid of charity

Brighton Ghost Stories for Christmas will raise funds for Rise, the domestic violence charity
Brighton Ghost Stories for Christmas will raise funds for Rise, the domestic violence charity

The second annual Brighton Ghost Stories for Christmas charity fundraiser will be at Brighton Pavilion.

The second annual Brighton Ghost Stories for Christmas charity fundraiser will be performed at Brighton Pavilion on Saturday, December 6, in aid of RISE, the domestic violence charity.

It isn’t widely known, but the tradition of gathering round the fire at Christmas to tell ghost stories predates Charles Dickens and A Christmas Carol; in fact, ghost stories were once as much a part of Christmas as the turkey and the tree is today.

And, later this year, Blind Piper Productions will be reviving this tradition at Brighton Royal Pavilion with an evening of mulled cider and performances of classic ghost stories by MR James, EF Benson and Mary Eleanor Wilkins Freeman.

The event has been sponsored by Brighton and Hove Bus and Coach Company and proceeds from the event will be donated to RISE, which provides help with refuge accommodation, resettlement, crisis appointments, helpline, counselling, housing, legal and financial advice, solicitors appointments, support groups, play therapy, 1-to-1 support and training and preventative education.

Craig Johnson, producer and performer, explained: “The idea behind the project is that each year we will raise money for a different local charity.

“Last year we raised money for The Clocktower Sanctuary, which is a fantastic organisation supporting young homeless people in Brighton and Hove.

“This year we are raising funds for RISE which does really incredible work. Domestic violence is an issue that affects many people and takes a number of forms, and I am very proud that we can do our part to raise funds and awareness for such an important organisation and cause.

“I was inspired by the BBC Christmas ghost stories that used to be on television when I was a child. I remember seeing The Signalman when I was very small and it left a lasting impression on me. In more recent years I used to hold annual ghost stories for Christmas at my house, where I would serve Christmas food and drink and everyone would bring a ghost story. Everyone really enjoyed it and I thought it would be something that could be expanded and run as a charity fundraising event.

“As adults it is very rare that we are read to - we read stories to children, but it isn't often that someone reads to us. There is something very comforting about being told stories – even if the stories are in this case unnerving.

“I am really excited that this year we are performing at the Brighton Royal Pavilion and support has been quite incredible.”

As well as the ghost stories there will also be a prize draw included in the cost of a ticket.

But, of course, it is the stories which are driving the event. Mr Johnson added: “I think the stories we have for this year’s show are fantastic and cover a very broad spectrum of the ghost story genre.

"Audiences will be taken on a journey that encompasses humour, sadness, tragedy and out and out horror.”

Ghost Stories for Christmas is being performed at Brighton Royal Pavilion on Saturday, December 6. Tickets are £20/£15 concessions and are available from www.brownpapertickets.com.