GOTHIC YULETIDE - A Journey Through Dark Christmas Folklore    
at Guys Hospital Chapel with Sam George
on Saturday the 9th December 2023 at 3:00 pm

The eerie and Gothic themes of Christmas, often overlooked due to the holiday's predominantly cheerful and festive nature, draw from a rich tapestry of folklore, literature, and cultural traditions.These themes add a darker, more mysterious dimension to the holiday season.

In this talk, ‘coffin boffin’ Dr Sam George will guide the audience through the twelve days of Christmas, revealing the Gothic side of Advent. The journey includes encounters with various figures: the mischievous Jack Frost, the intimidating Krampus from Austro-Bavarian lore, Norway's Julebukk—a man-goat who goes door-to-door during the season, and Iceland's Jólakötturinn, a fearsome cat who knows who has been naughty or nice. George will also introduce us to Greece's 'Christmas Vampire', a demonic entity active during the Christmas period, and Austria's Schnabelperchten, folklore figures with long beaks, roaming towns on the eve of Epiphany. These characters, integral to Europe's winter folk festivals, may not be cozy or heartwarming, yet they embody humanity's deep-rooted need for myth and storytelling.

This gloriously dark introduction to the holiday season celebrates seasonal mythology, demonstrating its unique intersection between folklore and the gothic.

Tickets £12 including a delightful gin cocktail and 20% donation to Guy's and St Thomas' Charity. Please click here to purchase.

Sam George
Sam George is Associate Professor in Research and the Convenor of the popular Open Graves, Open Minds Project at the University of Hertfordshire. Known on social media as ‘The Coffin Boffin’, Sam founded the gothic research group Open Graves, Open Minds with Dr Bill Hughes. Her interviews have appeared in newspapers from The Guardian and The Independent to The Sydney Morning Herald, The South China Post, and the Wall Street Journal. She is currently completing a book on the cultural history of the shadow and a Gothic history of fairies for Bloomsbury.