Charles Dickens Had a Fascination and Skepticism for the Supernatural

There’s no denying that Charles Dickens was a masterful writer, especially when it comes to spooky stories. Outside the pages of his tales full of goblins, ghosts, and specters, Dickens was truly fascinated by the idea of the supernatural, but he approached it with skepticism. He attended séances and sought out haunted houses while scoffing at the possibility of ghosts and other unknowable entities.

Charles Dickens Had a Fascination and Skepticism for the Supernatural

Charles Dickens Is Known for Spooky Tales

Dickens was endlessly talented when it came to writing scary tales that continue to enthrall the minds of readers around the world even now, 150 years later. The curator of the upcoming exhibition at the Charles Dickens Museum in London, Emily Dunbar, shared that Dickens, his friend John Hollingshead, and the author Wilkie Collins went searching for and exploring haunted houses. The museum’s website reads that Dickens was primarily interested in the psychological aspects of the supernatural rather than finding proof of such phenomena.

Where Did Dickens’ Fascination With the Supernatural Start

Available sources reveal that Dickens was introduced to scary stories at a very young age by Miss Mercy — his nanny. She would tell him nightmarish bedtime stories which, the author himself later claimed, he was not old enough to hear. As he grew, he began reading the Terrific Register — a weekly horror story magazine. In adulthood, his skeptical fascination with the supernatural persisted as he began writing delightfully macabre stories.

To Be Read at Dusk

“To Be Read at Dusk: Dickens, Ghosts, and the Supernatural” is an exhibition that will be open this fall in London. Staged at the Charles Dickens Museum in London, the exhibition is focused on the author’s love of the supernatural and the influence his work had on the ghost story genre. Many interesting items will be on display, including tickets to readings of Dickens’ ghost stories, the original sketches of ghosts from Dickens’ stories drawn by the caricaturist John Leech, and much more.