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Dead of Night$
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Jez Conolly and David Owain Bates

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780993238437

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9780993238437.001.0001

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‘I’m not frightened…I’m not frightened…’

‘I’m not frightened…I’m not frightened…’

(p.59) ‘I’m not frightened…I’m not frightened…’
Dead of Night

Jez Conolly

David Owain Bates

Liverpool University Press

This chapter evaluates ‘Christmas Party’, the first of two stories directed by Alberto Cavalcanti. The story is told from the perspective of teenager Sally O'Hara (Sally Ann Howes) who relates a spooky encounter that she had at a festive gathering. During a game of ‘Sardines’, after spurning the amorous adolescent advances of fellow partygoer Jimmy Watson (Michael Allan), she finds herself in the high attic reaches of the party's large country house setting where she happens upon a weeping child dressed in Victorian clothes. Sally comforts the child, who identifies himself as Francis Kent, and sings him to sleep before returning to the party downstairs, only then realising that she has just seen a ghost. The chapter assesses ‘Christmas Party’ in relation to the very English tradition of the festive ghost story and charts how the rendering of Sally's tale negotiates the territory of adolescent liminality.

Keywords:   Christmas Party, Alberto Cavalcanti, English tradition, festive ghost story, adolescent liminality

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