DCI Barnaby and DS Nelson investigate the fatal stabbing of a man with an antique sword during a ghost-hunting party at a 'haunted' manor house.


(as Nick Laughland)


(screenplay), (based on characters by)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Tamzin Malleson ...
Simon Fergus-Johnson
Tabby Fergus-Johnson
Pippa Fergus-Johnson
Valerie Fergus-Johnson
Ollie Tabori
Brendan Pearce
Libs Pearce
Susie Trayling ...
Mel Bridgeman
Jonah Russell ...
Conor Bridgeman
Felicity Hearn
Dev Kardek


With Ben Jones promoted to inspector in Brighton, Barnaby is joined by new sergeant Charlie Nelson, to investigate the murder of Conor Bridgeman during a ghost hunt at a house in Morton Shallows. Though married, Conor was using the hunt as a cover to meet his girlfriend, had fallen out with the impoverished owner of the house, Simon Fergus-Johnson, who had refused to sell it to him and was disliked by local historian Brendan Pierce, whose daughter Bridgeman had seduced. Whilst the murderer is clearly human, mysterious pamphlets circulate the village, warning not to disturb the spirits, who will wreak revenge, and a second ghost hunt leads to another murder, that of pub landlord Ross Clymer, lover of Simon's wife and enemy of army deserter Ollie Tabori, the former boyfriend of Simon's put upon sister Valerie. Ultimately Barnaby discovers the reasons for the slayings are family based, using for their cover the superstitions surrounding the Christmas hauntings. Written by don @ minifie-1

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Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

24 December 2013 (UK)  »

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Did You Know?


Mel Bridgeman: The paranormal isn't meant to be investigated. It's too dangerous. Some things are better left as mysteries.
DCI John Barnaby: As detectives, you'll forgive us if we disagree.
See more »


Fairytale of New York
Written by Jem Finer and Shane MacGowan
Performed by Kirsty MacColl and The Pogues
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User Reviews

lots of changes
18 September 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

With "The Christmas Haunting" beginning season 16, Ben Jones is gone, now promoted to Inspector in Brighton.

The Barnabys are expecting a baby.

And there's a new sergeant in town.

The new sergeant is Charlie Nelson, a young man overwhelmed by the work but managing to keep up. He's also bright and industrious. Barnaby and Nelson are called in to investigate the death of Conor Bridgeman, which happened in a house where "ghost hunts" are done.

Actually, the married Conor was using the hunt as an excuse to have a tryst. Also, he had attempted to buy the house, but the owner, Simon Fergus-Johnson, refused to sell to him. No love lost there.

The list of people who had something against the womanizing Conor goes on -- the local historian hated him because Conor had seduced his daughter.

So although the murder takes place in a so-called haunted house, there's nothing ectoplasmic about it. But someone is sending out pamphlets warning residents not to disturb the spirits, who will get their revenge.

Then at a second ghost hunt, there is another murder. This time it's a pub landlord, Ross Clymer. He is the lover of Simon Fergus-Johnson's wife. He's also an enemy of Ollie Tabori, who is AWOL from the army. Ollie is Simon's sister Valerie's old boyfriend.

Well, with all that, Barnaby decides these murders have something to do with the family and using ghosts as a cover.

Underlying all this is Christmas, the very pregnant Mrs. Barnaby, and Nelson getting adjusted in a new town at Christmas. Despite her pregnancy, Barnaby's wife has a lot of questions about the new sergeant and seems to want to fix him up with someone. It turns out to be a warm and sweet episode. I wish I had seen it during the Christmas season - it does put you in the mood.

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