Christmas at Wheeldale Inn, by Gemma Amor

28 Nov 2023

The Book

Christmas at Wheeldale Inn
Pages: 108
Age Group: Adult
Published on 15 Dec 2022
Publisher: Cemetery Gates Media
Gothic Horror
Available on:


Christmas Eve. A horse-drawn coach battles its way through a terrible snow storm, travelling the old Roman road that cuts across Wheeldale Moor. The carriage bears the miserable burden of Mr. and Mrs. Wilcox, a formerly well-to-do couple now fleeing London and the threat of debtor's jail, for Mr. Wilcox has been imprudent with the family fortune.

Not that Mrs. Wilcox cares much for money. She is still grieving a great loss, a loss that cannot be replaced with any number of riches.

As the weather worsens, the carriage is overturned, with deadly consequences. Mr. and Mrs. Wilcox find themselves out in a freezing storm, lost, injured and penniless upon the moors. Salvation comes in the form of Wheeldale Inn: the highest public house in Yorkshire. An isolated sanctuary, yet a peculiar one. The Innkeeper seems welcoming enough, but oddities abound: a corpse, a silent son, a surfeit of victuals, and memories that come and go at a whim.

As the intrepid guests settle in, they realise all is definitely not as it seems at Wheeldale. Both husband and wife are forced to confront truths about themselves, their past, their present, and their future in the most terrifying of ways. Will Christmas Day be a happy one for the Wilcox family, or will Wheeldale disrupt their lives so completely there is no coming back?

My Review

Christmas at Wheeldale Inn is a holiday themed Gothic horror novella, written by Gemma Amor. A novel that opens during a Christmas Inn snowstorm, with the carriage where Mr and Mrs Wilcox are travelling through the moors, trying to escape from London and their debtors.

Early enough into the novella, Amor shows clearly how the Wilcox marriage is broken, with Mr Wilcox just suffering the consequences of his lavish lifestyle; meanwhile, Mrs Wilcox is grieving for a much worse loss, taking all over her. When the blizzard finally hits hard enough, and the carriage is forced to stop, the Wilcox marriage seeks refuge in the Wheeldale Inn.
However, in the Wheeldale Inn, the innkeeper and his silent son are lamenting their own tragedy, being accompanied by a third resident, a corpse they have to postpone its burial, waiting a better weather. With these conditions, the Wilcox marriage has to pass the Christmas Eve, in a situation that will make them to confront the reality of their relationship and how their many problems are an obstacle for a future together. The isolation will be the last nail which leads to a really tense situation.

In this small novella, Amor uses the best elements of the Gothic horror while doing a thorough analysis into the psychology of our two main characters, slowly creating the perfect conditions for a climax that was announced from the start. Prose marvelously captures the gravity of the situation and the pressure created by the isolation in the minds of our troubled characters.

Christmas at Wheeldale Inn is an excellent Gothic horror novella, which is a perfect fit for these festive season; if you like classic horror with a character focus, you should totally pick this novella. 

The Author/s

Gemma Amor

Gemma Amor

Hi, I’m Gemma Amor and I’m a Bram Stoker Award Nominated horror author, illustrator, amateur voice actor and podcaster, published independently and on Amazon. I like genre-fluid, emotional and character driven horror, and try to reflect this in my work. 

I also have a background in Marketing, which some will say is irrefutable proof that I have no soul.