Many people hang a holly wreath on their door at Christmas but few realise the tradition behind this.
Christmas was thought to be a particularly dangerous time as ghosts were said to be more active over the festive season. Holly was believed to protect households from supernatural forces as it was felt that any troublesome spirits would be caught up in the prickly leaves as they tried to enter the home. Unmarried women would tie a piece of holly on their beds as a further protection from the spirit world. Holly leaves would also be placed underneath the pillow in the belief that the person sleeping would dream of their future.
John is a TV/radio presenter and author living in Suffolk