Many people hang a holly wreath on their door at Christmas but few realise the original reason for doing this.
Christmas was thought to be a particularly dangerous time as ghosts were said to be more active.
Holly was believed to protect households from supernatural forces. It was felt that any troublesome spirits would be caught up in the prickly leaves as they tried to enter the home, thus preventing them from causing any further mischief! In England, unmarried women would also 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 sleeper would dream of their future.