Top Ten Tuesday: M. R. James Ghost Stories for Halloween

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl.

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  • Each Tuesday, Jana assigns a new topic. Create your own Top Ten list that fits that topic – putting your unique spin on it if you want.
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TTT_Collected Ghost StoriesThis week’s topic is Halloween/Creepy Freebie.

I’ve chosen to concentrate on that doyen of the ghost story, M. R. James, listing eight of my favourite of his classic spooky tales – with a couple of bonus items thrown in.

All the stories – and many others – can be found in Collected Ghost Stories by M. R. James, edited by Darryl Jones.


‘The Mezzotint’ – Gawdy’s revenge played out in the most remarkable way

The Visitor at Anningley HallThe Visitor at Anningley Hall by Chris Thorndycroft – a prequel to ‘The Mezzotint’

‘Lost Hearts’ – A reclusive alchemist’s obsession

‘The Ash-Tree’ – A cursed house

‘Number 13’ – Dancing in the dark

‘Oh, Whistle, and I’ll Come to You, My Lad’ – “Who is it that comes”

‘Casting the Runes’ – The dangerous consequences of a bad review

Night of the DemonNight of the Demon – Classic 1957 film adaptation of ‘Casting the Runes’

‘The Stalls of Barchester Cathedral’ – “I find that I absolutely shrink from the dark season.”

‘A Warning to the Curious’ – Beware the guardian


M R JamesAbout M. R. James.

Montague Rhodes James, who used the publication name M.R. James, was a noted British mediaeval scholar & provost of King’s College, Cambridge (1905–18) & of Eton College (1918–36). He’s best remembered for his ghost stories which are widely regarded as among the finest in English literature. One of James’ most important achievements was to redefine the ghost story for the new century by dispensing with many of the formal Gothic trappings of his predecessors, replacing them with more realistic contemporary settings. (Photo: Goodreads author page)

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