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First edition cover
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A Warning to the Curious and Other Ghost Stories, first published in 1925, is the fourth and final volume of ghost stories by the English medievalist and author M. R. James (1862–1936).[1]

James was much influenced by the surreal ghost stories of the Irish writer Sheridan Le Fanu, and broke the mould of earlier supernatural fiction, based on exotic locations and gothic language, by setting his stories in an everyday world.[2] The common themes in James’s ghost stories, as seen in this collection, are “a characterful setting (church, village, country estate), a gentleman-scholar protagonist and an antiquarian object which in some way facilitates a ghoulish encounter”.[3]


  • The Haunted Doll’s House”Horror story by M. R. James published in 1925, about the contents of a doll's house that come to life.
  • The Uncommon Prayer-BookHorror story by M. R. James published in 1925, about the theft of a number of prayer-books repeatedly found to be open at a particular psalm, despite being stored in a locked and disused church.
  • A Neighbour’s LandmarkGhost story by M. R. James published in 1925, about the disappearance of a woman who steals her neighbour's property by removing a cursed landmark.
  • “A View from a Hill”
  • A Warning to the CuriousHorror story by M. R. James first published in 1925, about the events following the discovery of an Anglo-Saxon crown.
  • “An Evening’s Entertainment”

See also



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