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First edition cover
Source: Wikimedia Commons

The Collected Ghost Stories of M. R. James is a compendium of stories by the English medievalist and author M. R. James (1862–1936) first published in 1931, which gathers together all but four of his ghost stories which had not yet been published:

  • “The Experiment”
  • “The Malice of Inanimate Objects”
  • “A Vignette”
  • “The Fenstanton Witch”

Despite the book’s title, James’s stories veer more towards horror than ghostly apparitions, embellished by his inclusion of footnotes and genuine bibliographical references, lending an aura of authenticity.[1]

Contents


  • Canon Alberic’s Scrap-BookHorror story by M. R. James, first published in 1895, about a demon depicted in a picture coming to life.
  • Lost HeartsHorror story by M. R. James, first published in 1895, about a man who believes that he can obtain magical powers by consuming the hearts of three people under the age of twenty-one.
  • The MezzotintHorror story by M. R. James, first published in 1904, about an engraving that changes every time it is looked at.
  • The Ash TreeGhost story by M. R. James, published in 1904, about the vengeance of a witch against her accuser.
  • Number 13Horror story by M. R. James, first published in 1904, about a hotel room that only exists during the hours of darkness.
  • Count MagnusHorror story by M. R. James, first published in 1904, about the death of a travelogue writer who inadvertently releases two demons from the sarcophagus of Count Magnus.
  • “‘Oh, Whistle, and I’ll Come to You, My Lad’Ghost story by M. R. James published in 1904, about a mysterious whistle found on a beach in Suffolk.
  • The Treasure of Abbot ThomasHorror story by M. R. James, first published in 1904, about a treasure guarded by creatures of the night.
  • A School StoryGhost story by M. R. James, first published in 1911, about the mysterious disappearance of a school teacher.
  • The Rose GardenGhost story by M. R. James, first published in 1911, about a spirit released by the removal of a post during the construction of a rose garden.
  • “The Tractate Middoth”
  • Casting the RunesHorror story by M. R. James, first published in 1911, about the revenge of an author on the reviewer who rejects his paper on alchemy.
  • “The Stalls of Barchester Cathedral”
  • Martin’s CloseGhost story by the English medievalist and author M. R. James, first published in 1911. It centres on the trial of the local squire about 200 years earlier, accused of murdering a young woman who several witnesses claimed to have seen after her death.
  • “Mr Humphreys and His Inheritance”
  • “The Residence at Whitminster”
  • “The Diary of Mr Poynter”
  • “An Episode of Cathedral History”
  • “The Story of a Disappearance and an Appearance”
  • “Two Doctors”
  • “The Haunted Dolls’ House”
  • “The Uncommon Prayer-Book”
  • “A Neighbour’s Landmark”
  • “A View from a Hill”
  • “A Warning to the Curious”
  • “An Evening’s Entertainment”
  • “Wailing Well”
  • “There Was a Man Dwelt by a Churchyard”
  • “Rats”
  • “After Dark in the Playing Fields”

References



Bibliography


Kemp, Sandra, et al. “Ghost-Stories of an Antiquary.” Oxford Companion to Edwardian Fiction, Oxford University Press, 2005, https://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/acref/9780198117605.001.0001/acref-9780198117605-e-452.