The Book Tower
debut novel coming late 2017

RSS feed

Christmas Ghosts

Friday December 7, 2007 in m.r. james | ghost stories

It’s that time of year again when I start enthusing about the BBC’s adaptations of M.R.James stories. This year, BBC4 are showing several of its excellent television films over the Christmas period. Highlights include:

  • The Stalls of Barchester. From Christmas 1971 and starring Robert Hardy and Clive Swift.
  • Lost Hearts from Christmas 1973. I have vague memories of being allowed to stay up and watch this as a small child. It forged my association with Christmas and ghost stories, and is very, very sinister if you haven’t seen it.
  • Whistle and I’ll Come to You. Made in 1968 and starring Michael Hordern. Directed by Jonathan Miller, who really should have done more of this sort of thing.
  • A View From A Hill. From Christmas 2005, when the BBC revived their tradition of M.R.James adaptations.
  • Number 13. From Christmas 2006.

Full details on the BBC4 site. It’s disappointing that there doesn’t appear to be a brand new production for 2007, but I’ll be quickly leafing through the Christmas Radio Times when it comes out just to check…

In the meantime, here’s the ending of the truly chilling A Warning to the Curious from Christmas 1972:

Mind the step…

I remember when Whistle and I’ll Come to You was shown – we were all watching it and it was just starting to get scary when the picture on the television went (that sort of thing happened in those days) and all we had was sound. I was left trying to work out what could be going on – lots of swooshing noises and horrified gasps. Very frustrating. So thanks for the advance warning, I shall be watching all of these!

GeraniumCat    Friday December 14, 2007   

Sounds like it could have added to the ghostly experience?

I had a similar thing with The Stalls of Barchester several years ago, when the video tape ran out with only a few minutes to go, resulting in a screen of unearthly static.

The Book Tower    Friday December 14, 2007   

What do you say?

Use preview and then submit.