Ghost Stories of an Antiquary

Ghost Stories of an Antiquary
Part 2: More Ghost Stories


(4 Reviews)
Ghost Stories of an Antiquary by Montague Rhodes James







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Ghost Stories of an Antiquary
Part 2: More Ghost Stories


(4 Reviews)
The first six of the seven tales were Christmas productions, the very first ('A School Story') having been made up for the benefit of King's College Choir School. 'The Stalls of Barchester Cathedral' was printed in Contemporary Review; 'Mr Humphreys and his Inheritance' was written to fill up the volume. In 'A School Story' I had Temple Grove, East Sheen in mind; in 'The Tractate Middoth', Cambridge University Library; in 'Martin's Close', Sampford Courtenay in Devon. The Cathedral of Barchester is a blend of Canterbury, Salisbury, and Hereford.

Book Excerpt

hin gold chain with an object attached to it. He glanced at the object and then took off his spectacles to examine it more narrowly. 'What's the history of this?' he asked. 'Odd enough,' was the answer. 'You know the yew thicket in the shrubbery: well, a year or two back we were cleaning out the old well that used to be in the clearing here, and what do you suppose we found?'

'Is it possible that you found a body?' said the visitor, with an odd feeling of nervousness.

'We did that: but what's more, in every sense of the word, we found two.'

'Good Heavens! Two? Was there anything to show how they got there? Was this thing found with them?'

'It was. Amongst the rags of the clothes that were on one of the bodies. A bad business, whatever the story of it may have been. One body had the arms tight round the other. They must have been there thirty years or more--long enough before we came to this place. You may judge we filled the well up fast enough. Do you make anything of what's cut o


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(1911) Ghost / Horror

R: * * * * *

Plot bullets

A School Story

o A ghost passes messages through the writings of a class of boys.

o What message is someone trying to convey and to whom?

o there is an old score to settle.

The Rose Garden

o The remains of an old summer house is to be removed for a new Rose Garden.

o Is the last of the former structures old wooden posts, just that or more?

o Should it be removed?

The Tractate Middoth

o A dying uncle leaves each of two heirs a different will and each in their favor.

o One heir gets everything outright.

o The other heir, gets the same, but only under bazaar conditions.

o The uncle, now dead, tries to make amends from his grave.

Casting the Runes

o Runes: An ancient Germanic alphabet.

o They have the mark of mysterious or magic significance.

o Beware that the Runes are not cast on you.

o It means madness and death.

The Stalls of Barchester Cathedral

o Strange wood carvings adorn the stalls.

o Legend has it some were carved from the old hanging tree oak.

o All this you take in as you read the diary of one who died in that Cathedral.

Martin's Close

o A desolate estate (Close), an evil place.

o Martin was hanged there for murder.

o Follow a summary of his trial.

Mr Humphreys and his Inheritance

o A man inherits a mansion.

o And as with most ghost stories he inherits more than he expected.

o A garden maze has the secret at it's center.

The master of horrors unseen and those barely glimpsed, MR James's influence can be found in the works of many modern horror writers.
When I was 9 years old, I got to buy a book by MR James with all of his ghost stories in it. It was a random selection really 'cause I don't even know the guy (again, I was only 9 years old) but I never regretted it.

His ghost stories are the best I've read. And even now 20 years later, his stories still gives me the creeps when I read them.

Highly recommended.