“If any of [my stories] succeed in causing their readers to feel pleasantly uncomfortable when walking along a solitary road at nightfall, or sitting over a dying fire in the small hours, my purpose in writing them will have been attained.” – M.R. James
I’m just beginning to get into M.R. James so I’m not sure quite what to make of his stories yet. To me The Ash Tree felt restrained, subtle, and it was “pleasantly uncomfortable” to be sure – but is that enough?
I haven’t hit a story of his that has grabbed me the way Guy de Mapassaunt’s The Horla has or the way William Hope Hodgson’s The Voice In The Night has.
Maybe ghost stories just need to have something other than haunting to draw me in.
The Ash Tree
By M.R. James; Read by Peter Yearsley
1 |MP3| – Approx. 35 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Published: June 7th, 2006
A damp Suffolk house, with a curious ash tree growing close to it, may have been cursed by a woman once executed for witchcraft. First published in Ghost Stories Of An Antiquary, 1904.
Posted by Jesse Willis