Feb 09

Hauntography: The Ghost Stories Of M R James

FT + The Brown Wedge9 comments • 5,253 views

montague-james Like all new Freaky Trigger series, the idea for this one came in the pub. I had been re-reading MR James’ Collected Ghost Stories and started talking about them with Mark and Rick: within moments I thought, “let’s blog it”. Hence Hauntography: a collaborative reading of the James stories, by whoever wants to be part of it.

It’ll work in a kind of “book club” style – we all read the next story, one of us blogs about it (along whatever lines they see fit) and we all pile in in the comments box. You do too, since even if you’ve never read James before most of his stories are available online. (Or you could pick up the Wordsworth Books edition for a couple of quid.)

What do we hope to achieve? Diversion and entertainment, as usual, but also I expect we’ll think about ghosts, history, academia, dialect, what makes stories frightening, what makes them funny… we will approach the stories like Jamesian antiquaries ourselves, pottering around and following our noses – hopefully not awakening any restless spirits, but I guess there’s always a risk.

Join us next week to read Canon Alberic’s Scrapbook.


  1. 1
    Martin Skidmore on 5 Feb 2009 #

    I was going to say that my comics beginner’s guide series idea didn’t come to me in a pub, but it did in part, at least.

    I will read the story and may well join in. Warning: I am no longer capable of discussing what is effective in horror stories without frequest references to manga artist Junji Ito.

  2. 2
    Tom on 5 Feb 2009 #

    I cannot promise any zombie fish circuses Martin. I’m sorry but there it is.

  3. 3
    a logged-out pˆnk s lord whatnot on 5 Feb 2009 #

    “A Episode of Aquarium History”

  4. 4
    Martin Skidmore on 5 Feb 2009 #

    No, I have a little familiarity with MRJ – that won’t stop me dragging Ito into it, I’m afraid.

  5. 5
    ledge on 5 Feb 2009 #

    I know most of these virtually by heart but relish any opportunity to read them again. Would recommend only reading them late at night, under a reading lamp casting long shadows, while the wind echoes outside.

  6. 6
    a logged-out pˆnk s lord whatnot on 10 Feb 2009 #

    here’s the link to the ghosts and scholars website, ed.rosemary pardoe, which is dedicated to james — the last newsletter seems to have been 2007, so it may be in abeyance, but there’s a ton of interesting background stuff for those who want it

  7. 7

    […] is a wonderful project over at Freaky Trigger – ongoing discussions of MR James’ stories, well worth taking a look […]

  8. 8
    Ana on 24 Dec 2011 #

    Can non-native speakers of English join in :) ?

  9. 9

    anyone can join in! not every commentator is convinced english is my native language

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