Wednesday 26 December 2012


Alfront mentioned he was rather partial to the Sherlock Holmes story The Blue Carbuncle


which set me thinking about my favourite Christmas story. I am a devotee of good ghost stories, so I think I would go for (perhaps predictably) The Story of a Disappearance and an Appearance by M R James. The story takes the form of a series of letters describing the search for the clergyman uncle of the writer who has gone missing at Christmas time. In one of the letters he describes a horrifying dream in which a demonic Mr Punch appears

" and to see his horrible face-it was yellowish white I may remark-peering round the wings made me think of the Vampyre in Fuseli's foul sketch"

" after it (the murder of one of the puppet victims) Punch came and sat on the footboard  and fanned himself, and looked at his shoes, which were bloody, and hung his head on one side, and sniggered in so deadly a fashion, that I saw some of those beside me cover their faces..."

Another great ghost story, perhaps less disturbing, is For the Local Rag by A M Burrage, which has at least some Christmas sentiment and good cheer in it!


  1. Scary stuff indeed.
    Now down to business- did you get any lead/books for Christmas?
    best wishes
    p.s Just been working on the flying nazgul a few minutes before.It is an awesome figure...

  2. I too am a devotee of M.R. James, although I prefer 'The Stalls of Barchester Cathedral' to 'The Story...' as a seasonal tale of terror (though yours is more explicitly a Christmas story).

    Actually, for Christmas my partner and I received the BBC 'Ghost Stories for Christmas' DVD set, which features all their adaptations of James stories (the earliest being '68) plus others - such as Dicken's 'The Signalman' - AND Christopher Lee reading several James stories. Apparently Lee actually met James as a youngster at Eton before the '39 war, which is rather 'curious'.

  3. Hmm, just been trying to work out how to reply to each comment individually, but it has eluded me. Alan, not much in the way of Christmas gleanings, Although my good friend speckled Jim, did get me a book "What to do if you meet Cthulhu" which is very funny. Glad you like the Nazgul, I will keep my eyes peeled for any more old ME figures.

    Greg, really I love all the James stories, and if you can get hold of the cd set on the right of my blog...brilliant. I too purchased the BBC TV collection (the day it came out), but I have to say the few I have watched I did not enjoy... the directors just can't help changing the stories, which rae perfect if left alone (I am generally an old curmudgeon when it comes to telly or films ). Hope you like them though and found a 'pleasing terror'.