A few years back, whilst on holiday in Norfolk, I began exploring some of locations used for the BBC’s famous M.R. James adaptations, specifically for Lawrence Gordon Clark’s adaptation of A Warning To The Curious (1972). Though I had been far from thorough in this escapade (I completely missed the film’s most iconic structure in the church at Happisburgh), on finding myself in Suffolk, I … Continue reading Walking “A Warning To The Curious” (M.R. James).
Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. Part 4. Part 5. Part 6. “The Ghost In The Machine”: The Haunting Nature Of Unnatural Diegetic Sound. “M.R. James’ objects are imbued with our deepest fears, deepest terrors and resonances. The whistle can bring up a storm or bring a monster from the deep. The crown, that if you touch, its guardian will tear you to pieces.” – … Continue reading The Aural Aesthetics Of Ghosts In BBC Ghost Stories – Part 7 (Haunted Objects).
Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. Part 4. Natural Diegesis And Aural Interaction With Landscape. One of M.R. James’ most recognisable writing traits is his emphasis on rural settings. From his own personal experience, of both exploring the churches of France on holiday bike-rides and living and holidaying in Suffolk and Norfolk, the rural landscape became almost as much of a story trope as the … Continue reading The Aural Aesthetics of Ghosts in BBC Ghost Stories – Part 5 (Landscape).
Manifesting The Supernatural: The Aural Aesthetics Of Ghosts In BBC Ghost Stories. Introduction. “When Monty first began to write them, with the intention of inducing a pleasing terror in his listeners, he did so as an avid and discerning reader and connoisseur of the genre, keenly aware of his precedents and of the characteristics, objectives, and limitations of the ghost story as he understood the … Continue reading The Aural Aesthetics of Ghosts in BBC Ghost Stories – Part 1 (Introduction).
This article contains minor spoilers. It has taken a while for the traditional BBC ghost story to make a fully formed return in the 21st century. This is surprising considering the popularity of the return of other genre television traditions from Doctor Who to Battlestar Galactica, but the singular ghost story at Christmas has taken some time to get right. Before this recent M.R. James … Continue reading The Tractate Middoth – Mark Gatiss (BBC Ghost Story at Christmas).
Two writers who could be said to epitomise the ideas of Folk Horror, M.R. James and Nigel Kneale, while addressing these ideals through different media, are writers whose work often crept into the same realm. This has lead to both of their work having a natural relationship with each other, with one almost being a reincarnation of the other. Of course, to imply such things … Continue reading An Ancient Evil: M.R. James and Nigel Kneale.