“He had no time for fiction that sought to be nauseating, but story after story demonstrates his willingness to be as frightening as possible Nor was his definition of the ghostly confined to revenants. His tales swarm with spiders either giant or multitudinous, immense, half-glimpsed insects, tentacled demons and even worse familiars to be found down wells, or most nightmarish of all, under your pillow”
(Ramsey Campbell in Fortean Times #292, September 2012)
Children are being invited to complete a previously unknown unfinished work by ghost story writer MR James to mark the 150th anniversary of his birth.
James, who was brought up in Suffolk and worked as a medieval scholar at Cambridge University, often featured East Anglian locations in his stories.
The competition, which is being organised by Suffolk Coast, will be judged by novelist Susan Hill. She is best known for her ghost novel The Woman in Black.
Titled The Game Of Bear, the unfinished story was discovered in the archives of King’s College, Cambridge.
The handwritten manuscript concerns the curious case of Henry Purdue, a man preyed upon by a sinister cousin who considers herself somehow wronged by the family.
More information on the BBC site.
Full story and details of how to enter at
“The peculiar genius of M. R. James, and his greatest power, lies in the convincing evocation of weird, malignant and preternatural phenomena such as I have instanced. It is safe to say that few writers, dead or living, have equaled him in this formidable necromancy and perhaps no one has excelled him.”
(Clark Ashton Smith – The Weird Works of M. R. James, 1934)
“M.R. James joins the brisk, the light, & the commonplace to the weird about as well as anyone could do it — but if another tried the same method, the chances would be ten to one against him. The most valuable element in him — as a model — is his way of weaving a horror into the every-day fabric of life & history — having it grow naturally out of the myriad conditions of an ordinary environment…”
(H. P. Lovecraft to Emil Petaja, 6 March 1935)