Episode 51 – M.R. James Conference 2016

This episode Mike and Will report on the the M.R. James conference, aka ‘Haunted Studies: The Ghost Stories of M.R. James’ and bring you interviews with a range of Jamesian luminaries present at the event.

For more information on the conference, visit the conference website.

People we interview in this episode:

  • Dewi Evans (
    Dewi, along with Jane Mainley-Piddock, organised the conference. You can read more from Dewi at his blog, or follow him on Twitter.
  • Ruth Harris
    Ruth impressed us with her paper  ‘”If I’m not careful, something of this kind may happen to me!”: M.R. James and the Academic Nightmare’
  • Ramsey Campbell (
    As England’s most celebrated living horror author, Ramsey Campbell needs little introduction. His opening keynote ‘M.R. James and the Ghost Story Tradition’ got the conference off to a flying start.
  • Steve Manthorp (
    Steve was at the conference exhibiting his fascinating full-size dolls house based on ‘The Haunted Doll’s House’ by M.R. James. You can find our more about Steve at his website and at ADEPT.
  • Dr Andrew Smith (
    Andrew is Reader in Nineteenth Century English Literature at the University of Sheffield, and provided the day’s final keynote on ‘M.R. James and the Ghosts of World War 1′.
  • Richard Mansfield (
    Richard is one half of Mansfield Dark, who have been impressing us for a number of years with their haunting shadow puppet films of M.R. James stories, two of which were shown at the conference. Find out more about these at their website.

Episode 50 – A Night in King’s College Chapel

This episode Mike and Will pack their sleeping bags and bed down for ‘A Night in King’s College Chapel’ by M.R. James.

The episode also features an exclusive interview with James Drewett and Richard Svensson, creators of ‘Monsters and Miscreants’ a new M.R. James-themed card game available to order now. You can also watch an unboxing video of the same game featuring your humble hosts, Will and Mike, recorded live in Will’s kitchen. The glamour!

About Monsters and Miscreants:

Show notes:

The windows themselves (mostly at


Episode 49 – Twelve Medieval Ghost Stories

What could be more worthy of a Christmas episode than a ghost story? Answer: twelve ghost stories!  This week Mike and Will find plenty of seasonal cheer in the scribblings of a 15th century monk from Yorkshire, whose collected tales of wandering spirits Monty transcribed in 1922.  Expect lashings of purgatorial terrors, a stocking-full of redemption and a whole load of bad wassailing, ghostly and otherwise*, as we explore Twelve Medieval Ghost Stories.


  • The Byland Abbey Project  has all the stories, plus translation notes and commentary on each story.  Invaluable!
  • Ghosts in Medieval Yorkshire, by Jacqueline Simpson, is a fantastic article, not least for  Jacqueline’s analysis of the different roots of James’ ghost stories and these medieval tales.
  • Mark Gatiss talks about medieval manuscripts with a curator at the Fitzwilliam Museum  in his 2013 documentary Ghostwriter (contains images some listeners will hopefully find disturbing).
  • Death and the Afterlife – a British Library article with examples of medieval Books of Hours and other context for understanding the 15th century view of mortality, purgatory and salvation.
  • Underrated BBC Radio 4 discussion show Beyond Belief (it’s great, even for atheists!) ran an episode on purgatory, which may not be available to listeners outside of the UK.

Happy Christmas and we’ll see  you again in 2016!

* no, seriously. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.