Stories that inspired M.R. James

Twelve tales of terror recommended by the master of the genre!

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Episode 47 – The Five Jars, Part 3

In this episode Mike and Will cover the concluding third of ‘The Five Jars‘, M.R. James’s little-read children’s book. Expect earwig racing, bat balls, dragons and horseshoe mayhem!

The readings for this episode once again come from the excellent Librevox audiobook of The Five Jars, read by Peter Yearsley.


Contemporary children’s novels with a similar touch of the weird:


Episode 46 – The Five Jars, Part 2

The Five Jars - illustration by Gilbert James

In this episode Mike and Will delve into the middle third of M.R. James’s ‘The Five Jars’ and encounter talking owls, two flavours of sinister old women, and all manner of supernatural trickery and tomfoolery!

Readings this week are once again extracted from Peter Yearsley’s excellent Librevox recording of this story, with added help from Debbie Wedge.

If you don’t have a copy of The Five Jars in your collection, you can read the whole thing online at

Also, Letters to a Child, extracts from M.R. James’s highly entertaining correspondence with the young Sybil Cropper can be read online at the Ghosts & Scholars website.


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