Stories that inspired M.R. James

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

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Episode 3 – The Mezzotint

Mezzotint Image by Stephen Gray ( 3 sees us tackle ‘The Mezzotint’ by M.R. James and delve into the world of sinister collectable artwork of a kind not often featured on the Antiques Roadshow.

In this episode:

  • Terror!
  • Art!
  • Golf!
  • Alternative endings!
  • How NOT to choose a babysitter!
  • Mike gets all sentimental about his university days.
  • Will moans a lot and bellows “In your FACE Cambridge!”
Many thanks to our excellent readerĀ Rob Douglas and to Stephen Gray of for providing theĀ monstrousĀ mezzotint photo above.


  • Hauntography: The Mezzotint
    Read the excellent commentary on ‘The Mezzotint’ by Tom at Freaky Trigger, including an interesting mezzotint-as-comic-strip interpretation.
  • Art in Horror Fiction
    Interesting exploration of how art has been used as a plot device in horror fiction.
  • Golf as a Metaphor in the Ghost Stories of M.R. James
    An extended essay looking at the role golf plays in various M.R. James stories, namely ‘Oh Whistle…’, ‘The Mezzotint’ and ‘The Rose Garden’.
  • Topographical Drawings at the British Library
    The British Library contains a large collection of topographical drawings of the kind Mr. Williams curated.
  • Canterbury College, Oxford
    James refers to the setting as ‘Canterbury College’, which existed up until the disillusion of the monasteries in the 16th Century but not at the time this story is set.
  • Annesley Hall, Nottinghamshire
    Anningley Hall in Essex is not a real place. However there is an Annesley Hall in Nottinghamshire, built in the 13th Century and with a fairly spooky past of its own!

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