Count Magnus and Other Ghost Stories, Paperback Book

Count Magnus and Other Ghost Stories Paperback

Edited by S. T. Joshi

4 out of 5 (2 ratings)


The only annotated edition of M. R. James's writings currently available, Count Magnus and Other Ghost Stories contains the entire first two volumes of James's ghost stories, Ghost Stories of an Antiquary and More Ghost Stories of an Antiquary.

These volumes are both the culmination of the nineteenth-century ghost story tradition and the inspiration for much of the best twentieth-century work in this genre.

Included in this collection are such landmark tales as "Count Magnus," set in the wilds of Sweden; "Number 13," a distinctive tale about a haunted hotel room; "Casting the Runes," a richly complex tale of sorcery that served as the basis for the classic horror film Curse of the Demon; and "Oh, Whistle, and I'll Come to You, My Lad," one of the most frightening tales in literature.

The appendix includes several rare texts, including "A Night in King's College Chapel," James's first known ghost story.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Horror & ghost stories
  • ISBN: 9780143039396



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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

In the preface to this book, M.R. James explains that for a ghost story to be successful the ghost must be “malevolent or odious”, and he has certainly fulfilled this promise. Whilst not terrifying by modern standards (the characters, mostly Victorian-type gentlemen, do not have the strongest nerves) the stories are definitely chilling and, at their best, are highly enjoyable. Fifteen accounts are included in this volume, most of which involve a grisly murder and all of which contain some element of mystery; at the end of each the reader is left to mull over the macabre world of the paranormal. Many of these short stories are written from the point of view of an impartial observer who is investigating an unexplained death, and the style works very well, particularly in my favourite /Number 13/, which could explain why many hotels do not have a room 13 to this day.These tales are most enjoyable when read, as intended, close to Christmas, late at night and with the brandy in easy reach, just in case a flickering shadow or a startling noise causes one’s heart to beat a little faster.

Review by

 Very menacing, but not in an obvious way. The most inventive are the ones where the ordinary turns into something frightening - the bedclothes taking form, for example