The Ash Tree by M.R. James
Tuesday’s Tale of Terror, January 1, 2013
M.R. James (1862-1936) is known as the master of ghost stories. His tales are somewhat formulaic in that he sets his characters in ordinary life, creepy surroundings, and into this he lets the ominous enter. Much of James’ horror is implied and suggested in his famous chilling style. The Ash Tree is a story that can truly make you shiver. The dark and gloomy house Castringham Hall in Suffolk is not without a history of 17th century witch-trials. We meet Sir Matthew Fell, his heir Sir Richard, and a particularly vengeful witch named Mrs. Mothersole, who, the story goes, is hanged for her crimes not far from the Hall. Witches, you might know, are especially fond of ash tree branches as they make quite fine brooms for zooming across the night sky.
In this old twisted…
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