The Ash-tree

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"The Ash-tree"
Ghost stories of an antiquary.jpg
Author M.R. James
Country England
Language English
Genre(s) Horror short story

"The Ash-tree" is a ghost story by M.R. James, found in his 1904 collection Ghost Stories of an Antiquary.


The tale documents the tale of Sir Richard Fell, who has just inherited Castringham, a country seat with an unfortunate history. The house has been cursed since the day his ancestor, Sir Matthew Fell, condemned a woman to death for witchcraft. It is soon discovered that the ancient ash tree outside his bedroom window is the root of the problem.


"The Ash Tree"
A Ghost Story for Christmas episode
The Ash Tree.jpg
Title screen
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 5
Directed by Lawrence Gordon Clark
Written by M. R. James (story)
David Rudkin (adaptation)
Original air date 23 December 1975
Episode chronology
← Previous
"The Treasure of Abbot Thomas"
Next →
"The Signalman"

It was adapted in 1975 by David Rudkin as "The Ash Tree" and part the BBC's A Ghost Story for Christmas strand.[1] It was first broadcast on 23 December 1975 at 11.35.[2] The adaptation stars Edward Petherbridge as Sir Richard and it was directed by Lawrence Gordon Clark.[3][4]


  1. ^ The Ash Tree on Internet Movie Database
  2. ^ "The Ash Tree". British Film Institute Database. Retrieved 22 September 2010. 
  3. ^ Brockhurst, Colin. "A Ghost Story for Christmas". Retrieved 10 September 2010. 
  4. ^ Angelini, Sergio, The Ash Tree at the BFI's Screenonline. Retrieved 2010-7-7.

External links[edit]