A Ghost Story for Christmas (1971-1978)

UK, 24 December -22 December 2006
10 episodes, 30m-50m each
16mm film, colour, 4:3
mono, English

A British television strand from the BBC, broadcast annually for eight years in the 1970s. The title A Ghost Story for Christmas never actually appears on-screen but all eight episodes were tied together under this title in the Radio Times, the BBC's weekly listings magazine. Initially, the strand adapted stories by M.R. James but eventually branched out, adapting a short story by Charles Dickens and concluding with two original scripts. The tradition was revived in 2005 by BBC Four who repeated some of the original plays and added two further plays of their own and in 2013 by Mark Gatiss who explicitly used the A Ghost Story for Christmas prefix for his adaptations of James' The Tractate Middoth and the later Martin's Close (2019), The Mezzotint (2021) and Count Magnus (2022).


The Stalls of Barchester (24 December 1971)
A Warning to the Curious (24 December 1972)
Lost Hearts (25 December 1973)
The Treasure of Abbot Thomas (23 December 1974)
The Ash Tree (23 December 1975)
The Signalman (22 December 1976)
Stigma (28 December 1977)
The Ice House (25 December 1978)

See also
A View from a Hill (2005)
Number 13 (2006)
A Ghost Story for Christmas: The Tractate Middoth (2013)
A Ghost Story for Christmas: Martin's Close (2019)
A Ghost Story for Christmas: The Mezzotint (2021)
A Ghost Story for Christmas: Count Magnus (2022)
Lot no.249 (2023)



  • Creeping Flesh: The Horror Fantasy Film Book pp.12-15 – credits, synopsis, review (by Phil Tonge)
  • English Gothic: A Century of Horror Cinema by Jonathan Rigby pp.265, 357, 365