A Ghost Story for Christmas: The Ash Tree (1975)

UK, 23 December
16mm film, colour, 4:3
mono, English
Series: A Ghost Story for Christmas (1971-1978)

A British horror television episode directed by Lawrence Gordon Clark.

Plot Summary

After taking up his inheritance, Sir Richard Dickin is haunted by of his ancestor Sir Matthew Dickin who condemned a local woman to death as a witch. Before dying, the woman cursed the Dickin family and when on Sir Richard's estate start to die mysteriously, it seems the curse may be about to visit him. Put what part does the ash tree outside the mansion play in all this, and what horrors are lurking with its branches?


Directed by: Lawrence Gordon Clark
© BBC 1975
Producer: Rosemary Hill
A Television Version by: David Rudkin
[Based on a Story] By: M.R. James
Cameraman: John McGlashan
Film Editor: Roger Waugh
Costumes: Sue Cable
Make-Up: Jackie Fitzmaurice
Sound Recordist: Dick Manton
Dubbing Mixer: Ron Edmonds
Visual Effects: John Friedlander
Designer: Allan Anson
Production Assistant: terry Coles

Edward Petherbridge (Sir Richard/Sir Matthew)
Preston Lockwood (Dr Croome)
Barbara Ewing (Anne Mothersole)
Lalla Ward (Lady Augusta)
Lucy Griffiths (Mrs Chiddock)
Oliver Maguire (William Beresford)
Clifford Kerwshaw (the witchfinder)
Cyril Appleton (Master Procathro)
David Pugh (herdsman)
Glynn Sweet (young cleric)



  • Time Screen no.7 (revised) p.27 (UK) – note