The short story is the perfect format for traditional ghost stories. They have their roots in folklore, but in modern form they can be traced back to the romanticised writers of the Gothic tradition. Authors include Charles Dickens, Sheridan Le Fanu, Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Mrs Henry Wood, F. Marion Crawford, Elizabeth Gaskell and H. H. Munro (Saki). Perhaps the finest exponent of the genre was M. R. James whose sly, academic tales are well represented in this collection, as well as those of Le Fanu, whom James acknowledged as his inspiration. This is a book to be relished by the fireside, with the curtains drawn against ghoulies and ghosties and long-legged beasties, and things that go bump in the night.