Title: The Haunted Dolls’ House
Publishing House: Penguin Classics
Date of Publication: 2008 (first published March 1923)
Rating: 5 stars
My first ‘’meeting’’ with M.R.James was through the marvelous Classic Ghost Stories series narrated by the living legend that answers to the name Robert Powell. The strange thing is that for some unknown reason I hadn’t actually read any of his stories. Shame, I know. A few weeks ago, my mum went to our favourite bookshop to pick up an order and took the initiative to buy the collection. ‘’I don’t recall having seen this author on your shelves’’. Because she is cool like that…
Can you actually get scared by reading a ghost story while you’re in a train, on a calm Thursday evening, with people all around you? Especially when you are a seasoned ghost – stories reader? Actually, you can. I mean, I was petrified. In the title story, an antiques dealer finds himself as the temporary owner of a beautiful, unsettlingly realistic doll’s house. From the very first moments, something seems to be wrong. And he is right to think so for every night, at exactly one o’clock the doll’s house come alive. It comes alive with a story that is too terrible to describe…
There are many stories worthy of praise in this collection. My favourites include Wailing Well, The Mezzotint, The Ash Tree, I’ll Come to You, My Lad but it is The Haunted Dolls’ House that made me shiver while in a public place. Definitely a volume that should find a home on the shelves of every horrorphile.
Watch Robert Powell narrating Wailing Well: