Archive for December 14th, 2014

Will-o'-the-Wisp, by Robjenx, on Deviantart.

Will-o’-the-Wisp, by Robjenx, on Deviantart.

I could not write a series of posts leading up to Christmastime without mentioning M. R. James. Not only was he a librarian, and a rare books/medievalist librarian at that, he wrote wonderfully scary ghost stories. Last Christmas, Mark Gatiss brought James onto the small screen with a documentary M R James: Ghost Writer and his version of James’ Christmas ghost story The Tractate Middoth. Thus today’s picture of the will-o’-the-wisp, the ghost light, is a call to arms, asking you to find a copy of M. R. James’ ghost stories, and to give them free rein in your imagination.

Will-o’-the-Wisps exist across the world, and is the name usually given to the strange lights which lure travellers from their path, often into dangerous ground like marshes, and/or into adventures, as in Brave and in Lord of the Rings. Would you follow them, if you saw them, or stay safely on the path?

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