Choose your top 20

British horror television top 50

Take part in our British horror television top 50. Choose your 20 favourite television programmes, episodes, films or series. Full details and submission rules below…


Creeping through the countryside

At once sublime and horrifying, the English countryside is increasingly the backdrop in horror that explores a growing unease about our place in the world. Melissa Elborn digs deeper into…
boris karloff thriller

Karloff On Television: The ‘Other’ Thriller

A decade before Brian Clemens' Thriller, NBC in the US broadcast an identically-titled anthology show of its very own, introduced British horror legend, Boris Karloff. Jane Nightshade takes us back…
West Country Tales

West Country Tales (1982)

Jon Dear peers westward toward two episodes from 1982-83's supernatural anthology series, West Country Tales...​
Beast Nigel Kneale

Nigel Kneale’s Beasts (1976)

Andrew Screen, author of the forthcoming The Book of Beasts, explores a 'touchstone of folk horror and hauntology', the seminal 1976 series Beasts by Nigel Kneale…​
the frighteners tv series

The Forgotten Terrors of The Frighteners (1972)

Long-neglected anthology series, The Frighteners (1972), utilised cultural concerns of the period in telling its pitch-black horror tales. Andrew Screen takes a closer look at the series' 13 episode run...​
casting the runes 1979

A Beguiling Bleakness: Casting the Runes (1979)

Following his final film for the BBC's A Ghost Stories for Christmas series, Lawrence Gordon Clark went freelance and landed at ITV where he turned his considerable talents toward directing…
Moondial 1988

Ghosts In Time: revisiting Moondial (1988)

Time-travel or ghost story? Robert Taylor takes a look at Moondial, a classic children’s drama that puts the resilience of children, in the face of adversity, at its heart...​
ghosts 1995

Ghosts (1995)

Jon Dear revisits 1995's Ghosts, the short-lived BBC anthology show set in modern Britain...
alternative 3 1977

The enduring terror of Alternative 3 (1977)

Graham Williamson revisits 1977's fictional hoax, Alternative 3. 'One of the most intoxicatingly, terrifyingly paranoid programmes ever broadcast on British television...'​
scorpion tales title

Stingless Stories: Scorpion Tales (1978)

Scorpion Tales occupies a lower tier in the pantheon of great British horror television of the 1970s, but did it deserve more than a single series? Andrew Screen investigates the…
Bernard Cribbins

Bernard Cribbins: The Lost Interview

A never before published interview with the late Bernard Cribbins, originally conducted almost 30 years ago by Adam Jezard, in which the actor discusses his work in the genres of…
Dead Set (2008)

Charlie Brooker’s Dead Set (2008)

Brontë Schiltz essays Charlie Brooker's Channel 4 zombie outbreak series, Dead Set, which exposes the very real horror at the heart of reality television programming...
I May Destroy You (2020)

Horror Imagery in I May Destroy You (2020)

Graham Williamson explores Michaela Coel's I May Destroy You, the hit BBC series, and finds ‘a recurrent thread of horror imagery around the edges of the show’...​
rewilding film 2023

Inspiring Rewilding (2023)

As the folk horror anthology Rewilding lands on Prime Video, its director Ric Rawlins discusses ten of its key inspirations – from Moomins to M.R James…
Stigma 1977

Stigma (1977)

1977 marked a departure for the BBC's A Ghost Story for Christmas with an original contemporary-set tale written specifically for the series. David Evans-Powell explores Stigma...
lost hearts 2

Lost Hearts (1973)

Sarah Coomer, whose A Ghost Story for Christmas-inspired illustrations feature in this retrospective, discusses the 1973 episode, Lost Hearts...
Martin’s Close – A Ghost Story for Christmas

Martin’s Close (2019)

Mark Gatiss returned to M.R. James for 2019's A Ghost Story for Christmas, adapting the writer's 1911 tale, Martin's Close. Graham Williamson explores the episode...
A View From a Hill – 2006

A View From A Hill (2005)

Screenwriter Simon Allen offers a uniquely personal perspective on the work of M.R. James and interviews Luke Watson, director of the 2005 revival episode of A Ghost Story for Christmas, A View From a Hill...
the stalls of barchester

The Stalls of Barchester (1971)

The first official episode of the BBC's A Ghost Story for Christmas series was an adaptation of the M.R. James' story, The Stalls of Barchester Cathedral. Lee Broughton explores the film in detail...​
Martin’s Close

Martin’s Close (2019)

Peta Stamper's companion piece to Graham Williamson's essay on the BBC's A Ghost Stories for Christmas episode explores M.R. James' as a story and place of visitations, retribution and doubt...
The Tractate Middoth 2013

The Tractate Middoth (2013)

Mark Gatiss took up the mantle of producing the first BBC A Ghost Story for Christmas for three years with an adaptation of M.R. James' The Tractate Middoth. Paul Lewis discusses Gatiss's 2013 effort...
the ice house (1978)

The Ice House (1978)

With Lawrence Gordon Clark having absconded to ITV, Derek Lister took the reins for what became the final film in the original run of the BBC's A Ghost Story for Christmas. Jon Dear explores The Ice House...
The Signalman (1976)

The Signalman (1976)

Following several M.R. James adaptations, Lawrence Gordon Clark turned to Charles Dickens for the sixth A Ghost Story for Christmas episode. Johnny Restall explores Dickens' classic haunted tale, The Signalman...
The Stalls of Barchester

The Stalls of Barchester (1971)

Richard Higson discusses why, of all the films in the BBC's A Ghost Story for Christmas series, The Stalls of Barchester is the episode he keeps returning to...​
A Warning to the Curious

A Warning to the Curious (1972)

Perhaps the best remembered of the BBC's A Ghost Story for Christmas series, Daniel McGachey​ explains why A Warning to the Curious still retains its ability to unsettle...
13 4

Number 13 (2006)

Relocating M.R. James' original story from Denmark to England, the BBC followed up the previous year's A View From a Hill with Number 13. Graham Williamson explores Pier Wilkie's 2006 adaptation...

Stigma (1977)

1977's A Ghost Story for Christmas marked the final film in the series to be directed by Lawrence Gordon Clark. Stigma also heralded a change in style, as Adrian Pennington's essay discusses...​
The Dead Room 2018

The Dead Room (2018)

Jon Dear looks at the 2018 episode of A Ghost Story for Christmas - this time eschewing the traditional M.R. James adaptation in favour of an original story, The Dead Room, written and directed by Mark Gatiss...
whistle and i’ll come to you (2010)

Whistle and I’ll Come To You (2010)

The decision to re-adapt Whistle and I'll Come to You for 2010's A Ghost Story for Christmas divided fans of the series and M.R. James' original story. Jon Dear explores Andy de Emmony's effort...​
The Signalman (1976)

The Signalman (1976)

Paul Childs explores The Signalman, the 1976 episode of A Ghost Story for Christmas adapted from Charles Dicken's tale, and ponders the inescapability of fate...
lost hearts (1973)

Lost Hearts (1973)

One of the more controversial episodes in the BBC's A Ghost Story for Christmas series. Ellis Reed makes a personal exploration into 1973's Lost Hearts...
the treasure of abbot thomas (1974

The Treasure of Abbot Thomas (1974)

The Treasure of Abbot Thomas was the first of two A Ghost Story for Christmas episodes to be adapted (or written as an original tale) by celebrated writer, John Bowen. Conrad Kurtz looks back at the 1974 episode...​
The Ash Tree (1975)

The Ash Tree (1975)

Graham Williamson essays The Ash Tree, the 1975 episode of A Ghost Story for Christmas, adapted by David Rudkin, writer of Penda's Fen...

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