While cataloging the library of Barchester Cathedral, a scholar finds a diary detailing the events surrounding the mysterious death of an Archdeacon some 50 years earlier. The first of the BBC's famed 'A Ghost Story for Christmas'.

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(story) (as Montague Rhodes James)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Thelma Barlow ...
Letitia Hayes
Will Leighton ...
Librarian
Harold Bennett ...
Archdeacon Pulteney
Penny Service ...
Jane Lee
Martin Hoyle ...
Verger
Erik Chitty ...
Priest
David Pugh ...
John
Ambrose Coghill ...
Museum Curator
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Storyline

A scholar, Dr Black (Clive Swift), is engaged in cataloging the collection of the library of Barchester Cathedral. He is finding the work heavy going as there is little of any real interest within the collection and the librarian is proving less than helpful. However, the librarian and Dr Black discover a box of documents pertaining to a former Archdeacon of the Cathedral. Black begins reading the diary of Dr Haynes, an ambitious cleric who finds his promotion to the position of Archdeacon blocked by a geriatric incumbent who seems like he will never vacate the position. The impatient Haynes (Robert Hardy) seems to conspire to hasten the Archdeacon's death and is duly appointed Archdeacon. However, his diary reveals that once in post Haynes becomes increasingly disturbed as he is plagued by unnerving events both within the Cathedral and his own home. Written by Mark_a_Wood <markawood@hotmail.co.uk>

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gothic horror | based on book | See All (2) »

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Horror

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Release Date:

24 December 1971 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Ghost Story for Christmas: The Stalls of Barchester  »

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Featured in MR James: Ghost Writer (2013) See more »

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Classic tale of the Macabre shrouded in atmosphere...
20 February 2006 | by (Kranjska Gora, Slovenia) – See all my reviews

This short 'ghost story' film still delights and intrigues me even after several viewings over the years. Wonderful creation of atmosphere,from the dark interior of the archdeacons house to the misty cathedral grounds.I agree that some may find it a little 'plodding'but this is not a slasher/effects movie and I think the build up of the macabre moments and outcome are to be savored and maybe the 'ghost stories' series strong point. I also enjoyed the subtle moments of humor in this story. All in all a very enjoyable winters afternoon or evening viewing.

Roy


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