Mammoth Books presents That Haunted Feeling by M.R. James

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Taken from The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror Volume 21, edited by Stephen Jones

Out and Back - Barbara Roden"My cousin-by-marriage Sean Lavery, knowing my love for weird and outré websites, sent me a link to the Dark Roasted Blend site (," reveals the Barbara Roden, "where I found several pages featuring photographs of abandoned places."My imagination was fired by pictures taken at Chippewa Lake Park in Medina, Ohio, which opened in 1878 and was abandoned in 1978, with the buildings and rides left to rot where they stood, and I began looking around for some information about the park."I've always had a fondness for amusement parks, ever since I was a child visiting Vancouver's Pacific National Exhibition with my father and my brother: an annual trip which was one of the red-letter days on my childhood calendar. The photographs of Chippewa Lake Park were equal parts eerie and sad, for anyone who has ever thrilled to the sights and sounds of a midway, and the story sprang, almost fully-formed, into my head; one of the few times that's happened."To see some of the pictures that inspired the following story, visit: Game of Bear - Reggie Oliver & M. R. JamesAbout the posthumously published collaboration that follows, Oliver explains: "James left 'The Game of Bear' in manuscript unfinished at his death in 1936, stopping at the words: 'No, she mayn't.' In completing this story, I have tried as far as possible to enter into James' mind and style and provide the ending James himself might have produced had not death intervened."Permission to do this was kindly granted by James' great nephew, Mr Nicholas Rhodes James, whom I had the pleasure of meeting while attending one of Robert Lloyd-Parry's famous theatrical renditions of James' work."Shem-el-Nessim: An Inspiration in Perfume - Chris Bell"Shem-el-Nessim' (subtitled 'An Inspiration in Perfume') was inspired by a real perfume of that name," reveals Chris Bell, "or at least by a framed advertisement for it that once hung in my girlfriend's parents' house. Now that we live together, it hangs above our bed."The story took a year to write. I began making notes in England in 2005. When I discovered more advertisements and packaging by J. Grossmith & Son, Distillers of Perfumes (the firm fictionalized in the story) on the Internet, Stan Tooprig, the mystery woman and the Cairo Gazette journalist narrator came alive."In a piece of synchronicity in the real world, Grossmith Ltd was recently resurrected and its managing director contacted me to ask how I came to write 'Shem-el-Nessim'. 'It was partly because of your description of Stan Tooprig in the story that I thought you had some special insight into the Grossmith family,' said Simon Brooke, a Grossmith descendant himself."Venturi - Richard Christian Matheson"Nineteenth-century physicist G.B. Venturi discovered a compressive phenomenon which effects fire, moving through a canyon, causing the flames to be intensified, feeding upon themselves," Matheson explains. "This acceleration, called the 'Venturi Effect', is as apt a metaphor for paranoia as I have encountered."When my own house in Malibu burned down, some years back, my senses altered. As fires ate hillsides and smoke drowned sun, I was forced to evacuate in twenty minutes and ultimately lost everything. I even watched my house go up in flames, on the TV news - a surreal pain."The loss awakened me to signs of oncoming fire - rising wind, distant scents of smoke, angry glows on mountains that rim the bay. To this day, even a burning cigarette, anywhere nearby, triggers a vigilant circuit within me."I still live in Malibu, aside its dreamy spell, but am never as completely at ease here as I once was. When winds convulse and fire engines wail, my heart races and I know everything could change."Party Talk - John Gaskin"A year or two ago I was planting roses against the wall of a village church, and found strange...

About M.R. James

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STEPHEN JONES lives in London, England. He is the winner of three World Fantasy Awards, four Horror Writers Association Bram Stoker Awards and three International Horror Guild Awards as well as being a twenty-one time recipient of the British Fantasy Award and a Hugo Award nominee.A former television producer/director and genre movie publicist and consultant (the first three Hellraiser movies, Night Life, Nightbreed, Split Second, Mind Ripper, Last Gasp etc.), he is the co-editor of Horror: 100 Best Books, Horror: Another 100 Best Books, The Best Horror from Fantasy Tales, Gaslight & Ghosts, Now We Are Sick, H.P. Lovecraft's Book of Horror, The Anthology of Fantasy & the Supernatural, Secret City: Strange Tales of London, Great Ghost Stories, Tales to Freeze the Blood: More Great Ghost Stories and the Dark Terrors, Dark Voices and Fantasy Tales series. He has written Coraline: A Visual Companion, Stardust: The Visual Companion, Creepshows: The Illustrated Stephen King Movie Guide, The Essential Monster Movie Guide, The Illustrated Vampire Movie Guide, The Illustrated Dinosaur Movie Guide, The Illustrated Frankenstein Movie Guide and The Illustrated Werewolf Movie Guide, and compiled many anthologies such as The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror series.A Guest of Honour at the 2002 World Fantasy Convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and the 2004 World Horror Convention in Phoenix, Arizona, he has been a guest lecturer at UCLA in California and London's Kingston University and St Mary's University College.You can visit his website at
Published July 26, 2012 by Robinson. 300 pages
Genres: Horror, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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