I heard one cry in the night, and I heard one laugh afterwards. If I cannot forget that, I shall not be able to sleep again.
"Count Magnus", from Ghost Stories of an Antiquary (1904); The Collected Ghost Stories of M. R. James (London: Edward Arnold, 1947) p. 111.
"There was a man sitting or kneeling on Sampson's window-sill, and looking in, and I thought he was beckoning…He looked as if he was wet all over: and," he said, looking round and whispering as if he hardly liked to hear himself, "I'm not at all sure that he was alive."M. R. James
A ghost story of which the scene is laid in the twelfth or thirteenth century may succeed in being romantic or poetical: it will never put the reader into the position of saying to himself: "If I'm not careful, something of this kind may happen to me!"M. R. James
Reticence may be an elderly doctrine to preach, yet from the artistic point of view I am sure it is a sound one. Reticence conduces to effect, blatancy ruins it.M. R. James