“May I ask what you intend to do with it next?”
“I’m going to put it back.”
The 1972 Christmas adaptation of the classic M. R. James ghost story, A Warning to the Curious, perfectly captured the unique terror of the story, a terror that was at the heart of most of James’ classics. In the tale, an amateur archaeologist finds himself on the trail of an ancient Anglian crown said to protect the ancient kingdom from invasion, but is pursued by its ghostly protector intent on keeping it hidden. What drives the story is that the past should remain in the past, admired from a distance but never defiled for personal gain, lest destruction be wrought on more than just the individual.
For note, I’m going to discuss the story in detail, so, spoilers ahead. Just a little warning to the curious.
The idea of a ghostly companion…
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