Ash-Tree Press
P.O. Box 1360, Ashcroft, British Columbia, Canada V0K 1A0
Tel: (250) 453-2045; Fax: (250) 453-2075



by Noel Boston
with an Introduction by
Patricia and Lionel Fanthorpe

ISBN: 1-55310-049-2; xiv + 148pp
Published 28 January 2003

Price: Cdn$59.00 / US$45.00 / 28.00 (Postage Code A)


'There was no getting away from it; there was now quite unmistakably that horrible feeling that he was being watched. That there was someone behind him—following. Nerves again. He really must keep a tight hold on himself. Why, in five minutes he could be out, and in the lighted Close. Yes, but five minutes can be an eternity. . . . His neck was tingling . . . was he beginning to lose control of his imagination, or—and his heart pumped wildly at the thought—was something, some indefinable horror, gradually gaining on him?'

NOEL BOSTON (1910–66) was a member of a very select group of ghost story writers: those antiquarians, scholars, and clergymen who were inspired by the writing of M. R. James to create their own accounts of supernatural occurrences. E. G. Swain, A. N. L. Munby, R. H. Malden, L. T. C. Rolt, and Noel Boston all used their own experiences, and the world in which they lived, as background and settings for their ghostly tales, creating recognizable worlds full of people going about their daily business and unexpectedly crossing paths with something that defies rational explanation. In the case of Boston, a clergyman, these people are often members of the Church, and their world is one of cathedrals and cloisters, country churches, and manor houses, peopled by the spirits of those who linger still in the places they knew in life, sometimes with malevolent—even deadly—purpose.

Boston wrote his stories for the amusement of himself and his friends, but in 1953 was persuaded to collect five of his tales together in the privately printed (and now very scarce) collection Yesterday Knocks. He was then encouraged to write more ghost stories, which appeared in the magazine Supernatural Stories. These six tales have never before been collected into book form, making the Ash-Tree Press edition of Yesterday Knocks the only complete collection of the ghost stories of Noel Boston.

CONTENTS: Preface; An Appreciation of Canon Noel Boston by Lionel & Patricia Fanthorpe; The Half Legs; The Bellarmine Jars; Lot 629; The North Cloister Walk; P Aia Johns Blak; Right Through My Hair; The Audit Chamber; Bump in the Night; The Face at the Window; The Barrier; Scraping the Barrel.

Jacket painting (from 'Right Through My Hair') is by Paul Lowe. Limited to 500 copies.

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Ash-Tree Press 2003