A BBC WORLD SERVICE, series of twenty-four episodes, broadcast from 1980-84. It included both classic and original ghost stories in a 30 minute format. They were dramatized by Derek Hoddinott and directed by him, unless otherwise noted. HUGE thanks to Internet Archive user thecoolerking for sending along the episodes I was missing so here’s the complete series.

Most are high quality Mp3s, but I’ve also uploaded FLACs wherever possible.

Episodes include:


1980-06-21 Little Girl Lost [by Rosemary Timperley]

With the recent death of her second husband, Mrs. Grove now stays with her son from her first marriage, Herbert, and his wife, Sally. Sally and Herbert think she has gone mad as she continually talks to her late second husband, John, so they’ve called in a doctor to take a look at her. But Janet, Herbert and Sally’s daughter, believes that Mrs. Grove can talk to her late husband and wants to be able to hear his voice, too. Sally feels she is losing control over her daughter as she gets closer with Mrs. Grove and begs her husband to stop it.

“Little Girl Lost” by Rosemary Timperley was first published in ‘The Bumper Book of Ghost Stories’ in 1975.

With Jenny Lyndon [Sally Lake], John Carson [Herbert Lake], Ruth Dunning [Mrs. Grove], Bernadette Windsor [Janet Lake], and Adrian Eagan [Doctor Raven / John Grove].

1980-06-28 What Was It [by Fitz-James O’Brien]

It is July 1854. Harry has just arrived No.28 Twenty-sixth Street, in New York City. It was built some fifteen or twenty years earlier by a well-known New York merchant, who five years earlier threw the commercial world into convulsions by a stupendous bank fraud. He escaped to Europe, and died not long after of a broken heart. Almost immediately after the news of his decease reached America, and was verified, the report spread in Twenty-sixth Street that No. 28 was haunted.

Before it was turned into a boarding-house, the caretaker and his wife, placed there by the house agent into whose hands it had passed for purposes of renting or sale, declared that they were troubled with unnatural noises. Doors were opened without any visible agency. The remnants of furniture scattered through the various rooms were, during the night, piled one upon the other by unknown hands. Invisible feet passed up and down the stairs in broad daylight, accompanied by the rustle of unseen silk dresses, and the gliding of viewless hands along the massive balusters. The care taker and his wife declared that they would live there no longer.

The house remained untenanted for three years before Mrs. Moffat took over, turining it into a boarding-house. And after spending a month there, Harry was forced to acknowledge that nothing in the remotest degree approaching the supernatural had manifested itself until one night…

What Was It? by Fitz-James O’Brien (31st December 1828 – 6th April 1862) was first published in “Harper’s” in March 1859.

It was the first well-shaped short story of a tangible but invisible being, and the prototype of de Maupassant’s Horla.

With Peter Marinker [Harry Crown], Blane Fairman [Doctor Stephen Hammond], and Helen Horton [Mrs. Moffatt].

1980-07-05 The Family [by John Elliot]

As solicitor David Eccleston arrives at his client’s (Mr. Watson) lodgings, he is met by a Detective Sergeant who gives him a letter from Watson that he feels he should read before he sees him. The letter is about something peculiar that has happened to him. It concerns a young women by the name of Carol Temple that he met late one night around 1:00 a.m. in front of the boarding house where he lived.

She had no home, no parents, no relations so he invited her up to his flat to get out of the cold and have something to eat. He allowed her to stay the night though with no plans to take advantage of the situation… but he did. She left the next day under friendly terms and he didn’t see her for three months until, one day, he arrived home late from a job and there she was. She tells him that she is pregnant. Whether it is his child or not he wants her to stay – he will take care of her – but she protests telling him that he must first hear her story…

With George Cole [Mr. Watson], Janet Maw [Carol Temple], Peter Baldwin [Detective Sergeant Forester], John Church [David Eccleston], Elizabeth Ryder [The Nurse], Jane Thompson [The Reception], and Graham Faulkner [The Policeman].

1980-07-12 Walk on Water [by Rosemary Timperley]

Young Rachel finds her whole life blighted by one encounter. A salutary lesson about talking to strangers, as a young girl finds her whole life blighted by one encounter. Stars Anna Cooper as Rachel, Ursula Howells as Mother, Jack May as Father, David Ashford as Peter and Brian Hewlett as the Man. With Brian Haines, Trevor Cooper and Leonard Fenton.

1980-07-19 The Dream Woman [by Wilkie Collins]

Isaac lives in constant fear of a knife-wielding female. But is she of this Earth, or from beyond the grave? Stars Charles Kay.

1980-07-26 The Decoy [by Algernon Blackwood]

Adapted by Derek Hoddinott from Algernon Blackwood’s short story. “The Decoy” was first published in an anthology entitled: The Wolves of God, and Other Fey Stories, 1921.

1980-08-02 Listen to the Silence [by Rosemary Timperley]

Mary must face her fears. Can she refuse the offer made by a strange voice claiming to be her grandfather? Stars Gwen Watford.

1980-08-09 The Inexperienced Ghost [by H. G. Wells]

A man encounters a troubled spirit. But could this meeting lead to tragedy? Adapted by Patricia Mays from H. G. Wells’ story. Starring Donald Houston and Christopher Guard.

1980-08-16 Christina [by Daphne Castell]

Miss Chaucer tells Dr. Richard that she is so depressed – in part due to the recent death of a friend – she have tried to shake it off but with no luck. Since Mary’s death she has can’t seem to take the same pleasure in writing, especially children stories. Also, before Mary died she had lost a lot of money – mostly to oversea investments. She has no family to turn to for hope or advise.

Mary would have helped her had she been well enough. To an extent, Mary was her family. She’s is alone now. It is that fact that depresses and frightens her. Dr. Richard tells her that she has to get away. A fresh environment; a new locality; to get out of London; to find a new village somewhere and make new friends – find a new rythm for her life and then rethink her future. That is what she did and that is how she came to meet Mrs. Crozier, the housekeeper, and Christina, the ghost of a child who has come

back to the house where she once lived. But why?

First published in “Superhorror” (1976), a short story and novelette collection consisting of (Novelettes) ‘Wood’ by Robert Aickman; ‘The Pattern’ by Ramsey Campbell; ‘The Hunting Ground’ by David Drake; and ‘Dark Wings’ by Fritz Leiber. (Short Stories) ‘The Viaduct’ by Brian Lumley; ‘The Petey Car’ by Manly Wade Wellman; ‘Fog in My Throat’ by R. A. Lafferty; ‘Christina’ by Daphne Castell; and ‘The Case of James Elmo Freebish’ by Joseph F. Pumilia. (Essays/Articles) ‘Introduction (Superhorror)’ by Ramsey Campbell.

1980-08-23 The Late Departure [by Glen Chandler]

Peter Harrington is a 43-year-old workaholic who is overweight, a smoker, and has high blood pressure. His business associates and wife keep telling him that he will drop dead one day if he doesn’t completely change his lifestyle. One day, after another hectic day at work, he runs to the station to catch the 11:00 p.m. train home. As he sits in one of the compartments, time starts to drift past 11:00 p.m. with no train departure. Slowly, he starts to see that all those around him, railway emloyees and passengers, act strangely towards him as none are concerned about the late departure. Where is this train going and will he ever get home?

1980-08-30 Esmeralda [by John Keir Cross]

Felix might finally be free of his wife, but who is the mysterious woman claiming to be his daughter? Starring George Baker

1980-09-06 A Pair of Hands [by Arthur Quiller-Couch]

More than causing goose pimples, this tender tale tugs at the heartstrings with its touching description of the antics of the “most harmless ghost in the world.” The pair of hands that show up in the house rented by Miss Poulton belong to a girl Margaret, who had died of diptheria at the tender age of seven. Ever since, her little hands appear every now and then to dust and clean the house with an almost obsessive desire to keep it free of infection. So unobtrusive and gentle is the dead girl’s presence that hers is the friendliest ghost. As Miss Poulton says of this sweet spirit: she “smoothed my pillow, touched and made my table comely, in summers lifted the heads of the flowers as I passed” The short story ‘A Pair of Hands’ by Arthur Quiller-Couch (1863 – 1944) was first published in 1898.

1980-09-13 Keeping His Promise [by Algernon Blackwood]

A sudden queer sensation of fear passed over him—a faintness and a shiver down the back. It went, however, almost as soon as it came, and he was just debating whether he would call aloud.to his invisible visitor, or slam the door and return to his books, when the cause of the disturbance turned the corner very slowly and came into view…

This tale concerns a young man by the name of Jack Marriott who is a fourth year student at Edinburgh University. One night he is cramming for his finals when his friend, Ambrose Field, from a long time ago knocks on the door in a terrible state. His friend is close to starvation, and so Marriot feeds him and sets him to sleep. As his friend sleeps,

Marriott discovers that nothing is quite as it seems with the situation. A promise that was made a long time ago seems to have come back to haunt him – literally.

Dramatized by Patricia Mays, “Keeping His Promise” was first published in 1906 in Blackwood’s short story collection, ‘The Empty House: And Other Ghost Stories’. With Eric Deacon [Jack Marriott], Christopher Neame [Ambrose Field], David Griffin [Henry Green], Peter Tuddenham [Lord Field], and Narissa Knights [Lady Field]. Other parts were played by Nigel Graham Algernon Blackwood (1869-1951) was born into a well-to-do Kentish family. His parents, converts to a Calvinistic sect, led an austere life, ill-suited to their dreamy and sensitive son. During adolescence, he became fascinated by hypnotism and the supernatural and, on leaving university, studied Hindu philosophy and occultism. Later, he was to draw on these beliefs and experiences in his writing.

1980-09-20 Which One? [by Ronald Chetwynd-Hayes]

A fire warden team are put to the toughest test during a 1940 bombing raid. Will they all survive? Stars Reginald Marsh.


1982-05-01 The Judge’s House [by Bram Stoker]

Malcolm Malcolmson discovers the truth of the ‘absurd prejudices’ which have accrued around an empty property. Adapted by Patricia Mays from Bram Stoker’s story. Stars Nigel Havers as Malcolmson, Nancy Nevinson as Mrs Dempster and Jane Thompson as Mrs Witham. With David Timson and Alexander John.

1982-05-08 The Emissary [by Ray Bradbury]

Young Marion is unwell, but her pet dog keeps her in touch with the outside world. And beyond. Stars Jennie Linden.

1982-05-15 Legal Rites [by Isaac Asimov & James Maccreag]

Adapted by Patricia Mays from Isaac Asimov & James Maccreag’s short story. Starring Ed Bishop and directed by Derek Hoddinott

1982-05-22 Mists of Memory [by Rosemary Timperley]

Young cellist Janet meets a confused old man. He wonders if ‘music is where I live’. And he seems familiar. Stars Helen Worth.


1984-07-07 The Lamp [by Agatha Christie]

A sickly young boy settles into a new address, but his ghostly playmate has other ideas. Stars Judy Cornwell and Timothy Bateson.

1984-07-14 Channel Crossing [by Rosemary Timperley]

Can a family holiday overcome all the issues that divide a bickering family? Stars Peter Sallis and Nicholas Lyndhurst.

1984-07-21 The Liberated Tiger [by Ronald Chetwynd-Hayes]

Roland is dying. But could he possibly be haunting his wife while he is still alive? Stars Rosemary Leach and Leslie Sands.

1984-07-28 The Dead Man of Varley Grange [by Anonymous]

Jack is set for a good time at a friend’s new property, but why do strange rumours persist about the house? Stars George Baker. Adapted by Patricia Mays. Directed by Martin Williamson

1984-08-04 To Kill A Ghost [by Elizabeth S. Holding]

Adapted by Patricia Mays from Elizabeth S. Holding’s short story The Strange Children

1984-08-11 The Grey Ones [by J.B. Priestley]

A patient fears evil is at work in the shape of a sinister conspiracy. Will his psychiatrist be able to help? Stars Tony Britton