from Ghost Stories of an Antiquary, by M. R. James
This seemed like the best-written of the stories, so far (in my opinion, at least). The pacing felt better. There wasn't such a rush to conclusion. As with the others, the creep factor was certainly perceptible-- but this time the story ended with a shuddersome revelation, rather than spilling the beans paragraphs earlier and weakening the effect. Very nice!
One odd coincidence, though-- that the old vicar's descendent should happen to visit on the precise day that he did. (g) Oh well, it's just a scary story; it needn't be realistic in small details, because it's certainly not realistic overall!
Incidentally, we have an ash tree planted not far from the house-- not on the side by our bedroom, but near one of the spare rooms that could eventually be a bedroom/guestroom. It's a good thing we're not Irish, I guess. ;o)