A Ghost Story for Christmas Lot No.249 release date and cast

Latest Mark Gatiss ghost story

Mark Gatiss adapts Arthur Conan Doyle’s short story Lot No. 249 for the BBC this Christmas.


The co-creator of Sherlock pens the one-off special, starring Kit Harington and Freddie Fox.

Known for his tradition of crafting and directing a Christmas ghost story, this marks Gatiss’ inaugural television adaptation of a Conan Doyle horror tale.

When is A Ghost Story for Christmas: Lot No.249 on TV?

A Ghost Story for Christmas: Lot No.249 is on BBC Two on 24 December 2023 at 10PM.

You’ll also be able to stream the episode online via BBC iPlayer.

Who’s on the cast?

Here’s a list of who’s on the cast of the new special:

  • Kit Harington plays Abercrombie Smith
  • Freddie Fox plays Edward Bellingham
  • Colin Ryan plays Monkhouse Lee
  • John Heffernan plays The Friend
  • Andrew Horton plays Long Norton
  • Jonathan Rigby plays Styles
  • James Swanton plays The Mummy

What’s the show about?

The upcoming narrative follows a cluster of Oxford scholars, with one delving into the enigmas of Ancient Egypt, subsequently becoming a topic of conversation across the college.

In 1881, at Old College in Oxford, the lives of three distinctive young scholars intersect: Abercrombie Smith, epitomizing the ideal Victorian gentleman with robust health and a sound mind; Monkhouse Lee, a frail and ethereal student hailing from Siam; and the enigmatic Edward Bellingham, whose esoteric research into Ancient Egypt becomes a topic of campus-wide intrigue.


Could Bellingham’s otherworldly experiments breathe life into the terrifying skeletal remains known as Lot No. 249?

Writer and director Mark Gatiss said: “It’s a serious delight for me to delve once again into the brilliant work of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, this time for the Christmas Ghost story.

Lot No.249 is a personal favourite and is the grand-daddy (or should that be Mummy?) of a particular kind of end of Empire chiller: a ripping yarn packed with ghastly scares and who-knows-what lurking in the Victorian closet…”

Exploring Arthur Conan Doyle

The festive special will accompany a new documentary TV series exploring Arthur Conan Doyle and his fictional detective.


For more than a hundred years, he has captivated and thrilled his enthusiasts with his intellect and deductive abilities, elevating his creator, author Arthur Conan Doyle, to fame and fortune. However, the writer eventually grew to despise his own fictional character.

Lucy Worsley will front The Case of Conan Doyle which will air over three episodes this December.

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