Ambrose Bierce

Halloween Month continues with Balladeer’s Blog’s look at some seasonal stories by the one and only Ambrose Bierce. I think we’re all sick of Owl Creek Bridge so here are a few lesser-known tales from “Bitter Bierce.”

THE SPOOK HOUSE (1889) – In pre-Civil War Kentucky a pair of traveling politicians take shelter in a notoriously haunted house which was once the site of a bloody massacre. The eerie abandoned house features a room from which an unearthly green glow emanates … a room in which lie all the corpses of the missing massacre victims and of all those foolish enough to stay in the house ever since. 

A VINE ON A HOUSE (1905) – At the Missouri home of Robert Harding a large and strangely persistent vine has grown. The vine covers an entire side of the structure, adding to the mystery of the place, from which Harding’s wife Matilda disappeared long ago.

SPOILER: The vine leads Robert to its subterranean roots, where he learns it is a form of supernatural plant that has grown from the corpse of his late wife … whom, as it turns out, he had murdered and buried there. The intelligent plant wants revenge.        

THE DAMNED THING (1893) – This story features a creepy cabin in the woods, a hunting party and an otherworldly creature hunting the hunters. The tale has a kind of “Horla meets the alien from Predator” feel to it, since Bierce emphasized the way the creature had evolved over time to have its fur blend in perfectly with the woodland surrounding it.  

THE EYES OF THE PANTHER (1897) – Madness, the tragic death of an infant, and the star-crossed romance between attorney Jenner Brenning and beautiful but mysterious Irene Marlowe. SPOILER: Irene suffers the curse of being a were-panther. Shelley Duvall’s Nightmare Classics once did an overlong adaptation of this story. Bierce had figuratively crafted a horror haiku with this tale but Duvall stretched it out to Anne Rice length. Well, comparatively. 

THE ISLE OF PINES (1888) – Fans of the Pirates of the Caribbean films may enjoy this little honey. Herman Deluse, a former pirate, left behind a manor in Ohio haunted by the supernatural presence of the late Captain and his crew. Amid the nightly cavorting, drinking, firing of cannons and clashes of swordplay the undead former terrors of the sea also take time to admire their treasure. A foolish man plots to steal the fortune in gold doubloons, resulting in a night of deadly horror.  


FOR MORE HALLOWEEN ITEMS CLICK HERE:  https://glitternight.com/category/halloween-season/

© Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. 


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