The Savagely Brutal, Bitterly Mournful Horror Tales of Ambrose Bierce (Oldstyle Tales’ Macabre Masters)

“GHOST, n. The outward signal of an inward worry” — Ambrose Bierce, The Satan’s Dictionary

 

He was the successor of Edgar Allan Poe and a harbinger of H. P. Lovecraft, penning a number of the most stunning, savage horror tales within the English language. His darkish, literary universe was haunted by shadowy monsters who by no means fairly revealed themselves, solely stalking within the dim background like woodland predators round a campfire. And what higher tales for any campfire’s firm: he wrote twilight tales of seductive werewolves, zombie resurrections, nights spent with corpses in empty homes, haunted cabins, killer robots, wartime ghost tales, invisible predators, reincarnated spirits, household curses, ghoul-haunted graveyards, jilted ghosts’ violent revenges, mysterious disappearances, spectral visions, guilt-maddened murderers, and battlefield carnage. There was by no means a greater creator to learn across the snapping flare of a lonely campsite than the country, existential horror tales of Ambrose Bierce. 

 

 Extensively celebrated because the consummate cynic, Ambrose Bierce has given the general public nice cause to view him as a resolute misanthrope guided by pure cause and completely sure of the cheeky pessimism that gave him the nickname “Bitter Bierce.” His tales are affected by disappointments, tragedies, and human distress. His lovers nearly all the time kill their beloveds, his kids nearly all the time both slay their dad and mom, and his pals nearly all the time abandon or homicide one another. And but, when considered objectively, this isn’t the work of a cynic: it’s the writing of a deeply disenchanted idealist. Cynics don’t anticipate justice and aren’t disturbed by tragedy – they’re amused by it. Bierce’s tales clearly don’t function idealism as a advantage, however its lack casts a ponderous, simple shadow over his grim fiction: he mourns, as delicate as it could appear, for a world with out reliable authorities, and longs, as understated as it could appear, for a restoration of justice and hope. However his tales are unyielding: none is to be anticipated or delivered. That is what haunts his horror fiction – outward indicators of an inward worry – not the understanding of a meaningless existence, however the determined terror that he is perhaps proper.

 

Bierce’s most traumatizing experiences – his seemingly loveless upbringing, his wartime horrors, his disappointing marriage to an adulterous spouse, and his lifelong terror of previous age and demise – solid ghostly shadows over his writing and closely influenced his plots and characters. Loneliness, greater than smug skepticism, lurks all through these existential tales, and alienation, greater than haughty materialism, offers them with their hallmark chunk. That is vital to understanding Bierce’s message, as a result of it was not simply the gospel of lowered expectations, but additionally a drowning man’s enchantment for a hope of rescue that he longed for though he believed in his coronary heart that it was not possible. Relatively than an intellectually cool Richard Dawkins or a self-satisfied Sigmund Freud, Bierce was extra akin to Marx or Nietzsche: a damaged idealist hounded by ghosts of his shattered imaginative and prescient of what humanity must be. That is obvious in his highest tales – like “The Moonlit Highway,” “The Boarded Window,” and “An Incidence at Owl Creek Bridge” – which all share a way of religious brokenness and tragic disparity between the heavenly aspirations of soul and the hellish vacation spot of the physique. In these tales real communication is made not possible, and a lifetime of group and fellowship is contaminated with the contagion of self-absorption and alienation.

 

The three members of the family in “The Moonlit Highway” may presumably heal from their tragic separation if solely they might talk the reality to 1 one other, however pleasure, confusion, and disgrace suffocate their possibilities of reconciliation or peace. The couple in “The Boarded Window” are divided by uncommunicated emotions – the spouse, maybe, of a resentment at being dragged into the wilderness, and the husband, nearly definitely, of a barely repressed reduction at his spouse’s obvious demise. When she is finally torn to items by a panther (the image of the husband’s delighted Id), he’s so traumatized that he resigns himself to a lifetime of lonely penance, boarding up the window by way of which the panther accessed his sure spouse as if it may symbolically block out any additional hateful feelings. Most famously of all, in “Owl Creek Bridge,” the condemned planter, who has a lived a false life outlined by romantic visions of heroism, glory, and distinction, learns the blessings of life simply too late to get pleasure from a easy lifetime of grateful fellowship together with his spouse. His spirit longs to embrace hers and to precise its love and appreciation, however is cut-off from this religious meditation by the hangman’s noose. In different tales – “The Eyes of the Panther,” “The Methods of Ghosts,” “Soldier-People,” “Chickamauga,” “Visions of the Evening,” and so on. – the brutal disparity between expectations and actuality is heartbreaking.

 

 Of their assortment of Bierce’s letters, A A lot Misunderstood Man, S. T. Joshi and David Schultz try and dispel Bierce’s status as a depressing misanthrope, the 2 students characterize him as: a person whose sensitivity to the fragility of beings confronted with the chilly indifference of an unfeeling universe so pronounced, whose ethical code of unflinching honesty and rectitude so unwavering, and whose expectations of ethical uprightness in his pals so resolute, that he was ready to face a hostile world – that ‘unknown vacation spot’ of his last letter – alone however unbroken.

 

Bierce’s fiction is suffering from an nearly countless carousel of viciousness, infidelity, and despair, however this solely serves to focus on the all-too-apparent absence of humanity, loyalty, and hope that he expects from a universe bankrupt in its guarantees. In a parting letter to a buddy who had accused his writing, one time too many, of being soulless, Bierce sadly retorts: Possibly, as you say, my work lacks “soul,” however my life doesn’t, and a person’s life is the person. Personally, I maintain that sentiment has a spot on the planet, and that loyalty to a buddy will not be inferior as a attribute to correctness of literary judgment. If there’s a heaven I believe it’s extra valued there… And let me let you know that in case you are going by way of life as a mere pondering machine, ignoring the beneficiant promptings of the guts, sacrificing it to the mind, you’ll have a tough row to hoe, and the end result, while you survey it from the vantage floor of age, won’t please you.

 

These hardly seem to be phrases from Bitter Bierce, however in reality they function an indispensable perception into his thoughts, and therefore into his fiction. His tales, crammed as they’re with gore and tragedy, shouldn’t be seen as spiritually-barren torture porn, however as galling indictments towards the shortcomings of humanity – the simply rage of a prophet saying doom on a faithless era who’ve embraced selfishness and hypocrisy as an alternative of empathy and authenticity.

II.

Bierce served as the apparent hinge between American speculative literature of the 19th and 20th centuries – what Henry James was for realism or Stephen Crane for naturalism. He was the bridge which so many critics have mentioned linked Poe and Lovecraft, Hawthorne and Chambers, infusing 19th century thought with 20th century model. His influences are nearly solely writers who had been obsessive about loneliness and hypocrisy, and who wrote fixatedly in regards to the limitations between and definitions of the bodily, materials world and the psychological, religious realm. Poe will be seen influencing tales like “Past the Wall” (cf. “Home of Usher”), “The Boarded Window” (cf. “Berenice”), “A Vine on a Home” (cf. “The Black Cat”), “The Loss of life of Halpin Frayser” (cf. “Ulalume,” “Ligeia”), and “Visions of the Evening” (cf. “Silence”) amongst many, many others. Each males had been fascinated by unhealthy relationships between women and men, each loathed hypocrisy, and each wrote about profoundly unsavory occasions with a chilly, reporterly voice. Like Bierce, Poe was aggravated by human self-importance and frightened by his personal existential unimportance. Each males’s tales discover the deep religious eager for transcendence and their instinctual worry of oblivion.

 

Nathaniel Hawthorne was one other main affect on Bierce, and by most measure a kindred spirit. His fingerprints will be present in Bierce’s many tales about lonely males residing other than society in wild nature (there are such a lot of that I received’t even make the pretense of beginning a listing – simply learn the tales on this ebook). Hawthorne – like Bierce, disgusting by his Puritan ancestors’ grim superiority and self-righteous cynicism – was extremely distrustful of the American impulse in the direction of Manifest Future. Bierce personally skilled this because the son of pioneers, and deeply resented his dad and mom’ resolution to lift him within the Midwestern wilderness. Lower-off from society, he resented his childhood. As a substitute of discovering primitive purity, his household suffered from rustic alienation. Hawthorne’s personal brutal interpretation of American individualism will be seen in dozens of tales in regards to the perils of isolation and self-reliance (cf. “Scarlet Letter,” “Home of Seven Gables,” “Burial of Roger Malvin,” “Minister’s Black Veil,” “Younger Goodman Brown,” and so on., and so on.).

 

Different influences on Bierce’s model and voice embrace the godfather of bizarre fiction, E. T. A. Hoffmann, whose frustration with fashionable life – with its hypocrisies, lack of creativeness, and calls for for conformity – spoke to Bierce’s soul. Hoffmann’s darkish fairy tales and ghost tales (e.g., “The Nutcracker,” “The Sandman,” “The Entail,” “The Vampire,” “Councillor Krespel,” “The Golden Pot,” and “The Mines of Falun”) converse of the perils of conventionality and the hidden nature of on a regular basis life. Hoffmann frequently used supernaturalism to peel away the seemingly humdrum masks of his society to disclose a surreal dream-world: ugly dolls had been in actuality cursed princes, international salesmen had been demonic monsters, fairly girls had been seductive hypnotists, previous apple-mongers had been sinister witches, and pregnant wives had been cannibalistic ghouls. He deftly blurred the strains between creativeness and actuality, insisting that one was practically as true as the opposite, and {that a} life in a single’s creativeness could possibly be simply as unusual as a life in actuality could possibly be fantastical.

 

Fitz-James O’Brien – a fellow veteran of the Civil Struggle who was killed in a skirmish in 1862 – was a disciple of each Poe and Hoffmann, whose early dalliances in science fiction, bizarre fiction, and fantasy would assist affect Bierce’s personal toyings with the nascent genres. Like O’Brien, Bierce would experiment with robotic rebellions (cf. “The Wondersmith” and “Moxon’s Grasp”), alternate dimensions (cf. “The Misplaced Room” and “An Inhabitant of Carcosa”), invisible monsters from unknown worlds (cf. “What Was It?” and “The Damned Factor”), seductive mesmerists (cf. “The Bohemian” and “An Journey at Brownville”), the existential terror of eternity (cf. “The Ghosts” and “Visions of the Evening”), viciously brutal love triangles (cf. “Jubal the Ringer” and “…Brownville,” “Moonlit Highway,” “Halpin Frayser,” and so on.), the just about supernatural energy of notion (cf. “The Golden Ingot” and “The Man and the Snake”), and the ghoulish juxtaposition of kids and demise (cf. “The Baby who Beloved a Grave” and “Chickamauga”).

 

As an affect to the continuing generations – particularly of American horror writers – Bierce was second solely to Poe. Robert W. Chambers whole “King in Yellow” mythos was largely based on Bierce’s off-putting references to unheard-of civilizations and useless gods in “An Inhabitant of Carcosa,” “Haita the Shepherd,” “Halpin Frayser,” and “Visions of the Evening.” Chambers additionally modelled his twist-endings in tales like “The Key to Grief,” “Demoiselle D’Ys,” and “The Repairer of Reputations” on Bierce’s hallmark, trapdoor model. Each Bierce and Chambers would determine as substantial influences to H. P. Lovecraft, who was thrilled by Bierce’s no-holds-barred savagery, his themes of depravity brought on by rural alientation, and his potential to summon a sensible sense of cosmic vertigo in tales like “The Man and the Snake,” “…Carcosa,” “Halpin Frayser,” and “The Damned Factor.” Lovecraft additionally admired Bierce’s shock endings, his use of purifying lightning or fireplace as a plot mechanism, and his lack of neatly defined horrors (like Bierce, Lovecraft was high quality with leaving the provenance, motives, and nature of his monsters completely ambiguous). Regarding Bierce’s function as a grasp of American horror, Lovecraft has this to say:

 

[T]he bulk of his creative status should relaxation upon his grim and savage brief tales; numerous which take care of the Civil Struggle and kind probably the most vivid and reasonable expression which that battle has but acquired in fiction. Nearly all of Bierce’s tales are tales of horror; and while a lot of them deal with solely of the bodily and psychological horrors inside Nature, a considerable proportion admit the malignly supernatural and kind a number one aspect in America’s fund of bizarre literature… Bierce’s work is generally considerably uneven. Lots of the tales are clearly mechanical, and marred by a jaunty and commonplacely synthetic model derived from journalistic fashions; however the grim malevolence stalking by way of all of them is unmistakable, and a number of other stand out as everlasting mountain-peaks of American bizarre writing.

 

Lovecraft goes on to quote “Halpin Frayser,” “The Damned Factor,” “The Appropriate Environment,” “The Center-Toe of the Proper Foot,” and “The Spook Home” as his horror masterpieces. Bierce would go on to affect many writers of non-supernatural fiction (e.g. Hemingway, Crane, London, Faulkner, Menken, Vonnegut, Heller, O’Brien, and so on., and so on.) in addition to many filmmakers (e.g. David Lynch, Christopher Nolan, Rod Serling, and so on.), however his legacy as a author of horror, science fiction, ghost tales, and peculiar fiction might be his strongest.

 

III.

 

Of his speculative fiction output, Bierce tales typically fall into 5 clear classes: the horrors of struggle, bizarre fiction and fantasy, ghost tales, haunted locations, and mysteries of an odd universe. Through the Civil Struggle, Bierce rose to the rank of brevet main with the Ninth Indiana Infantry Regiment, and was the sad witness of lots of the struggle’s most ugly battles. Chickamauga, Shiloh, and Kennesaw Mountain (the place he was significantly wounded within the head) had been among the many vicious engagements he fought in, and his traumatic experiences there impressed a few of his best works.

Whereas most of Bierce’s Civil Struggle tales usually are not supernatural, one assortment of tales (“Soldier-People”) merged his two most common genres and used a type of anecdotal ghost story to touch upon warfare’s psychic influence. Tales reminiscent of “Three and One are One” (a prodigal Union soldier returns to his unusually mute, dismal Southern household), “A Man with Two Lives” (after waking up from unconsciousness, discovering himself bare, and stumbling by way of a wooden, a scout is advised that his physique had been buried two months in the past), and “Two Navy Executions” (after being shot by a firing squad, a useless man refuses to remain quiet throughout role-call), discover the deep, timeless trauma of complete struggle. He makes use of ghosts as motifs of disappointment, revenge, and the agony of unfinished enterprise, manifesting when the useless are prevented from attaining their objectives or satisfying their final needs.

 

Different tales from the struggle, although not supernatural per se, have such a profoundly stunning nature that they simply slot in a horror anthology. “Chickamauga” tells of just a little boy’s weird encounter with a herd of crawling, bleeding males (maimed troopers from a close-by battle), whom he rides and imagines himself main into battle. The highly effective twist ending is one in every of Bierce’s most bare refutations of struggle’s glory and romance. “An Incidence at Owl Creek Bridge,” whereas not supernatural, is sort of universally included in printings of Bierce’s horror fiction, partly as a result of it’s his masterpiece: the story of a condemned man’s racing ideas as he friends over the bridge from which he will likely be hanged. An existential chef d’oeuvre, its mix of realism and surrealism make it top-of-the-line American brief tales of any style.

 

Though “ghost tales” could possibly be used to explain quite a lot of Bierce’s supernatural fiction, one department of them stand aside: tales of spirits reaching out to the residing – typically in useless – to perform unfinished enterprise. Within the anthology-piece, “The Methods of Ghosts,” Bierce provides 4 examples of psychic projection: “Current at a Hanging” (a long-dead specter attracts consideration to the hanging physique of his assassin), “A Chilly Greeting” (a person is chaffed by a brusque encounter with an out-of-town buddy – moments after the latter’s demise), “A Wi-fi Message” (a traveler on a rustic street sees an ruddy imaginative and prescient of his spouse within the air – as she dies in a home fireplace miles away), and “An Arrest” (a convict overpowers his guard, however is recaptured by his ghost).

 

Three of his most well-known tales, “The Moonlit Highway,” “The Center-Toe of the Proper Foot,” and “The Loss of life of Halpin Frayser” every contain murdered wives getting back from the useless in makes an attempt to contact their guilt-ridden lovers. The primary doesn’t even notice he was her killer, and finally ends up driving him away from their son, and taking up a brand new id, the second is profitable in horrifying her partner to demise together with her telltale deformity, and the third – most well-known of all – wreeks her vengeance on her incestuous son (who ran off together with her, then deserted her, whereupon she was murdered by his outraged father) by strangling him on her personal grave. Typically thought of three of his greatest tales of any style, they share Bierce’s autobiographical mistrust of affection, his personal barely repressed misogyny, and good narrative buildings that bounce again in forth in time earlier than assaulting the reader with a lurid twist ending.

 

A number of of Bierce’s ghost tales concerned males spending time in empty homes with corpses (both out within the open or buried close by) with disastrous outcomes: “A Watcher by the Lifeless” (a guess {that a} skeptic may final all night time within the firm of a corpse goes predictably incorrect), “Macarger’s Gulch” (an evening spent in a abandoned cabin brings telltale goals introduced on by the physique buried beneath it), “Evening-Doings at Deadman’s” (a murdered immigrant returns to an empty cabin for his severed ponytail), and “The Appropriate Environment” (one other guess has a literary critic scared to demise after studying a madman’s story in a derelict home). There are additionally tales of ill-starred lovers pushed to tragic ends, reminiscent of “Past the Wall” (a person is hounded by the continued knocking of a dying lady whom he ignored), and “An Journey at Brownville” (a misogynistic mesmerist drives his untrue spouse, and later her sister, to suicide). These tales all have a traditional, “campfire-y” type of nature, and whereas not overly literary, serve the aim of highlighting themes of hypocrisy, mental hubris, and the brutal energy of the human will.

 

One other department of ghost story is the haunted home story, and Bierce put collectively an anthology-piece of his varied tales of cursed properties referred to as “Some Haunted Homes.” A surefire crowd-pleaser, it includes homes haunted by ghost pirates (“The Isle of Pines”), anthropomorphic vines entangled round a murdered spouse (“A Vine on a Home”), a household of putrid corpses who had been starved to demise in a locked panic room (“The Spook Home”), a gaggle of sadistic maniacs kicking round an previous lady’s head (“A Fruitless Project”), a retired pirate who vanished with no hint (“At Previous Man Eckert’s”), and extra. Every of those lurid tales explores the theme of collective sin: how a home can turn into contaminated by the shared crimes of the group the place it stands. In some circumstances the sin is the turning of a blind eye to a legal act (“Isle of Pines,” “Previous Man Eckert’s”), whereas in others it’s a failure to uncover a household atrocity (“Vine on a Home,” “The Factor at Nolan”), and in others it’s merely the traumatic household secrets and techniques which the home alone survives as a witness to (“Fruitless Project,” “Spook Home”).

 

His contributions to the rising genres of bizarre fiction, science fiction, and fantasy are a few of Bierce’s most resilient legacies. In contrast to H. G. Wells, Lord Dunsany, or H. P. Lovecraft, Bierce didn’t trouble to weave intricate alternate dimensions or extraterrestrial worlds, however he did excel at putting a chord of otherworldliness and unease. The mere suggestion of one thing inhuman or alien lurking at the hours of darkness woods past your home was sufficient for him: he had no need to call his monsters or their planets of origin. Amongst his best fantasy tales are “The Damned Factor” (a hermit is torn to items by an invisible monster he has been stalking), “Moxon’s Grasp” (a metaphysical mechanic is strangled by the rebellious robotic he constructed), “Visions of the Evening” (Bierce data a collection of surreal goals which hang-out his sleep – goals of corpses and abandoned cities and alien languages), “The Eyes of the Panther” (a groom finds his mysterious bride to be a were-panther, possessed (or sired) by the large cat who raped her mom), and “The Boarded Window” (a hermit is haunted by the reminiscence of his passive function in his unconscious spouse’s demise by the hands of a libidinous panther).

 

After Bierce’s disappearance in 1914, he was heralded by the collector of uncanny phenomena, Charles Fort, as a creepy trigger celebre. Bierce’s fantasy and peculiar fiction presaged Fort’s analysis in some ways (it has typically been referred to as “Fortean”) with its reporterly descriptions of mysterious occasions and unexplained horrors. Whereas all of those are fictional, they’re written with a stark dedication to realism, and are well-known for his or her ominous depiction of a universe unfriendly to mankind. These contain tales of a person’s deadly reincarnation as his lynched forefather (“John Bartine’s Watch”), a lethal stare-down with a snake that transports a contemporary man to historic instances (“The Man and the Snake”), a psychic communique from a citizen of an obliterated civilization (“An Inhabitant of Carcosa”), and most famously – and ominously, given his personal wordless disappearance – an anthology-piece about males who all of a sudden vanished endlessly into different dimensions (“Mysterious Disappearances”).

 

IV.

 

Certainly, it’s customary – nearly a requirement – to shut any introduction to Bierce’s speculative fiction with a commentary on his inexplicable disappearance. To paraphrase Charles Dickens, the knowledge of our ancestors is within the follow, and my unhallowed arms shall not alter it. Why is it so fascinating to us that Ambrose Bierce crossed into Mexico in December of 1913 and was by no means heard from once more? Even for the cynics and skeptics who declare him as their very own, I believe there may be an nearly archetypal recognition that by way of vanishing, Bierce will need to have lastly discovered that peace and justice that his heartbroken spirit longed for in life.

 

And it was heartbroken: by this time, of his three kids, one son dedicated suicide, and the opposite drank himself to demise. He had uncovered love letters from his spouse’s admirer in 1888, divorced her instantly, and was barely happy when she died the next yr. He had loathed his mom and father – each as dad and mom and as spouses – however, as he illustrates so keenly in his fiction, he was incapable of breaking the cycle. He was maybe a worse father and a worse husband, and by the flip of the century his ideas had been more and more melancholy and nostalgic.

 

It’s romantic to assume that Bierce determined to commit suicide, both by his personal hand or by hurling himself into the Mexican Revolution, however we actually don’t know what occurred or what his intentions had been. Feeling his mortality and his failures, he determined to go on a nationwide tour of his battlefields in 1913, overseeing the now nonetheless, pastoral woods, pastures, and mountains the place he had misplaced so many pals. Whereas on this journey he declared his intentions to cross into Mexico and observe the civil struggle raging there, however we don’t know if he even left the nation (some consider he dedicated suicide in some distant a part of the nation the place he would by no means be discovered, others that he turned sick and died unexpectedly). Whereas rumors of his demise in battle (or, most famously, smirking archly in entrance of Poncho Villa’s firing squad), there may be nearly no educational worth in discussing his destiny. It should by no means be identified, and whether or not he meant it that manner or not, it’s unquestionably becoming: the person who was hounded his entire life by the disappointments of mortality was granted an ideal exit in his demise. Just like the characters in “Mysterious Disappearances,” he stepped off into some unseen dimension. Can such issues be?

 

In demise, as in life, Bierce is outlined by contradictions. He was a mystical materialist, a cynical idealist, and a compassionate curmudgeon. His tales – particularly these which we are able to classify as horror or fantasy – illustrate a world which fails to stay as much as its guarantees. Like so many individuals in his life, Life itself proved a liar and a humbug. He was not a smarmy skeptic, happy – like Oscar Wilde, whom he loathed – with humanity’s shortcomings: he was deeply, morally offended by vices and disgusted with any type of weak point (even his personal). As he wrote in “The Satan’s Dictionary,” a ghost is the outward signal of an inward worry – a visible signifier of a religious illness.

 

His tales are loaded with spooks of this kind (even those which aren’t supernatural, like “Chickamauga” and “Owl Creek Bridge”). These are the ghosts of what must be. They’re the ghosts of a murdered potential: the potential to do life nicely – correctly, accurately. That is what haunts Peyton Farquhar as he teeters over Owl Creek: the ghost of his wasted life. That is what three guilt-stricken lovers are haunted by in “Moonlit Highway,” “Halpin Frayser,” and “Center-Toe”: the ghosts of their shipwrecked marriages. That is what the boy in “Chickamauga” is haunted by within the type of crawling amputees: the ghost of his gut-shot innocence. That is what haunts the lonely males in “The Boarded Window” (the spectre of his reduction at his spouse’s demise), “The Eyes of the Panther” (the spectre of his spouse’s prowling libido), “An Inhabitant of Carcosa” (the spectre of his existential oblivion), and “Past the Wall” (the spectre of his love sacrificed for self-importance).

 

His tales are haunted by monsters of automated expertise (“Moxon’s Grasp”), mental insecurity (“The Damned Factor”), sexual nervousness (“Eyes of the Panther”), and hereditary corruption. Failure is the chief of all these phantoms, nonetheless. Failure to do what one ought, and turn into what one ought to. This was a deeply private boogeyman for Bierce. One which solid its shadow over his life and stamped its footprints into his fiction. What he left behind him, after vanishing into the dusty Mexican air, was a universe bedeviled by disappointment – in mankind, within the universe, and in himself. It’s a uncooked and savage universe, however one dimly illuminated by Bierce’s pissed off idealism. We will see the shadows for that mild, however in these shadows, what monsters lurk.

 

You’ll find our annotated and illustrated assortment of Bierce’s greatest horror tales HERE!

 

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