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Ghost and Horror Stories

4.15  ·  Rating Details ·  2,476 Ratings  ·  36 Reviews
23 modern horror stories by American master. "The Eyes of the Panther," "The Damned Thing," 21 more. "These pieces are not dated, nor are they lacking any of the narrative elements necessary to attract and hold the attention of anyone interested in the horror genre." — SF Booklog.
Paperback, 240 pages
Published June 1st 1964 by Dover Publications (NY)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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mark monday
Mar 23, 2014 mark monday rated it really liked it
all hail Ambrose Bierce! an American original. aka "Bitter Bierce" - a soldier, government agent, journalist, short story writer, satirist, social critic. his life bookended by two wars: at age 19 in the American Civil War (most notably, fighting in the Battle of Shiloh) and at age 71 as a witness to Pancho Villa's revolutionary efforts in Mexico (most notably... vanishing without a trace).

gaze upon the dapper don:

 photo Abierce_zpsb0347619.jpg

Bierce was a misanthrope of the first order and his scornful critiques of anythin
Erik Graff
Dec 22, 2010 Erik Graff rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Erik by: Rod Serling
Shelves: literature
The most notable of these stories is "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" (1890) which was filmed in France as a black and white silent short in 1963 and broadcast on television's Twilight Zone in 1964 at which time I probably saw it with my father. In any case, that put Bierce in mind and, liking fantastic literature, eventually I read this Dover collection of some of his work.
Years later, after a friend and I had started a youth movement in our hometown, we came back to this story and the fil
Dec 12, 2015 Latasha rated it really liked it
I love this guy!
David Johnson
Nov 01, 2013 David Johnson rated it really liked it
I just got done reading “The Damned Thing” by Ambrose Bierce. Hugh Morgan was the man mauled by the mountain lion. The jurors were trying to figure out what happened to the man. William Hanker was the witness and the jurors were questioning him.

Hugh Morgan was a timid writer and like to hunt. William Hankers was a very strong writer and saw what happened to his friend. He was scared and past out. He woke up to his friend screaming and then he saw the thing. He stayed there and just watched an
Feb 28, 2015 Jessica rated it liked it
Fairly interesting short stories. Not scary, but interesting. Very similar to Poe's style of writing.
Apr 26, 2015 Tucker rated it liked it
Shelves: finished
Most of these stories feel very dated -- they are not the sort of ghost stories that would scare anyone today, and you have to imagine what it must have been like to live in the 1800s and hear these kind of "Unsolved Mysteries" creepy rumors around the campfire. Usually there is not a complex story arc. It is just: Once upon a time, there were some people and these coincidences happened, and then they realized that the other people were ALREADY DEAD. Boo! The end. One story was ahead of its time ...more
Aaron Francione
Jan 18, 2015 Aaron Francione rated it it was amazing
As good as Poe, and one can see the influence it had on Lovecraft. Not just in Lovecraft's appropriation of Carcosa, but in the selective sequence of events leading to a dramatic end. Phrasing such as non-euclidean geometry, and cyclopean architecture, terrifying dream-planes, and extra-dimensional beasts stand out as Lovecraftian and plant the seeds of early weird fiction. Other than the language it's surprisingly not dated for having been written in the 19th century. Distinctly American, with ...more
Jan 04, 2010 Dorothy rated it it was amazing
WOW...That was my comment throughot the entire book...Ambrose Bierce is indeed the master of gothic stories and a genius narrator...His sarcasm is hidden wisely and noticeable only to careful readers...Read these stories early in the morning, just after sunrise,if possible after a sleepless night, trust me. =)
I read this at age 21 deep in the stacks at my university library late at night while listening to the Dark Knight soundtrack. I scared myself so badly that I had to go find people to remind myself that they are only stories.
May 10, 2009 Charles rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classics
I came to Bierce late in life but I soon made up for lost time. Excellent collection of his stories.
Jul 14, 2012 Gwen rated it liked it
For me, it just isn't summer without some sort of ghost stories. I went on vacation to MO last week and packed almost a half dozen books to read on the trip during the down time between canoeing, cave exploration, and chaperoning my nieces in the pool. After all that physical effort, there is nothing like reading ghost stories while sitting in a rocker on the porch while the bugs are buzzing outside at night.

I'd say that the quality and the subject of the stories varies quite a bit in this book.
May 18, 2015 Laurie rated it did not like it
I didn't really read this book. I'm just holding a place in MyBooks because I reread Orphans of Race Point in March 2015.
Horace Derwent
Jul 05, 2016 Horace Derwent rated it it was amazing
china has pu songling's liaozhai, japan has lafcadio hearn's kwaidan, america has ambrose bierce
Nov 25, 2015 Marie rated it really liked it
This one scared the crap out of me. Bravo!
Scott Williams
Sharon Smith
Mar 26, 2014 Sharon Smith rated it it was amazing
Sooo wonderfully creepy!
Becky Churchman
Mar 15, 2016 Becky Churchman rated it liked it
Some of the stories are really good, but others get too predictable. Look for some of his greats like "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge," "The Middle Toe of the Right Foot," and "The Damned Thing."
Andrés Cabrera
Jul 19, 2012 Andrés Cabrera rated it really liked it
Este no fue exactamente el libro que leí. Ese fue uno de editorial Puntodelectura, donde vienen recopilados varios cuentos del autor. El libro se llama "Aceite de perro y otros relatos macabros". Nunca había leído nada de Bierce, pero su humor sardónico y cínico es genial. El retrato de lo humano desde sus raíces menos favorables. El asco en cada frase confluye con el humor, plasmando óleos que confluyen entre la realidad y la ficción de una humanidad desesperada y decadente. Genial texto.
Jun 05, 2014 Doug rated it really liked it
I'll give it four stars instead of five simply because there might be a more perfect collection of his stories out there somewhere.
Michele Jones
Jan 24, 2015 Michele Jones rated it did not like it
I did not finish this book!! Very unimpressed!
Aug 15, 2009 Tifany rated it it was amazing
Since I'm on the subject of ghost stories, Ambrose Bierce is one of the few Victorians who still hold up today--even if it's much easier for us, as a modern audience, to spot the twist, as so many ghost stories since have borrowed from Bierce. There's the famous "Occurence at Owl Creek Bridge," of course, but by far the best, to me, is "The Moonlit Road." It's hard to say exactly why this story, in particular, is so strangely and sadly haunting.
Angie Schoch
Aug 24, 2013 Angie Schoch rated it it was amazing
These tales have a sense of place and of history that adds a poignancy. Personally, I was able to find the cemetery and church ruins written about in "The Death of Halpin Fraser," which are in Calistoga, Ca. How exciting is that! "The Haunted Valley," dealing with racism against the Chinese, also stood out as exemplary. Though the quality of the tales is quite variable, the best of them really make this a five star read for me.
Aug 23, 2011 Adam rated it it was amazing
Of the 3 highly-influential early American horror writers, Poe and Lovecraft far outstrip Bierce in popularity. But, for me, he's more readable than either of them and evokes a more intimate and unnerving brand of terror. Also, Kurt Vonnegut esteemed Bierce's story "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" so highly that he declared anyone who hadn't read it a "twerp." (And you don't want to be a twerp do you??)
Mar 11, 2009 Todd rated it it was amazing
Very creepy short stories about the supernatural, written (and set) in the late 1800s, told in a cold, journalistic tone which somehow elevates the strangeness of what is reported, while making the stories more credible, believable. I love this collection, and read it every October. Scarier than anything else I've read.
Apr 11, 2014 Rachel rated it really liked it
This is certainly not the scariest book of horror stories I have ever read but it is a must-read for the horror connoisseur. You can see the influence on Lovecraft and other horror and suspense greats and Bierce's ability to set the mood is great.
May 10, 2014 Brad rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
It's great to get into pre-lovecraftian horror and tales of the fantastic. Mr. Bierce has a serious knack for the sardonic and a truly subtle twist in words.
Ericpegnam Pegnam
Jun 26, 2009 Ericpegnam Pegnam rated it really liked it
this is the first Bierce book I ever found. I was ten and the cover really freaked me out. Great stories.
Jul 30, 2011 Audrey added it
Really, really bad. I couldn't finish it and couldn't force my students to finish it either.
May 15, 2012 Lenny rated it really liked it
Excellent book if you are into the Paranormal and ghost type stories.
Joseph Patchen
Feb 28, 2013 Joseph Patchen rated it it was amazing
One of the faces on the Mt. Rushmore of Horror and Weird Tales.
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Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce (1842-1914) was an American editorialist, journalist, short story writer, fabulist and satirist. Today, he is best known for his short story, An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge and his satirical lexicon, The Devil's Dictionary.

The sardonic view of human nature that informed his work – along with his vehemence as a critic, with his motto "nothing matters" – earned him the ni
More about Ambrose Bierce...

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