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Present at a Hanging and Other Ghost Stories

Present at a Hanging and Other Ghost Stories by Ambrose Bierce
By: (1842-1914?)

Ambrose Bierce (1842 – 1914?), satirist, critic, poet, short story writer and journalist. His fiction showed a clean economical style often sprinkled with subtle cynical comments on human behaviour. Nothing is known of his death, as he went missing while an observer with Pancho Villa’s army in 1913/14.
(Summaries by Peter Yearsley)

The Ways of Ghosts: Stories of encounters with the ghosts of the dead and dying. The spirits of the dead reach out to the living, to pass on a message or to pursue a killer.

Contents (with beginning time):

  • Present at a Hanging (02:06)
  • A Cold Greeting (07:07)
  • A Wireless Message (11:15)
  • An Arrest (17:04)

Soldier Folk: Oddities of death and life; from a man who finds that his death is uncertain, through the effects of war on the family, duty that survives death, to the memory of revenge.

Contents (with beginning time):

  • A Man with Two Lives (00:31)
  • Three and One are One (06:23)
  • A Baffled Ambuscade (14:18)
  • Two Military Executions (19:45)

Some Haunted Houses – Part One: Encounters of the living with the spirits of the dead who have been bound into buildings. An old man revenges himself; a journalist investigates a haunted house; and the quivering vine that tangles the face of a deserted home.

Contents (with beginning time):

  • The Isle of Pines (00:31)
  • A Fruitless Assignment (10:39)
  • A Vine on a House (17:54)

Some Haunted Houses – Part Two: Houses where the living are never seen again, memories of the mortuary live on, and a murdered man wanders through.


Contents (with beginning time):

  • At Old Man Eckert’s (00:30)
  • The Spook House (06:36)
  • The Other Lodgers (16:04)
  • The Thing at Nolan (21:50)

Mysterious Disappearances: Three short tales of men who have vanished living their ordinary lives, sometimes in full view of witnesses; plus a short, probably fictional, description of a theory to partly explain these events.

Contents (with beginning time):

  • The Difficulty of Crossing a Field (00:32)
  • An Unfinished Race (05:18)
  • Charles Ashmore’s Trail (07:50)
  • Science to the Front (12:23)

First Page:

PRESENT AT A HANGING AND OTHER GHOST STORIES

Contents:

The Ways of Ghosts Present at a Hanging A Cold Greeting A Wireless Message An Arrest Soldier Folk A Man with Two Lives Three and One are One A Baffled Ambuscade Two Military Executions Some Haunted Houses The Isle of Pines A Fruitless Assignment A Vine on a House At Old Man Eckert's The Spook House The Other Lodgers The Thing at Nolan The Difficulty of Crossing a Field An Unfinished Race Charles Ashmore's Trail Science to the Front

THE WAYS OF GHOSTS

My peculiar relation to the writer of the following narratives is such that I must ask the reader to overlook the absence of explanation as to how they came into my possession. Withal, my knowledge of him is so meager that I should rather not undertake to say if he were himself persuaded of the truth of what he relates; certainly such inquiries as I have thought it worth while to set about have not in every instance tended to confirmation of the statements made. Yet his style, for the most part devoid alike of artifice and art, almost baldly simple and direct, seems hardly compatible with the disingenuousness of a merely literary intention; one would call it the manner of one more concerned for the fruits of research than for the flowers of expression... Continue reading book >>


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Reviews (Rated: 5 Stars - 3 reviews)

Reviewer: - October 23, 2015
Subject: Wonderful.
The narrator has the perfect tone and interpretation for these stories. Creepy, soothing and succinct. Gothic horror perfection. Thank you!
Reviewer: - June 3, 2015
Subject: A perfect voice for ghost stories
Thank you, thank you, thank you Mr Yearsly, your wonderful atmospheric story-telling keeps me sane at my soul-crushing job.
Reviewer: - October 25, 2013
Peter Yearsly's voice is magical - it's music, a mantra. A balm to the spirit.


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