Short Story #184: The Spook House by Ambrose Bierce

Title:  The Spook House

Author:  Ambrose Bierce


Book cover: Complete Short Stories of Ambrose BierceOne lawyer and judge happen upon an abandoned and locally-reported haunted house while trying to find refuge during a harsh storm.  They forced their way into the house but as soon as they were in the house, everything went quiet and dark--the outside storm could not be seen.  When the lawyer goes to open the door again, it opens to an entirely different room.  This room exhibits all sorts of bodies in various states of decay and torture.  The lawyer steps back from this but the judge charges forward.  While the judge examines a body at the center of the room, the lawyer passes out and causes the door to shut with the judge inside.  When he awakes weeks later, he finds out that the judge has gone missing.  However, no one will believe the lawyer's tale.  


This string of stories within the anthology are a mixture of haunted houses and people gone missing.  I found this story more compelling than others if for no other reason that we have not real understanding of the room for which they are witness to and that strikes a level of curiosity that doesn't fully get satisfied.  

Short Story #184 out of 365
Rating: 2 (out of 5 stars)
Date Read: 7/2/2014
Source:  The Complete Short Stories of Ambrose Bierce, compiled by Ernest Jerome Hopkins.  Bison Books, 1984.  The full works of Ambrose Bierce, including this story can be found here on

For a full listing of all the short stories in this series, check out the category 365 Short Stories a year.

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