Short Story #190: Stanley Flemming's Hallucination by Ambrose Bierce

Title:  Stanley Flemming's Hallucination

Author:  Ambrose Bierce


Book cover: Complete Short Stories of Ambrose BierceStanley Flemming calls for a doctor to be treated for his reoccurring hallucination.  Each night, he believes he has awoken and a giant Newfoundland dog is staring down at him, menacingly.  The doctor asks more about the dog and Flemming explains that it looked like the dog of his old nemesis, Atwell Barton who was murdered (the human, not the dog) a while back just around the time that Flemming had moved away to Europe for a while.  The doctor tries to assure him that he is fine and that he will spend the night to see if this dog is real.  While in another part of the house, the doctor falls alseep but reawakens later.  He heads a loud thud in the house and rushes to Flemming's room where he is dying from a throat wound.  Initially, he believes it to be suicide but then upon examination, it's clear that it was an animal bite to the jugular.  


Not a particular surprise ending or at least, the foreshadowing was heavy enough to know that Flemming killed Atwell and his dog (or ghost dog) haunted Flemming until killing him.  It's a bit of mix of Poe in here in terms of the man's undoing.  
Short Story #190 out of 365
Rating: 2 (out of 5 stars)
Date Read: 7/7/2014
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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