Short Story #204: The Other Lodgers by Ambrose Bierce

Title: The Other Lodgers

Author: Ambrose Bierce


Book cover: Complete Short Stories of Ambrose BierceA colonel explains to his companion that if he must travel to Atlanta, he must make sure not to stay at the Breathitt Hotel.  He relates his experience there.  The hotel was is horrible condition as if it were abandoned.  When he checked into the room, the clerk took him to his room and left him a candle but did nothing else.  In the middle of the night, he awakes and finds that the floor is entirely covered in bodies, all of which are dead.  The man makes his way out of the room and goes to the clerk.  He demands an explanation but the clerk is silent.  The clerk eventually disappears and a man enters.  The man explains that the hotel has been abandoned for a long time and that the building was used as a hospital for a while.  The room that he was in was where they placed the dead bodies.  The clerk that the colonel saw had only died a few weeks prior.  


Not entirely impressed with the story but I found the interaction of the colonel with the clerk capable of maintaining some element of the uncanny.  However, I again found it strange that this story was in the "war tales" and not the horror.  

Short Story #204 out of 365
Rating: 2 (out of 5 stars)
Date Read: 7/21/2014
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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