The man was Halpin Frayser. He lived in St. Helena, but where he lives now is uncertain, for he is dead.–Ambrose Bierce
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We are a channel honoring the yellowed, and blackened bones of many prominent authors. We will be digging up several obscure, strange, and forgotten authors who influenced many of the great horror, science fiction, and fantasy writer’s today.
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Children of horror, ghosts march off to phantom wars in a dense fog, a man is found murdered possibly by the vengeful undead, and an accursed creature terrorizes a man alone in the darkness, as we introduce the legendary Ambrose Bierce.
Ambrose Bierce was an American short story writer, journalist, poet, and Civil War veteran. A prolific and versatile writer, Bierce was regarded as one of the most influential journalists in the United States. He was also a pioneering writer of realist fiction.
Bierce’s acclaimed horror writing, has been ranked alongside Edgar Allan Poe and H. P. Lovecraft. We’d have to agree. Just check out a truly heart wrenching story, “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge”. It’s the story of a soldier being hanged having his life pass before his eyes. The story and the great Rod Serling movie haunted us for weeks after reviewing them.
Strangely, Bierce’s final days have gone on into their own literary mystery. In December 1913, Bierce traveled to Chihuahua, Mexico, to gain first-hand experience of the Mexican Revolution.
Ambrose Bitter disappeared while rumored to be traveling with rebel troops. He was never seen again.
“The Death of Halpin Frayser” is a Gothic horror story by Ambrose Bierce first published in The Waveon December 19, 1891 before appearing in the 1893 collection Can Such Things Be?
The story focuses on Halpin Frayser, a 32-year-old resident of the Napa Valley who awakens in a dark forest from a dreamless sleep speaking the mysterious words “Catherine Larue”. As he wanders the darkness and chooses a “road less travelled”, it is clear there is something devious about. Horrific dreams plague Halpin about a haunted forest dripping with blood. In his dream, Halpin grabs a red-leather pocketbook and begins to write with blood a dark poem. Before he can write too much, he is confronted by the undead.
Will Halpin survive this blood-filled encounter with the undead? Or will he have to run to his mother for safety and…release?