“The Eyes of the Panther” By Ambrose Bierce (Narrated By Jeffrey LeBlanc)

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Children of Horror,

Civil war ghosts led by a child haunt a field of death. A man is found killed by his vampire mother. And, a woman comes back from the dead to avenge her murderer, as we enjoy another howling yarn from Ambrose Bierce.

Ambrose Bierce was a Civil War veteran, short story writer, journalist, and poet. He is the author of the comedic “The Devil’s Dictionary” which was named as one of “The 100 Greatest Masterpieces of American Literature” by the American Revolution Bicentennial Administration. One of Bierce’s most horrific works, “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge”, has been described as “one of the most famous and frequently anthologized stories in American literature”.

His best short story collection by far though is Bierce’s “Tales of Soldiers and Civilians”. This horrific work was cited by the Grolier Club as one of the 100 most influential American books printed before 1900.

Bierce was regarded as one of the most influential journalists in the United States. His experiences shaped Bierce’s style of fiction. Bierce’s realist fiction influenced such authors as Richard Matheson, Edgar Allan Poe and H. P. Lovecraft. And, just as Poe, Ambrose Bierce was considered an influential and feared literary critic.

Ambrose Bierce’s greatest story was his own. In December 1913, Bierce traveled to Chihuahua, Mexico, to gain first-hand experience of the Mexican Revolution. While traveling with rebel troops he disappeared. He was never seen again.

“The Eyes of the Panther” is a horror story written by Ambrose Bierce for the “San Frasncisco Examiner” on February 17, 1887. It later appeared in the 1898 collection “In the Midst of Life”.

The tale focuses on Jenner Brading, a young rural attorney, and his failed attempts to marry Irene Marlowe. Irene has refused them on the grounds that she is insane. We don’t want to let the cat out of the bag, but this romance won’t end well.

Ambrose Bierce’s story inspired Val Lewton to create his “The Bagheeta” and the 1942 cinematic horror film—Cat People.

Will Irene Marlowe ever accept Jenner’s proposal? Or will this kitten just show her claws?–JL

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