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Published on Dec 25, 2018
Sit by the fire and listen to a ghost story. It's "A Stranger," by Ambrose Bierce, and it involves a band of men in the American West. One night, as they're sitting around the campfire, the men are joined by an odd wanderer. This stranger--maybe a lunatic--tells them a story about the dangers of encroaching upon inhabited lands...
This is one of twenty ghost stories collected in Echoing Ghost Stories: Literary Reflections of Oral Tradition. The anthology spotlights written tales that "echo" the centuries-old tradition of sharing ghost stories out loud--often while gathered around a fire. The authors include Harriet Beecher Stowe, Ambrose Bierce, M.R. James, and Edith Wharton. There are also a well-researched Introduction, helpful footnotes, and an Appendix. Edited by Tim Prasil--who reads the story here--the anthology is available from Brom Bones Books.
Many thanks to Daniel Simion for recording the cracking fire sound effect, which is available at the truly wonderful site SoundBible.com. Additional thanks to Zannotti's Wine Bar in Stillwater, Oklahoma, for the use of their fireplace!