The Haunted House by Pliny the Younger (1000 AD)
An Ancient Ghost Story, Tuesday’s Tale of Terror January 3, 2017
Ghosts are and have been a permanent feature in our human history, whether you believe in them or not.
‘And this, my friend, may be conceived to be that heavy, weighty, earthy element of sight by which such a soul is depressed and dragged down again into the visible world, because she is afraid of the invisible and of the world below-prowling about tombs and sepulchers, in the neighborhood of which, as they tell us, are seen certain ghostly apparitions of souls which have not departed pure, but are cloyed with sight and therefore visible. -Plato’s Phaedo
Are we in good company with Plato? I think so. Let’s take a moment in this new year, apply a bit of philosophy, and believe in ghosts. Let’s go back to ancient Roman times. You may have heard of this gentleman Pliny the Younger (Pliny the Elder was his uncle). Pliny the Younger (in Latin Gaius Plinius Caecilius Secundus) was a Roman author of 9 books of letters, which described ancient Roman life. He was a lawyer, philosopher, financial wizard, famous orator, and a Roman Senator.
If you pride yourself on being a ghost story aficionado, you must read this one; it’s probably the very first ghost story ever written. The Haunted House is from Pliny’s correspondence and begins …
“There was at Athens a mansion, spacious and large, but of evil repute and dangerous to health. In the dead of the night a noise, resembling the clashing of iron, was frequently heard, which, if you listened more attentively, sounded like the rattling of chains…”
Come read the story of Athenodoros and the haunted house from the turn of the second century AD, in a letter from Pliny the Younger to his friend Sura.
Read The Haunted House by Pliny at Gutenberg.org.
Scroll down to LXXXIII — To SURA (9-minute read)
Listen to the audio at TheVoiceBeforeTheVoid.net (7 minutes)
Don’t forget to view the INDEX above of more free Tales of Terror. This is a compendium of over 180 short stories by over 100 master storytellers of mystery, supernatural, horror, and ghost stories. Join me in reading one short story every other week! Comments are welcome.
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HAPPY NEW YEAR!
WISHING YOU HAPPY READING IN 2017!