The Diagnosis of Death by Ambrose Bierce (1909)
Tuesday’s Tale of Terror October 10, 2017 READING FICTION BLOG
From a scientific perspective, ghosts are considered to be possible manifestations of electromagnetic energies of human consciousness. We all have consciousness; nobody doubts that. So any kind of ghost story attracts me because I’m always looking to verify that our consciousness exists after death and therefore ghosts are a reality. The supernatural is both real and fictional to me and probably why most of my own writings deal with the reality of ghosts and the mysterious world beyond. Life after death has endless possibilities to explore. When writing my novels or short stories, I find the research to be the most thrilling part: for example I discovered there are ghosts in music when writing my novel Greylock.
Some physicists believe that consciousness exists in a quantum state after the body dies. The 6-minute video below, Consciousness Lives in Quantum State After Death: Physicists Claim is a fascinating presentation from prominent physics researchers at such institutions such as Cambridge University and Princeton University.
While proof of ghosts is debatable (most agree that science and physics cannot account for everything in our universe), in fiction we can cross the scientific line, dismiss all the debates, and slip into our human imagination and just believe.
The Diagnosis of Death
Our narrator, Hawver, tells us a story of his visit while renting Dr. Mannering’s vacant summer house in Meridian. Dr. Mannering was known to be skilled in precisely forecasting a person’s death. An odd skill and maybe a gifted one. Come with Hawver and spend the night in Dr. Mannering’s study, where a life-size portrait of Dr. Mannering does the haunting. You might not believe in ghosts like Hawver, then again, you might consider this story to be a treasure that adventures into the realm of the unknown.
Read the short story online at TheLiteratureNetwork.
Listen to the 10-minute audio The Diagnosis of Death, narrated by Otis Jiry on YOUTube.com .
Nicknamed Bitter Bierce, Ambrose Bierce authored over 90 short stories, fifty in supernatural. He is remembered for making the human psyche the ultimate source of horror. One of his most famous works is The Devil’s Dictionary. Interestingly, most of his fiction gained popularity after his death. He disappeared in the Mexican wilderness in 1913. The fate of his body is unknown to historians. Visit the Ambrose Bierce Project for resources and more. Visit the Ambrose Bierce official website.
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