Origin: a fictional book first mentioned by Ambrose Bierce in "A Psychological Shipwreck"
A "rum lot" (strange book), "that rare and curious work". A fictional plot device used by Ambrose Bierce for the purpose of supplying paragraphs of exposition on supernatural matters, describing ghosts, specters, wraiths, their kind and their habits and qualities. Presumably contains a Gaslight-era compilation of reflections upon the supernatural written at some earlier time by (?) Denneker (presumably a Spiritualist or occult philosopher).
Physical Description: ?
General Content: Contains Denneker's meditations, research, and studies upon the nature, habits, and powers of ghosts and other spirits.
Number of known copies (if rare): "rare and curious", apparently published in a limited quantity; the number of published volumes is unknown
Last known location of surviving copies (if rare): The volume, though rare, could plausibly be found in any especially well-stocked spiritualist's occult library from the Gaslight era to present. Of the known copies mentioned in the original Ambrose Bierce stories, one might be found in the private library of Staley Fleming, another might be found in the private library of Gordon Doyle of Liverpool, England, and a third was lost at sea with one Janette Harford.
Mythos Content Spells: none
- Sanity Loss: minimal
- Mythos Knowledge: low
- Occult Knowledge: moderate
- "To sundry it is given to be drawn away, and to be apart from the body for a season; for, as concerning rills which would flow across each other the weaker is borne along by the stronger, so there be certain of kin whose paths intersecting, their souls do bear company, the while their bodies go fore-appointed ways, unknowing."
- Ambrose Bierce, "A Psychological Shipwreck"
- "Forasmuch as it is ordained of God that all flesh hath spirit and thereby taketh on spiritual powers, so, also, the spirit hath powers of the flesh, even when it is gone out of the flesh and liveth as a thing apart, as many a violence performed by wraith and lemure sheweth. And there be those who say that man is not single in this, but the beasts have the like evil inducement...."
- Ambrose Bierce, "Staley Fleming's Hallucination"
(The first of the two quotes from Ambrose Bierce speculates that a "kindred spirit" might be temporarily separated from its body, and drawn along the same obscure, supernatural path as a stronger, disembodied, ghostly spirit, perhaps into the "Other Side", while the living body goes through the motions of life in the spirit's absence. The second quote speculates that ghostly spirits have the same powers as living ones, enabling them to do physical violence against the living, and that animal spirits are no less capable of such physical violence.)
Heresies and Controversies
Associated Mythos Content, Keeper Notes
This tome might be perfect for the use of Spiritualism-themed Gaslight scenarios, and could plausibly appear in dedicated occult book collections in later eras as a low-Mythos resource for researching ghostly phenomena.