` `

Edgar Allan Poe Died in Mysterious Circumstances

Suzy Woltmann Suzy Woltmann
22nd April 2021
Edgar Allan Poe Died in Mysterious Circumstances
Poe's death is extremely mysterious (Getty Images).

The Claim

Edgar Allan Poe died from alcoholism… or rabies… or cooping… 

Emerging story

The circumstances surrounding Poe’s bizarre death have been discussed ever since he passed on October 7, 1849. Many people see similarities between the COVID-19 pandemic and Poe’s “The Masque of the Red Death,” which has caused speculation to recirculate on social media.

A supporting image within the article body
A supporting image within the article body
A supporting image within the article body

Misbar’s Analysis

Misbar’s investigation found that Edgar Allan Poe, notorious writer of the mysterious and the macabre, died in circumstances that feel as though they could have been snatched from one of his stories. 

On September 27, 1849, Poe left Richmond, Virginia for Philadelphia. On October 3, the author was discovered delirious and wearing what appeared to be someone else’s clothing at Ryan’s Tavern in Baltimore, Maryland. How and why he arrived in Baltimore is unknown. Joseph W. Walker found Poe semi-conscious and immobile. Poe asked Walker to contact Joseph E. Snodgrass, an acquaintance in town. Walker wrote Snodgrass the following letter:

A supporting image within the article body

In the four days following, Poe was never able to communicate what happened to him or how he came to be in Baltimore. He suffered from hallucinations and delirium until his passing. According to attending physician Dr. John J. Moran, Poe cried out the name “Reynolds” before he died. 

The official cause of death on Poe’s death certificate is phrenitis, or swelling of the brain

Theories about his death abound. The most popular are that he was an alcoholic; that he was severely beaten during a robbery; that he was a victim of cooping (violent voter intimidation); that he was poisoned by carbon monoxide or heavy metal; or that he had an unknown condition, such as a brain tumor, rabies, or the flu.

Poe’s fascinating, morbid death may forever be a mystery – quite fitting for a man whose work gives both thrills and chills. 

Misbar’s Classification


Misbar’s Sources

Read More

Most Read