Pilgrimage for Poe
MASTER OF THE MACABRE
Plotting a course to the haunts of revered mystery-horror scribe—and one-time local resident— Edgar Allan Poe.
If ghosts exist, then surely that of Edgar Allan Poe roams the streets of Baltimore. The revered writer was born in Boston and considered Richmond home, but this is where he died. And fittingly, Poe’s demise on October 7, 1849, at age 40 remains shrouded in mystery. He was found, disheveled and delirious, at a bar turned temporary polling place in Fells Point. After four incoherent days in the hospital, he awoke— nevermore! Speculation on the cause of death has run the gamut from alcoholism to rabies.
Poe’s Baltimore experiences, though, weren’t all tales of woe. In his 20s, he lived in a brick duplex on N. Amity Street (above), where he fell in love with his cousin and future wife, Virginia Eliza Clemm, and launched his literary career after claiming first prize in a short story contest run by the Baltimore Saturday Visiter. Nearly two centuries later, the man credited with creating the detective story still inspires a devoted following around the world and in the city where he wrote, loved and died.—