Edgar Allan Poe died 171 years in the past nowadays, however we nonetheless do not know why. Of direction, all of us will have to meet our finish at some point, as the literary grasp of the macabre would smartly have understood. His inclination towards the mysterious would have ready him to consider as smartly in the energy of questions that may by no means be spoke back. And so, most likely, Poe would have anticipated {that a} loss of life like his personal — early, surprising, and of in any case undeterminable motive — would draw public fascination. But may just even he have imagined it proceeding to compel era after era of urban-legend and American-lore fans, whether or not or now not they have learn “The Raven” or “The Fall of the House of Usher”?

Poe’s finish thus makes preferrred subject matter for Buzzfeed Unsolved, a video collection whose different widespread episodes come with the loss of life of Vincent van Gogh, the disappearance of D.B. Cooper, and the assassination of John F. Kennedy. In 25 mins, “The Macabre Death Of Edgar Allan Poe” summarizes the author’s remarkably unfortunate existence and will get into the element of his similarly unfortunate loss of life, starting on September 27th, 1849, when “Poe left Richmond through steamer, preventing the subsequent day in Baltimore. For the subsequent 5 days, Poe’s whereabouts are unknown.” Then, on October third, he was once discovered “delirious, motionless, and wearing shabby clothes” in “a gutter outdoor of a public space that was once getting used as a polling position.”

“Rapping at loss of life’s chamber’s door, Poe was once taken to Washington College Hospital that afternoon.” (The narration works in different such references to his writing.) “Assumed to be under the influence of alcohol, the susceptible and weary Poe was once dropped at a unique room reserved for sufferers in poor health from intoxication.” Alas, “Poe by no means totally regained awareness as a way to element what had came about to him,” and expired on October seventh at the age of 40. The hosts read about a number of of the theories that strive to give an explanation for what came about (nineteen of which we previously featured here on Open Culture): did a binge cause his recognized bodily intolerance of alcohol? Did he have a mind tumor? Did he get overwhelmed up through his fiancée’s offended brothers? Was he a sufferer of “cooping”?

Cooping, a “violent shape of voter fraud that was once extraordinarily commonplace in Baltimore at the moment,” concerned roving gangs who “would kidnap a sufferer and pressure him to vote more than one instances in a wide range of disguises.” This jibes with the location and state wherein Poe was once discovered — and since “citizens had been frequently given some alcohol after vote casting as a birthday celebration,” it additionally explains his obvious stupor. But none of the primary theories if truth be told contradict every different, and thus a couple of might be true: “Edgar Allan Poe might rather well were overwhelmed and abducted in a cooping scheme, despatched into a stupor with alcohol after vote casting, and not able to recuperate because of a mind tumor.” However it came about, his loss of life become a last tale as enduring as — or even grimmer than — many of his stories of the gruesome.

Related Content:

The Mystery of Edgar Allan Poe’s Death: 19 Theories on What Caused the Poet’s Demise

Why Should You Read Edgar Allan Poe? An Animated Video Explains

Famous Edgar Allan Poe Stories Read by Iggy Pop, Jeff Buckley, Christopher Walken, Marianne Faithful & More

5 Hours of Edgar Allan Poe Stories Read by Vincent Price & Basil Rathbone

Édouard Manet Illustrates Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven,” in a French Edition Translated by Stephane Mallarmé (1875)

Download The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe: Macabre Stories as Free eBooks & Audio Books

Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and pronounces on towns, language, and tradition. His tasks come with the Substack e-newsletter Books on Cities, the e book The Stateless City: a Walk via 21st-Century Los Angeles and the video collection The City in Cinema. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall, on Facebook, or on Instagram.


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