To This Day, No One Knows How Edgar Allan Poe Died

Edgar Allan Poe, famous for short stories like “The Raven” and “The Tell-Tale Heart,” was a master of mystery and horror. Poe’s life was filled with strange facts; not only did his family disown him, but he famously married his 13-year-old cousin when he himself was 27. Poe is credited with creating the modern detective story – and in his own end, Poe left behind a mystery that no one has yet been able to solve. For over 160 years, countless fans of both literature and crime have been asking, how did Poe die?

Edgar Allan Poe passed on October 7, 1849, and the events surrounding his demise remain shrouded in mystery. Poe was found in a tavern, completely delirious, and yet his doctor testified that there was no evidence of intoxication. Poe raved about a mysterious man named Reynolds before his passing, but no one could identify a person by that name. Perhaps most notably, when Poe was found in the tavern on that fateful and enigmatic night, he was wearing another man’s clothes.

Mercury ingestion as a possible culprit of Poe's end is a theory frequently discussed, as is the possibility of rabies. Perhaps the cooping theory is correct, a conjecture which claims that Poe was kidnapped and forced into voter fraud. Whatever the answer, the end of Edgar Allan Poe's life is one mystery that may never be solved.