Poe’s death sounds like something out of his mystery or horror stories. He disappeared at the age of 40 and was discovered three days later, wearing someone else’s clothes and “in great distress.” He died soon thereafter on Oct. 7, 1849 – the precise cause unknown.

We know when and where Poe died but almost everything else is unclear because:

  1. Poe’s doctor kept changing his story
  2. The executor of Poe’s estate had an axe to grind
  3. Poe’s cousin had his own reasons for exaggerating his famous family member’s battles with alcohol.

The story of Poe’s death is filled with horrible twists, tragedy, and unreliable narrators. In other words … it seems like something Poe would write.

Poe biographer Mark Dawidziak explores the author’s death and debunk the many myths and misconceptions surrounding Poe.