Museum News


Solve the Mystery of Poe’s Death


As we approach the 161st anniversary of Poe’s death, the exact cause of his early demise remains a mystery. Here are some of the theories about Poe’s death that visitors to our website have posted recently. Review the evidence and share with us your own theory at http://www.poemuseum.org/students-mystery.php

Andrew
Marco Island, FL
Poe possibly could have died of A. seizures, B. Heart attack, or C. Brain tumor

Timothy
Toledo, OH
I believe that he was not drugged. Nor do I believe he was beaten to death. I believe that he was murdered not by a human being, but by his very own self. I believe that his tumor of the brain had finally ended his existence and put an end to his suffering. He most likely was not beaten or drugged.

Dylan
Jacksonville, AL
He had epilepsy when he got rabies. He had been robbed of his clothes, but for someone to do that they had to knock him out with a weapon. God put him out of his misery when he prayed to him.

Kirsten
Brentwood, CA
I believe he committed suicide. He said he no longer had the wanting to live. He could have taken a drug overdose, because he was already sensitive to alcohol and drugs. He was delirious because he was either drunk or had taken an overdose.

Pierce
Westfield, MA
He was a random person who was picked to be a dummy to vote. He was drugged, and he was left to die on the street.

Dontayveon
Toledo, OH
I think he was murdered by his cousin.

Nicole
Woodbury, TN
He died from too much alcohol drinking and his possible brain tumor. I also believe that Mr. Poe was the best horror writer to have ever lived!!

DeLonna
Toledo, OH
I think Poe died of hypoglycemia because it s possible since he had diabetes.

Dakota
Toldeo, OH
He had a pet raccoon named Chronic the Hedgehog. Then Chronic got in a fight with a zebra-cow-pig-tiger-elephant, and then Chronic got back from the fight because he had won the fight and ate them all, so since Poe was hungry he thought the raccoon was fat and juicy, so he ate Chronic and died of rabies and high sugar rate due to his diabetes.

Nieko
Toledo, OH
I think he got jumped by people because they knew he was kinda rich and wanted his money.

Darquell
Toledo, OH
I think that his step mom killed him for his money and that was all she wanted.

Mary
Toledo, OH
My theory is that someone tricked him into drinking alcohol, but Edgar took under a difficult circumstance of everything around it sounds as if what he wrote was his on life but a dreadful fantasy

Victor
Westfield, MA
He died from a brain tumor.

Kat
Naples FL
I believe that Poe died from mania a potu, and over the years people told different stories about his death. No one knows what really happened so everything that people say is partly true.

Danni
Chester VA
My theory is he died of alcoholism.

Becky
Fairfield,OH
Edgar Allan Poe was so drunk he passed out.

Julia
McLeansville, NC
He was depressed and went suicidal.

Steven
Lexington MA
Cancer

Elijah
Jacksonville, AL
He died of a heart attack

Ashley
Toledo, OH
He got hungry, ate a slice of pie and it had a lot of sugar, and he had a diabetes attack. The end.



1 Comment »


  1. In studying the letters of Poe’s colleagues and doctors, I believe that Poe, in fact, had very little tolerance for alcohol. He would abstain from imbibing for long periods of time. When he did drink, he could not tolerate more than one or two alcoholic beverages before becoming quite ill. The author himself, in a letter, states that after a bout of drinking and subsequent illness, he’d be confined to bed for several days. Since alcohol is high in sugar, could it be that his body could not efficiently break it down? When Poe left for Baltimore from Richmond, his physician was quite concerned about the author’s physical health, reporting an irregular heartbeat and a high fever. Already ill, Poe, nevertheless, journeyed to Baltimore. He was last seen with several “mates” he’d acquired at his place of lodging. The next incident we’re aware of is that Poe , near a polling place, appeared to be in a state of extreme delirium which descended into coma. He was taken to Church Hospital, where, despite tender nursing, he wavered between periods of confusion and delirium before he died. If Poe was ill when he left Richmond, then his immunity was low. If he then imbibed in one or two alcoholic beverages, his weakened body could not break down the sugar. In looking at Poe’s history of illness and self-enforced abstinence from drink, I believe he knew very well that alcohol made him quite ill; he, after all, states so in one of his letters. I believe E. A Poe suffered from non-diagnosed diabetes for most of his life. In Baltimore, his ill health put his body in a predisposed state of dysfunction. Poe then had several alcoholic beverages, which his body could not break down, fell into a diabetic coma, and, subsequently, died.

    Comment by Laurette — January 12, 2014 @ 2:45 pm

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