Museum News


Junior High Students Attempt to Solve Mystery of Poe’s Death


As we approach the anniversary of Poe’s death (October 7) we are no closer to determining the precise cause of his mysterious demise. Fortunately, junior high students from around the country have stepped forward to provide their theories about Poe’s death. Below are some of the recent submissions. Click here if you would like to study the clues and offer your own theory. To see some of the earlier submissions, click here.

Tamayah Fields
Norfolk,VA
My theory is that Edgar Allen Poe died of bieng drugged. See, he was sick before he went to that little restaurant called ‘Saddler’s’ and I suppose it was just a little fever. I think someone must have recognized him at the restuarant and drugged his meal. Surely, they must have been a tad bit jealous and just drugged him.

Deborah Santiago
Springfield, MA
my theory is that when mr,poe was danosed with the tumor is whas all ready killing him, it was then when he contracted cholera that he body started working overtime to fight both the tumor and the sickness. cholera . the infection in his intestant caused him to vomit and have watery diarrhea which both led to dihidration followed by hullucinations. that he had. , fighting both tumor sickness and the infectio was causing a major probem to his body and not to menntion he proble drinking., he was basically commiting suicide withiut knowing t. hence why o body know why he died.

Madison Workman
Gallagher, WV
My theory starts out with him not having a regular heart bet. When someone has an irregular heart thing would be different for them in their body with out even knowing about it. In some cases with the heart when it is like this alchol will make it worse. So as he drank his heart got worse. If your heart is messed up and you don’t know about it then it can do damage to other parts of your body because that is where blood gets pumped through to get to the rest or the body. When blood dose not get to where it needs to be it can cause a toumer. In most cases a tuoumer will form in the brian. So it is possible for Edgar Allen Poe to have a brain toumer.
As far as the brain when it gets defected in some way it will try to heal its self. In the prossecs of that it may happen but it may just make it worse then it already is and the brain will slowly start to die and the person thinking nothing has changed will go one with their daily life. The problem with this is that everything will be the same to them like they have been doing it forever but in reality everything the person is doing is starnge. Some examples of this is a person could get rapped heart bets along with cold sweet and be very on edge. Another thing that could happen is that the person will start to forget the simplest things and not notice them when they normaly would. Something eles that could happen is the brain will start to play trick on the person like seeing and hearing things; basically hillunotions.
As the brain does this the body its self will stop working and the person could be easily talked into doing anything such as drinking. It would be very easy to talk some one like this into drinking if they already drink. Once the person is drunk they can get them to do any thing. In this case it was election day and people were heired to kidnapp people and take them to different places and make them vote for the same person over and over again so that person would have a better change of winning. When they tokk this person to all the voting places they could go to they would just leave that person some where till someone eles found them.
In which how Edgar Allen Poe’s heart was messed up already it was to much for his body to handle and he had to get sent to the hospital. While he was in there he’s brain kept him alive as long as it could till it fainly quit worked and the person died. This is my theroy.

Tamara Somerville
Norfolk,Virginia
Ithink he died from his very sick diesase and had a brain tumor.

Joseph Parker
Norfolk, Virginia
I think he died beacause of his brain tunmor.I think his brain had got off track and his heart started beating to fast.

rajae smith
Norfolk,Virginia
He died from drinking at a bar room, he was drunk

Diamond Webb
Norfolk,VA
I think he died from overdose of his medication because he was depressed that his wife died. So he wanted to blank it out and forget bout her death.

Breon Case
Norfolk, Virginia
I think Poe died from old age and too much stress.

Briana Hadaway
Norfolk
I think he died of depression from his family and wife dieing and to much stress

Anthony Harris
Norfolk, Virginia
I think he died from his addiction because it said he could not consume achohol without producing insanity

angel raya
Elmonte,California
my theory was that through his years of tourture and neglect before he was famous affected him mentaly to the point that he would write scary stories that expressed his inner torment so that the world would know exactly what he was feeling inside. when he died he was probably feeling so much inside that he died due to a mental shutdown of his important vessels and nerves in his brain.althogh this has not been proven this is my theory and i stand by it 100%.

Alexis O’Neal
Killeen , Texas
He was beaten & then used to place votes.

Dylan Marvl
Fremont, CA
Poe was murdered by a literary rival.

Kristen Gregory
Fremont, CA
He might’ve died of head trauma.

Alicia Rivera
Fremont, CA
He had cholera, and died.

Massie Block
Fremont, CA
Poe must’ve had brain cancer. Since it wasn’t treated quickly, or they didn’t have equipment to abolish cancer, the tumor grew, and eventually, he died.

Keri Hilson
San Fransisco, California
Edgar Allan Poe may of been murdered by one of his family members.

Alanna
Brunswick, Ohio
i think poe was deppressed about losing his wife to the samething he lost his mother and brother to. i think losing his wife brought up some unwanted memories so his body started shuting down and slowly stopped working till he died

Eric Grzywna
Brunswick, Ohio
He died of a brain tumor

brady lewis
Brunswick, Ohio
i think that poe had manic depression along with an irreguler heart beat and possibly alergic to some of the chemicals in alchol (since it does contain many toxins i am not shure witch one) and he died during a fit of depression after drinking he just simply gave up
or the depresent that is alchol threw off his hesrt so much in that one instant that his heartbeat was even more irreguler.

Halle Gray
Farmington Utah
That Poe died from all the medicine the docters were giving him. That he probably started out with a really bad cold or flu and then when he went to the docter they said it was something else, and they gave him medicine and the medicine just kept making it worse! So eventually after all the medicine and procedures he died.

Cicely Garnier
Montevallo,AL
Poe’s immune system was faulty from the extreme amounts of liquor he consumed daily. With the over-bearing thoughts of depression,he was pushed into mania, causing his hallucinations in his death bed. I would assume Poe was not a careful person nor fearful of strangers. Drinking before leaving Richmond with strangers at the height and end of his career, he was sure death was calling. “Rynolds” a fan, loved the idea of having Poe over to his home. Poe had the strange idea of wanting to be unknown and traded clothes with the stranger before taking off into the night. Poe in a drunken stupor fell and knocked himself unconscious. his body weary, his liver spotted, and his mind injured, he\’s taken to the hospital with death ringing his ear.

Hannah Joseph
Orlando, FL
I think that since Virgina Clemm dies at only 24 years old, he probably abused her to the point of death. A close family member or friend of Virgina who knows about the abuse could have hired someone that was with Poe on his trip to poison him.

Daniel R
Melrose , Illnoise
They are many clues that he may died of depression. From having his true love die and being a lonely orphan.

JJ Pamittan
Port Charlotte, Florida
Edgar Allan Poe’s death is caused by alcohol and beating. After his wife’s death in 1847, Poe became depressed and drank large amounts of alcohol. This led him to insanity. When seeing him drunk men began to beat him. The beatings and the alcohol only made is pre-existing condition even worse. Thus leading to his death.

Michael
Port Charlotte, Florida
He was Murdered.

justice Bowden
Xenia, Ohio
I belive that he had a blood clot in the vessel going in to his heart wtich made his heart beat slower witch made it harder for the blood to get to other parts of his body . so he might have ben doing an exersize or running that his body wasnt use to so his heart beat faster and its not use to that so it stoped

Lydia
Quincy, Massachusetts
When he drank he probably had a panic attack because he did live in a small house so he probably developed claustrophobia wich may have caued a heart-attack which triggered his brain tumer to hurt even more, so he drank even more thinking that he would feel better but made it worse. He also may have seen some things that scared him which caused him to die.

Alex
Mckinney, TX
Edgar Allan Poe boarded a ship during his strange disappearance. In a drunken stupor, he swam in and out of conciousness not knowing the difference between fantasy and reality. His nightmares became so realistic that he began to live them. After being found in the bar and being taken to the hospital, Edgar’s visions drove him mad, but not to the point of death. While on his journey, Poe made a pact with the devil that in exchange for his soul, he would be given the ability to write better than anyone in history. After falling into a deep sleep, Lucifer took Poe’s soul for his own keeping, and the doctors did not accurately assess his death and he was buried alive.

Alonte Wincher
Detriot,Mi
I think that someone was after his poems. Only because he made them with all his heart. And they all generate from what he knew. Poe most likely got beat to death. Also he could’ve have been making one about that person.




The Latest Theories about Poe’s Death


Here are some more new theories, submitted to our website, about the cause of Poe’s mysterious death. Study the evidence and submit your own theory at http://www.poemuseum.org/students-mystery.php

Snow Heart
Age 16
Blacklick, Oh
I feel Poe, even though we all can tell that he had many things wrong with him that could have resulted in his death, I feel that he planned it so that we could not figure out his death, although all clues seem to point to him overdosing until his death, suicide seems to be what he would do, although it is in my opinion that his death was his last great work, creating the ultimate mystery and horror through himself. He seems to have taken the steps necessary to hide how he died, whether or not he wanted this mystery to be solved is another mystery all it’s own but I feel he caused his own death through liquor, and a series of health problems that he was aware he had to leave behind a legacy to us who love his great works.

Robert
Age 14
Wedowee, Alabama
I think he had a disease but noboby knew that he had one and finally he died

Kurtis
Age 13
Battle Creek, Michigan
i killed edgar allan poe

Nayelli
Age 13
Ontario,California
Edgar was already a strange man. He could have gone crazy because of hereditary reasons and who knows what could have happened. All of these theories could possibly be true, but we will never know.

Jr.
Age 12
Ontario, California
I beleive that the reason of Poe’s death was simply the irregular heart beat, and the brain tumor that should have been treated.

Anonomoous
Age 95
Memphis , Tennesee
Poe could have died of any cause of Death, but I would think it to be Murder.

Jael
Age 13
Coral Springs, Florida
I have observed that when Edgar was hospitalized 5 O’clock in the afternoon to 3 am the next day he was drunk and ill and started hallucinating and talking to thing that weren’t there he got angry at one of the nurses and started acting rough with her and for her self defense she started hitting Edgar causing brain trauma and followed by a heavy fever and estimating died 2 hours later.

Erica
Age 16
San Marcos, California
I feel that Poe’s alcoholism and possibly a mixture of drugs as well is what made him delirious, and he’d had taken him since he was such a melancholic person. Maybe a suicide? Asking God for forgiveness when he said “Lord, help my poor soul” minutes before he died.

Jack
Age 14
Ball, Louisiana
my theory of Edgar Allan Poe’s death is that he died of either a heart attack or he killed himself because he got drunk;)

Shayonne
Age 14
Alexandria, Louisiana
mr poe mustve was real sick that no one knew about and the doctor mustve gave him a due date that he suppose to die.

Brooke
Age 13
Blanchester, Ohio
I think that Edgar was a very intelligent man. I think maybe, being an orphan at such a young age, and him hopping from city to city, took a toll on him & He began to drink. After his first wife died, he started drinking more and more. He got in ill health because of this. I also think he was on drugs from his insane stories. So maybe he just ended his own life because he knew it was going to end soon.

Jonathan
Age 14
Calgary, Alberta
brain tumor

Anna
Age 14
Sacramento, California
Maybe all his poems and stories were true, about him self or someone else and when that other person saw what he was doing they started poisoning Poe. But if there wasn’t another person then maybe they were about himself and having people know about his actions but not no the reality of them drove him insane and Reynolds that he had said before he died could have been one of his victims or the one person that knew his poems were true.

Cadedra
Age 16
Killeen, Texas
i believe that poe was still alive; only that he went into hiding. maybe it was to hide from his fears or maybe it was the fact that his pain made him so insane he jus disappeared. only thing i know is that he was a great author and i really appreciated him a lot ……

Carolina
Age 18
Rosario, Argentina
in my opinion, it could be caused by several reasons. health problems and why not? that idiot politicians could drugged him and kick him because of the election time. he never killed himself. he was with elmira again. so, it’s imposible.

Face
Age 13
Boston, Massachusetts
aliens came and took poe away before he could do anything and they made him watch reruns of ugly betty which then killed him

Papadopoulou
Age 20
Thessaloniki, Greece
Edgar Allan Poe had suffered so much while he was alive and in such a short time that he probably had problems with alcohol. He had already been addicted to gambling before so why not drinking as well? He was found in a delirium and in somebody else’s clothes. He was drunk and lost his clothes in gambling.

Demetria
Age 13
Scottsville, Kentucky
my theory is that poe could have went out in the woods and been bitten by an animal and got rabies.

Isabella
Age 13
Anchorage, Alaska
They said they found him in a bar. They say that he had to be carried out. I suppose that the people in the bar were drunk so they could have seen the real reason he died. Could he have been poisoned by his friend? They felt that it was wrong and showed the most evil side of people. I believe that he was murdered for that reason possibly.

Alylah
Age 13
Virginia Beach , Virginia
I think Poe died because he drank too much and got alcohol poisoning. When the people found him he was already dead and they couldn’t revive him. Even if they had found him earlier I don’t think they would have been advanced enough medically to treat his poisoning sufficiently.

T-Erica
Age 13
Lancaster, California
Poe died of a pre-existing disease, probably a brain tumor, which grew over time slowly killing him. He said himself in a letter to Maria Clemm that he had not been drinking around the time of his death. Also he left his clothes and correct walking stick at home which is why we was found looking “worse for wear”. He was around the bar because he was giving lectures like he had been doing prior to his leaving Richmond. His close personal friend and nurse said that he had some type of lesion to the brain.




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.




Solve the Mystery of Poe’s Death


The cause of Poe’s death remains a mystery 159 years after the fact. Theories abound, but none has become the definitive explanation. Now we are asking you to help solve the mystery. Check out some of the clues gathered from primary sources at http://poe200th.com/students-mystery.php. On October 5, 2008 at the Poe Museum’s Poe Memorial Service, we will choose the best theories, and the winning detective will receive a prize. There is still plenty of time left to submit your theories, so we encourage you enter the contest and to come to the Poe Memorial Service.

Since this website was posted, we have already received some good theories, some of which are posted below.

I think that he took a drug over dose when he was sick.I think that because in the story it said that he became sick.He was also an alcoholic, so he probably took the medicine while he was drinking the alcohol. So it probably caused the brain tumor, which caused him to die.
~Allie Thomas, Maryland

I think he did an drug overdose or he was poisoned by someone.                                  ~Christopher Dailey and Richard Royal, Maryland

I believe he died because he could of possiably catched an airbourne disease coming and going from Richmond! Or possiably from a broken heart because his wife Virginia know as Ginny died of sickness. He really loved her and any person could die because a loved one has passed away.  The stress of being without out her may hurt way to much for him to bear and he just gave up, got sick and just passed away!
~Abbey, Florida

He died from a brain tumor and epilepsy because he had no treatment for either.
~Nicole, Florida