200 Years of Poe

The circumstances surrounding the exact nature of Edgar Allan Poe’s death still remain a mystery. The celebrated author was found wandering the streets of Baltimore confused, in a “pitiable condition,” and was taken to the hospital where he died four days later, at age 40. An also pitiable funeral was to follow, with a meager ten people in attendance and barely a footnote in the newspaper.

So it is only appropriate that this Sunday, October 11th, a funeral will be held in Baltimore, MD for the master of the macabre. 2009 marks the 200th anniversary of Poe’s birth in 1809, and the 160th anniversary of his death on October 7th, 1849. Along with the funeral services to come this weekend, an open casket “visitation” service was held yesterday at the Poe House - complete with a creepy lifelike replica of Poe’s corpse.

Actor John Astin - better known as “Gomez Addams” of the original Addams Family television show - will be serving as Master of Ceremonies for the special event on Sunday, which will begin with a police-escorted funeral procession and two “services” in the afternoon. If you can’t make it to Baltimore this weekend to pay your respects, be sure to honor Mr. Poe this October by checking out some of the many materials available at the library.