One of the most famous writers of all time, Edgar Allan Poe, died at the age of 40 on October 7, 1849 and this is history. It is known that he died in almost absolute poverty, without money even to buy a shroud in which to wrap his wife’s body when she died: he used the sheets of the bridal outfit. He spent the last years of his life in a cottage in what is now the Bronks.
He had squandered the fortune of his adoptive father (the natural father had abandoned him as a child and only one year later his mother died of illness) and burned with alcohol all that his writings made him earn.
But the forefather of the horror genre, of the psychological and of the detective genre left us with a mystery that nobody could ever explain. He decided to do some business in Philadelphia, so he took the train to that city, but none of the relatives knew what it was. No one was waiting for him at the station and therefore no one became suspicious when he didn’t arrive.
He was found in a daze in Baltimore, wearing clothes that weren’t his, delirious. The police managed to track down someone from his family, but all Poe could say was the name “Raynold” without giving any explanation of what had happened to him.
Neither his relatives nor his friends had any idea who this person was, nor why Poe was in Baltimore, nor why he wore another person’s clothes.
The doctors talked about delirium tremens, a good way to indicate death by alcoholism. But curiously, all the documents relating to the death of the great writer disappeared, including those relating to hospitalization.
We will never know the truth, but some hypotheses are circulating. It is said that it may actually have been an abuse of alcohol (it would not be surprising given the problems previously experienced), or that he was abducted to make him vote several times in the city’s polling stations. This hypothesis is not too fanciful, as Baltimore was at the time of the election campaign and there are documented cases of this type of kidnapping.
It is even said that he may have been murdered by the family of the woman that Poe had begun to attend in the last period.
A 1996 study by the University of Maryland states that the writer was suffering from rabies (hydrophobia) and died because no one was able to understand the problem.
But 170 years later it is the most dense mystery in the history of world literature.
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