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On the Road in Pursuit of
Edgar Allan Poe's Immortalized Haunts
You may imagine Edgar Allan Poe locked away in a dreary study, inking thrilling tales on parchment with a feathered quill in the hypnotic glow of flickering candlelight. But despite Poe's preoccupation with confining his story subjects to tight spaces, he enjoyed spending his time in a wide breadth of locations. To retrace some of his footsteps, prep your GPS for an east coast road trip as several states boast connections to this prolific author.


Edgar Allan Poe Square
Boston lays claim to Poe's birthplace within a house demolished many decades ago. The city paid tribute by naming a busy downtown plaza Edgar Allan Poe Square in 2009, marking the 200th anniversary of his birth. A life-size statue designed by artist Stefanie Rocknak was added to this spot five years later, celebrating his return to Boston. There is also a plaque on a nearby burrito shop indicating the area where his home may have once stood.

Fort Independence on Castle Island
Admirers might also wish to visit Fort Independence on Castle Island while in Boston. Poe was stationed here for a few months while serving in the US Army. Some believe that the exaggerated legend of a duel between two officers at this site inspired The Cask of Amontillado. Perhaps the circumstances of that legend were untrue, but in 1905 a skeleton with shreds of a military uniform was indeed found chained to a wall, suggesting multiple tales became entwined.


Edgar Allan Poe Cottage
The Bronx of 1846 was a rural landscape where Poe moved with his wife, Virginia, and his mother-in-law, Maria. The cottage was small and sparse, but the author hoped the move would improve Virginia's failing health. She succumbed to tuberculosis soon afterward, forever changing Poe's demeanor. He would write The Bells, Eureka, and Annabel Lee within these walls before his death in 1949. A few other tenants called this cottage home before its relocation to Poe Park across the street. Restored to its original condition, this museum captures some of Poe's bleakest moments.


Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site
Poe lived in Philadelphia for about six years when it was renowned for having the best publishing industry in the entire country during the 1800s. Perhaps its literary opportunities inspired works written at the time, such as The Black Cat, The Tell-Tale Heart, The Masque of the Red Death, The Pit and the Pendulum, and many others. This former residence turned museum now houses a collection of enticing exhibits with celebrity readings.

Grip the Raven
Around the bend, you can also gaze upon Grip the Raven, the preserved remains of a famous bird at the Free Library of Philadelphia. This "Literary Landmark" was once the pet of Charles Dickens and incorporated into his serialized work Barnaby Rudge. At the time, Poe was employed as a literary critic and noted that he wished Grip served more purpose within the tale. He would swiftly pen the iconic poem The Raven, further immortalizing Grip post mortem.


The Horse You Came in On Saloon
Is The Horse You Came in On where Poe took his final bittersweet sips of alcohol before his demise? It was known to be a favored drinking spot, and he was found nearby before his death, lending credence to the establishment's claim. The saloon opened in 1626 and also declares itself to be America's oldest continuously operating saloon, defying prohibition.

Church Hospital
Reports reveal Edgar Allan Poe took his final breaths at Church Hospital four days after being admitted in 1849 after someone found him wandering the streets deliriously. The hospital towers tended to the drunk and disorderly, though some sources maintain that Poe did not have alcohol in his blood upon arrival. For lack of interior tours, a simple outdoor plaque commemorates this historic location.

Westminster Hall & Burying Ground
After his death, Poe's burial reflected his empty pockets. He spent several decades beneath an unmarked gravesite in Baltimore's Westminster Burying Ground. There were attempts to honor the writer, but it wasn't until 1875 that a true monument was dedicated. Due to the monument's size, Poe's body was exhumed and reburied at a different location within Westminster. A smaller stone was placed at his original burial location, though some question its accuracy.


The Poe Museum
Although the prospect of a museum celebrating Poe's life initially failed to gain traction when city authorities deemed his drinking and gambling behaviors too offensive to commemorate, Virginia finally embraced its former resident in 1922. The multi-building museum boasts the most extensive collection of Poe's manuscripts, letters, and other artifacts such as furniture and personal possessions from Poe's former homes. The courtyard garden is also famed for its two black cats, Edgar and Pluto.


The Raven Room
Edgar Allan Poe's sole year of attendance at the University of Virginia imprinted his legacy upon the 13 West Range dormitory. The room is now a cozy museum visitors can peer into behind a glass door. The Raven Society, an elite group of students and faculty, maintains the space to ensure it appears as it would have back in Poe's era. This society also makes use of the room when conducting midnight initiations into their exclusive group.


Poe's Tavern
Poe's initial US army training led him to Sullivan's Island. Not much information about this time frame of his life exists, but locals delight in the prospect of their sandy shorelines inspiring some of his works. The most probable contenders are The Gold Bug, The Oblong Box, and The Balloon Hoax. Bring your copy of these tales to neighborhood hotspot Poe's Tavern, a quirky dining experience that pays tribute to the writer. Each wall is embellished with portraits of Poe and his most iconic, thought-provoking quotations.
Mystery surrounds many of the locations haunted by the memories of Edgar Allan Poe, with plenty of speculation about which towns laid the foundations of his greatest works. Perhaps the curious suspense is appropriate and makes visiting these unique locales a timeless endeavor.

“The boundaries which divide life from death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins?” --Edgar Allan Poe, The Premature Burial