Edgar Allan Poe was well known throughout his life for his poetry and prose, often pushing his works to the edge of the macabre, but it may the odd circumstances of his death that helped cement his association with the dark side.
On the night of October 6, 1949, Poe was found wandering the streets of Baltimore “in great distress.. and in need of immediate assistance.” Poe never regained enough coherence to be able to explain the cause of his condition, but the use of drugs and alcohol have been widely dismissed by key eyewitnesses. Poe’s appearance was described as “repulsive”, with unkempt hair, a haggard unwashed face and “lusterless and vacant” eyes. His clothing did not fit well and did not match Poe’s usual style, leading to the widely accepted conclusion that he was wearing someone else’s clothes.
Many suspected causes of death have been suggested over the years — brain tumor, diabetes rabies, syphilis, epilepsy — but none explain why Poe was dressed in someone else’s clothing.