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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 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


  • Julia says:

    I think that we wer never ment to find out his death i think hat he planned ….he went out one night did something he knew would make him sick and then overdosed on it got someone elses clothes on and the layed himself on the sidewalk until someone found him

  • Aurora says:

    I think that Mr. Poe died of a broken heart losing Virginia and his Fostor Mother was just too much for him to handle but we will never know his true cause of death I think Mr. Poe was the best horror writer of all time and read his poems every day

  • Red says:

    He most likely died of rabies… at the time he was considered an alcoholic and REFUSED brandy… One of the symptoms of rabies is difficulty of swallowing.
    he was also having halucinations. Also I’m 13 and this, I believe, the cause of death