Save the Poe House and Museum!
AS SOMEONE who has been inspired by Edgar Allan Poe to write both horror fiction and a number of songs (Edgar Allen Poe, from my In Memoriam double album, for instance) over the years I was horrified to hear that the city of Baltimore are planning to close the house where he was born and wrote many of his masterworks.
Philistines! It says much about a society (and its bureaucrats) when they put more value on sponsoring sporting events and refurbishing their own administration buildings than on the cultural icon who brings tourists to their city year after year.
Apparently, the mayor of Baltimore and his officials are so short of funds they are “forced” to choose between financing a new admin centre for themselves or subsidising the upkeep of the birthplace of their most famous resident (deceased or otherwise).
But fear not, Poe aficionados, there is a petition to be signed and every signature (whether written in ink or blood) will count. So click here today and stop EAP spinning in his grave!
For some juicy titbits on the hauntings at the Poe house I offer the following extract from my book ‘Ghosts’ (Arcturus Publishing) for gratis (and to get you stirred up to sign):
The spirit of Edgar Allen Poe, author of ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’ and other tales of terror, haunts both American fiction and the house in Baltimore where he lived as a young man in the 1830s. The narrow two and a half story brick house at 203 N. Amity Street in an impoverished area is said to be so spooky that even local gangs are scared to break in. When the police arrived to investigate a reported burglary in 1968 they saw a phantom light in the ground floor window floating up to reappear on the second floor and then in the attic, but when they entered the property there was no one to be seen.
Even in daylight the house is unsettling. An eerie portrait of Poe’s wife, painted as she lay in her coffin, hangs in one room her melancholic gaze following visitors around the room. Local residents have reported seeing a shadowy figure working at a desk at a second floor window, although Poe, whose morbid obsession with premature burial led to his incarceration in an asylum, worked in the attic. The curator has recorded many incidents of poltergeist activity which appears to originate in the bedroom that belonged to Poe’s grandmother. Here doors and windows open and close by themselves, visitors are tapped on the shoulder and disembodied voices have been heard. Psychic investigators have also reported seeing a stout, grey-haired old woman dressed in clothing of the period gliding through the rooms. But perhaps the oddest aspect of the whole case is that local parents still use the spectre of the horror writer to terrify their children into doing what they are told.
Poe has become the bogeyman of Baltimore. It is a twist the master of the macabre might have been perversely proud of.
- Want to read more of Paul’s spooky accounts? Find Ghosts on Amazon here (UK) or here (USA).
- Want to hear more of In Memoriam 1980-2010? Find the album on Amazon here (UK) or here (USA)
Posted on July 25, 2011, in Edgar Allen Poe, In Memoriam, Paul Roland and tagged Edgar Allen Poe, goth rock, In Memoriam, neo folk, Paul Roland, psychpop, steampunk. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.