He may have lived there for only a year, but Edgar Allan Poe’s former home on North 7th Street in Philadelphia is alive with the beloved poet’s memory.
Poe, with his wife and mother-in-law, lived in the little house from 1843 to 1844. Though Poe sat scribbling at his desk here for a mere twelve months, they were important ones - it was while he lived in this house that he penned two famous stories, “The Tell-Tale Heart” and “The Gold Bug.”
Nearly a century after Poe and his family moved out, an enthusiastic fan of Poe bought the house and and opened it as a museum. It was left to Philadelphia when he died, and the National Historic Site was born.
Tours of the Poe household include a descent into the basement; it is speculated that this very basement may have inspired his story, “The Black Cat,” in which a man murders his wife and seals her up inside the walls of their cellar (his cat is accidentally sealed up as well, and its wailing alerts the police investigation of the corpse within).
The museum features three permanent and two rotating exhibits, and contains a wide array of displays. From a film on Poe’s life, to a reading room for perusal of his works, to readings of his poems by celebrities such as Vincent Price and Christopher Walken, the museum brings Poe to life through the pages of his work.