A Tell-Tale Visit to the Poe House

With the haunting season upon us, many enjoy a good frightening story to enhance the thrill of the month of Halloween. This month, there are a multitude of advertised haunted houses, spooky hayrides, and many zombie gatherings around Philadelphia.

But while these events can be fun for a quick thrill, the manufactured feel of the different attractions leave something to be desired.

If you’re really looking for an authentic scare this Halloween season I recommend paying a visit to the former home of, who some would say was the greatest horror writer who ever lived, Edgar Allen Poe.

Poe lived in Philadelphia for several years at which time he wrote some of his most well-known and haunting stories such as “The Tell-Tale Heart, The Murders in the Rue Morgue and The Gold-Bug were written during Poe’s time in Philadelphia.


I went for a tour of the house and was instantly overcome with a certain discomfort – real discomfort. The walls are bare as are the rooms. A feeling of claustrophobia will sneak up on you as you climb the small narrow staircase that leads the upstairs where Poe and his family once slept. Although the most interesting place, in my opinion, was the basement of the house. An eerily similar and some have speculated that it was the inspiration behind his story, The Black Cat. The basement seems like a normal basement, but stay there long enough and you may start to understand why a horror story writer might use it for inspiration.

Macabre fantasies and delusions of delirious madness are resounding themes that surround Poe’s stories and he wrote such tales in his home which still resides here in our hometown of Philadelphia. It is the perfect location to learn a little history about Poe and Philadelphia. The Poe house is a must see destination this haunting season. Located at 7th and Spring Garden, the National Park Service looks after the grounds and provides information to any visitors. The admission is free and it is open Friday to Sunday, from 9am – 12noon and 1pm – 5pm.

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