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Edgar Allan Poe probably didn’t die of alcoholism, as long believed. Modern doctors believe his symptoms were that of rabies.

Quoth the Raven: It Was Actually Rabies

We’ve all heard the stories about the death of American writer Edgar Allan Poe. A hopeless alcoholic, Poe died at age 40, drunk in a gutter in Baltimore, a victim of his debauched lifestyle. Those legends abound, and they are apocryphal. Poe likely died of rabies.

Poe had been seen in a bar on Lombard Street, disheveled and delirious, but it is well established that he died in the hospital. He was comatose when admitted to Washington College Hospital. By the next day, he was perspiring heavily, hallucinating and shouting at imaginary companions. The following day, he seemed better but could not remember falling ill. On his fourth day at the hospital, Poe again grew confused and belligerent, then quieted and died on Oct. 7, 1849.

Poe… Continue Reading (3 minute read)

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