Why Poe is the King of Scary

Why, after all this time, is the name of Edgar Allan Poe synonymous with tales of horror and suspense? His most popular works have never been out of print and have been translated into all the world’s major languages.

Edgar Allen Poe portrait, wikimedia commons

During his life, Edgar Allan Poe was plagued by many problems.  This troubled man still wrote tales of horror, tales of mystery, and poems.  Wrapped around his death is a mystery worthy of his writing.

Just mention Poe’s name, and it brings thoughts of someone being buried alive, a tortured man about to be sliced in half by a swinging pendulum, a servant sneaking into his master’s chambers to murder him, and the horror a plague can bring.

Poe has a way of getting into the reader’s head.  His stories, even though they were written over a hundred years ago, still have a way of sending chills up your spine.

The Pit and the Pendulum, wikimedia commons

What could this master of the macabre achieved if he had all of the advantages that modern writers have?  If he were able to use the internet to research whatever horrific things came to mind with no trouble, how many more tales of horror would he have written?

The following are some of my favorite stories by him.  Following each is a sentence from the story and an audio recording of it being read.

“The Pit and the Pendulum” takes place in a torture chamber.
I was sick — sick unto death with that long agony; and when they at length unbound me, and I was permitted to sit, I felt that my senses were leaving me.

“The Tell-Tale Heart” allows one to see into the mind of a murderer and feel his unrelenting guilt.
Whenever it fell upon me, my blood ran cold; and so by degrees — very gradually –I made up my mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of the eye forever.

“The Fall of the House of Usher” takes the reader inside an old house and its secrets.
There was an iciness, a sinking, a sickening of the heart –an unredeemed dreariness of thought which no goading of the imagination could torture into aught of the sublime.

“The Masque of the Red Death,” an awesome tale that used in my book, is about the horror of the plague.
Blood was its Avator and its seal — the redness and the horror of blood.

I also have a favorite poem by him: “The Raven.”  From this poem, I chose the middle name of my daughter.  I don’t think you will have any problems figuring out the name I chose.

From “The Raven:”
Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow;–vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow—sorrow for the lost Lenore–
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels named Lenore–
Nameless here for evermore.

All of his stories can easily be found online at http://www.poestories.com/ if you are interested in reading them. You can also find most, if not all, of them on YouTube to enjoy. Why not listen to the ones provided above by candlelight one dark evening? Once you listen to them, you will understand exactly why Poe is the king of scary.

Recommended Articles:
Edgar and the Tree House of Usher – a Review
Mrs. Poe – a Review

Amazon Link: Softly and Tenderly – You’ll find several references to “The Masque of the Red Death” in part two of this book.

If you are a fan of Edgar Allan Poe’s writings, then you might enjoy drinking your morning coffee or tea out of this Edgar Allan Poe coffee mug.

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