For writers and readers of spooky stuff alike, there is no doubt that Poe House, Edgar Allen Poe’s residence in Baltimore, is a must see, when you are seeing the sites.
Located at 203 North Amity Street, (originally No. 3 Amity), Poe house is a very small step back in time, taller folks will want to watch their heads. The small ones among us will be quite comfortable, however. The house itself is tiny and very easy to miss, so be sure to leave early and give yourself time to get lost. There are signs leading to the house, but they may prove less then helpful to the out of state or country traveler.
Poe house has a self guided tour through the 2 1/2 story, 5 room house house, and many displays including videos. Souvenirs are on sale in the front parlor room, where among other things you can get a copy of his poem, “The Raven”, written in Poe’s own hand writing, in a nifty old fashioned looking envelope. Prices for the souvenirs are very reasonable, and you will likely find yourself picking up at least one.
Poe lived in the house with his widowed aunt, Maria Poe Clemm, her son Henry, her young daughter Virginia, and Elizabeth Poe, Edgar’s Allen Poe’s grandmother, from 1832 to 1835. It was during his time in this house, here in Baltimore, that Edgar Allen Poe decided to write short stories instead of poetry. Poe wrote a number of short stories here, including, “MS found in a bottle”, which won a $50 Prize from a local Baltimore paper for best short story. The tiny garret room, up an even tinier staircase, is most often thought to be where he slept and wrote. Some biographers, however, believe he used the bedroom on the second floor. Be careful ! The stairs are very narrow, and winding, and difficult to navigate, and the imagined beating of a tell-tale heart, can trip you p. A number of pieces are exhibited through-out the house, including a lap desk, supposedly used by Poe, and the only known picture of his wife Virginia. Several bottles of cognac, left at Poe’s grave by the mysterious, “Poe toaster”, are also on display.
Special events at the house include Halloween, which is celebrated both the weekend before and after Oct 31st, with local actors in costumes to lend you a hand scaring yourself, and the worlds largest celebration of Poe’s birthday, which is held the entire weekend closet to Jan 19th.
Poe house is open from Noon to 3:45, Wednesday thru Saturday, April through Early December, but you likely want to call ahead just to make sure, since they occasionally close for repairs or schools tours. Admission is $3 per person over 12, and active military personnel and their families receive free admission. Parking can be found outside the house for free. While the nice folks at Poe house will tell you that Edgar Allen Poe never visited Fell’s Point, the nice folks at the Fell’s Point Ghost Walk will tell you just the opposite. For a truly spooky adventure, visit Poe house first, parking there and walk to his grave, located only a few blocks from the house at the southeastern corner of Fayette and Green streets. Then head to Fell’s Point and the Fell’s Point Ghost Walk. The Ghost Walk meets at Max’s Darthouse, at 7pm, Friday and Saturday. Well worth the $12 adults over 12 have to pay for it, a guide will walk you through haunted Fell’s Point, while sending shivers up your spine and telling you the most famous ghost stories, at least one of which will involve Poe himself.