The Fall of the House of Poe

by Evan Baughfman

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“The Fall of the House of Poe,” by Evan Baughfman, was first published on April 1, 2021 in Love Letters to Poe and can be found as an exclusive story in Love Letters to Poe, Volume I: A Toast to Edgar Allan Poe.

Interview with Evan Baughfman, Author of “The Fall of the House of Poe”

What inspired your story?

This piece was inspired by the mystery surrounding Poe’s death. Today, many people believe it’s likely that the author died from rabies complications, not alcoholism. Reports show that Poe passed away at Washington College Hospital under the care of a physician named Dr. Moran. I’ve included these facts in my story.

In his final hours, Poe was apparently in a state of delirium, seeing and speaking to things that were not there. I wanted to get a peek inside his dying brain, and that is what you see in “The Fall of the House of Poe”. I’ve taken my favorite elements and characters from his stories and mashed them together, reimagining Poe’s mind as a decrepit manor full of unrestrained nightmares. The furry fiends in this piece represent the rabies virus attacking Poe’s central nervous system in his last moments on Earth.

What’s your favorite gothic story or poem and why?

I read “The Tell-Tale Heart” as a middle school student, and it inspired me to write scary stories of my own. I’m now a teacher, and I get to share the tale with my students, hopefully inspiring some of them to become writers themselves!

How long have you been writing?

Since middle school, I’ve been writing short fiction. This eventually led to my pursuit of a Creative Writing degree at University of Redlands.

Do you have a theme you return to time and again?

Because I’m a parent and a teacher, I often find myself writing about things that are important for young people to understand:  resiliency, staying strong in the face of adversity, and adapting to new challenges. However, I suppose these themes can apply to older audiences, as well!

Do you have a favorite quote that inspires you?

“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.”

~ Stephen King

What are you working on now?

I’m working on a play about the Black Dahlia murder and am also outlining the final chapters of an action-packed YA sci-fi/horror novel. New short story ideas are always floating around inside my head.

What else would you like people to know? Where can people find you online?

Much of my writing success has been as a playwright, my original plays finding homes in theaters worldwide. A number of my scripts are published through Heuer Publishing, YouthPLAYS, Next Stage Press, and Drama Notebook.

I’ve also found success writing horror fiction, my work found most recently in anthologies by Black Hare Press, Blood Song Books, and Grinning Skull Press. Additionally, I’ve adapted a number of my short stories into screenplays, of which “The Tell-Tale Art,” “A Perfect Circle,” and “The Creaky Door” have won awards in various film festival competitions.

My first short story collection, The Emaciated Man and Other Terrifying Tales from Poe Middle School, is published through Thurston Howl Publications.

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