Happy Halloween: An Open Letter to Poe

Even though he died on Oct. 7,  for me, Halloween will always be associated with Edgar Allan Poe. The following letter emerged from a SoulPancake writing prompt, “Write an open letter to your (dead) writing hero.”

Dear Mr. Poe,

Arise from your moldering tomb and hear my words…You are not forgotten! Especially not on this Day of the Dead, when we celebrate not just death, but madness, murder, and decay. We – those of us who can appreciate the darker things in life – still admire the way you poured your heart, bleeding and broken, on the page, lamenting your queens of the underworld, those visions of pale, sepulchral beauty. Stephen King would not be Stephen King without your tales of murder and madness – and something from beyond the grave. Today, your smirking, sad visage is plastered on every black-gloved high-schooler’s notebook full of tortured poetry.

Thank you, dear Poe, for opening the crypt door, holding the candle aloft to shed light on the writhing vermin of our Protestant subconscious. Thank you for digging up the bones of the fears we don’t want to see, but can’t look away from. Thank you for projecting our nightmares on the giant, flickering screen, making them at once larger, but also more manageable.

Yours in Madness,



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