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The horse Poe rode out on

Fells point bar heralded as the final destination of Edgar Allen Poe

The Horse You Came In On in Fells Point is widely accepted as the final destination of Edgar Allan Poe before he died. Workers of the bar weigh in on its historical significance.

“Quoth the Raven ‘Nevermore,’” wrote the famous poet Edgar Allan Poe, who is said to have had his last drink at the local bar The Horse You Came In On Saloon in Fells Point, Maryland right before his death.

Known as “The Horse” to locals, this bar was established in 1775 and is now recognized for its long-standing history with accolades such as “Only bar in Maryland to exist before, during and after prohibition,” and “America’s oldest continually operated saloon.” Yet, it isn’t the recognition that draws the crowds, but rather the distinct historical connection to one of America’s most mysterious poets.

It begs the question: how factual is the claim that this bar was Poe’s final destination?

“Well… there are documents stating that The Horse was the last place Poe was before he died,” said Sherry Collins, a middle-aged bartender dressed in a hoodie, jeans and a black beanie.

She added that the National Register of Historic Places has visited the bar twice, in the four years she’s been working there. They recovered documentation which could have proven useful in answering some of the questions regarding Poe’s mysterious death, though Collins claimed she did not know of any information surrounding those findings.

While many attribute Poe’s death to alcoholism, Collins has her own theory: cooping.  Cooping was a form a voter fraud prevalent in the 1800s. Unsuspecting citizens were snatched off the streets and forced to repeatedly vote for a specific candidate in an election.

The captive participants often had their hair, facial appearance and clothing repeatedly changed as to allow them multiple votes and then were killed or left for dead after their services were no longer needed. Regardless of the cause of Poe’s death, the public views the bar as his final destination, evidenced by the influx of patrons the bar experiences on his birth date and death date: Jan 19, 1809, and Oct 7, 1849, respectively.

The Horse is located on 1626 Thames Street, tucked between its expansion The Horse You Rode Out On and Natty Boh Gear. It features a very rustic interior that is reminiscent of an old-timey dive bar. Among the stripped, creaky wooden floors, stone walls and the portrait of Poe whose eyes seem to follow you everywhere, it’s hard to deny a certain eerie feel.

If you ask the workers, they’ll tell you that Edgar Allan Poe’s ghost resides in the bar.  C.J. DeMarco, a manager at the Horse, said, “We feel like he’s always present, but we feel him the most in opening and closing shifts, when it’s just workers, managers, whatever. No customers, ya know?”

He explains that early in the morning when they’re closing and when they are getting ready to open up again, Poe makes his presence known through an occasional creak in the floor or ceiling, a flicker in the lights, a swing of the chandelier or the mysterious opening of a drawer.

The workers, far from afraid of this lurking spirit, usually talk to him during their opening and closing tasks, addressing him casually as “Edgar,” claiming that once you acknowledge his presence, the oddities let up.

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