The Tell-Tale Hairs of Edgar Allan Poe


A reporter for the Baltimore American was there when the coffin was first re-opened, where it was inspected by a small gaggle of curious onlookers. According to him, the skeleton was “almost in perfect condition, and lying with the long bony hands reposing one upon the other,” while the skull had “some little hair…still clinging near the forehead.”

– In the 19th century, hair from loved ones was clipped as a sort of “memento mori,” a secular relic. Around the country, Edgar Allan Poe’s hair has turned up in attics and libraries. Is it all legitimate? Elon Green writes about it at Atlas Obscura.

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