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Halloween Stories from the Archives

In celebration of Halloween this coming weekend, we thought we would share some spooky, surprising and macabre stories about Edgar Allen Poe, UFO’s, horrific newspaper articles and more that all come from documents found on If you’ve come across any spooky stories in your research, please share them in a comment on this post.

Edgar Allen Poe’s final hours

A Graphic (and overly dramatic) Narrative of Edgar Allen Poe's Last Hours
This story was found in the The Chicago Tribune on October 30, 1875.
Edgar Allen Poe was found sleeping on a park bench, he was carried to a hospital.
When told by the nurse that he was in the care of good friends, he replied:

“My best friend would be the man who would blow my brains out with a pistol… O, God the terrible strait I am in! Is there no ransom for the deathless spirit?”

He slept but his health continued to diminish. He awoke during his final moments to say:

“Doctor, it’s all over. Eddie is no more.”

When asked to hope and trust in God he replied:

“Self-murderer, there is a gulf beyond the stream. Where is the buoy, life-boat, ship of fire, sea of brass? Rest, shore, no more!”

His eyes rolled upward into his head so that only whites balls could be seen. He twitched and then died. It was midnight.

UFO scares trick-or-treaters

Project Blue Book Case File
Here’s a story from the Project Blue Book – UFO Investigations from 1957. Two teenage girls see a glowing egg-shaped object in the sky over Primrose Acres, a suburb of Annapolis, MD.

Across the country, others see the same thing including an engineer at White Sands Proving Grounds in New Mexico.

The US Air Defense Command says only 1.9 percent of these reported sightings end up in the “unknown” category.

Man driven to suicide after medium threatens to reveal his murderous past

Driven to Suicide- Small town newspaper
After a spiritualist had promised to reveal the name of a murderer, Mike Nelson—long suspected of killing a wealthy farmer—became alarmed and killed his two daughters and himself.

The medium had already stated where the body could be found. Read the front page story in the Washington Post from 1905.

Lizzie Borden. What happened to her?

Lizzie Borden
Seven years after her parents were hacked to death with an ax in their home, Lizzie Borden takes her $350,000 inheritance (about $9.4 million in 2010 dollars) and moves into a more elegant home just a mile away. Read the follow-up story about her in this Small Town Newspaper in Wyoming.

Bobbing for Apples during World War II

Bobbing for Apples in 1943
This photo comes from the World War II Air Force Photos. Men of the 70th Service Group, based at Essex, England, duck for apples at the Halloween party sponsored by the Aero Red Cross Club on October 29, 1943.

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