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Edgar Allan Poe | When Edgar Allan Poe died in October 1849—from mysterious causes in a Baltimore hospital—he left behind more than a canon of grim poems and the invention of the mystery novel: he left a legacy that would live on in popular culture for centuries. "Literature, TV, movies, theater, Poe is always around all that, either influencing that or a part of it," says J.W. Ocker, author of Poe-Land: The Hallowed Haunts of Edgar Allan Poe. "Poe has always fascinated me for his omnipresence in our culture."

Though Poe called himself a Virginian, his life took him up and down the East Coast, from New York to South Carolina. "He is one of the few authors you can really do a huge travel trip around, because he lived in so many places and is held in such high regard," Ocker says. "There's just so many Poe places to go see." Partly, Poe's poor luck with gambling and drinking might have influenced his constant wanderings (he often moved to find work or avoid debt), but writer A.N. Devers, who is working on a book about Poe and place, thinks Poe's constant wanderings had to do with more than money. "He had a real wanderlust and a sense of needing to go to new places. He just couldn't sit still, he had some sort of urgent need to keep going places," Devers says. "It's almost as if he needed to keep discovering things." | Smithsonian

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