He invented the detective story 40 years before Sherlock Holmes was ever conceived. He wrote the world's most famous horror poem, The Raven, quoted to death forevermore by literary students and fans of the supernatural. He even contributed to the earliest inventions of gothic science fiction, wrote humorous satire and influenced generations of authors and scholars in all realms of literature.
Beyond anything else, Edgar Allan Poe's name is synonymous with a good scare, and more than 150 years after his death, his works have endured in print and have been adapted to everything from film and radio to Broadway and graphic novels. This weekend, St. Helena's White Barn is getting into the Halloween season Poe-style with a two-night run of multimedia shows titled Poe-Pourri.
Theatrical readings will bring Poe's classic ghost stories to life and short films will raise hairs on backs of necks. There will even be a shadow play, a popular form of spooky entertainment from Poe's day, before electricity lit cities through the dark, dark night.
Poe-Pourri presents a potable portion of perturbing productions on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 14 and 15, at the White Barn, 2727 Sulphur Springs Ave., St Helena. 8pm. $30. Not recommended for children under 12. 707.987.8225. —Charlie Swanson