The dismal atmosphere of Poe's cellar is unmistakably echoed in "The Black Cat," one of the many Gothic short stories he wrote during his lean years in Philadelphia.
Of my own thoughts it is folly to speak. Swooning, I staggered to the opposite wall. For one instant the party upon the stairs remained motionless, through extremity of terror and of awe. In the next, a dozen stout arms were toiling at the wall. It fell bodily. The corpse, already greatly decayed and clotted with gore, stood erect before the eyes of the spectators. Upon its head, with red extended mouth and solitary eye of fire, sat the hideous beast whose craft had seduced me into murder, and whose informing voice had consigned me to the hangman. I had walled the monster up within the tomb!
— "The Black Cat", 1843
Open Wednesday to Sunday; free admission; www.nps.gov/edal