There are two major theories as to how Edgar Allen Poe died, most others hold no water. Still, the mystery prevails over all pre-conceived notions. Edgar Allen Poe's death will remain a secret, likely until the end of days.
One of the most prevalent theories was that Edgar Allen Poe had been beaten to death by "ruffians."
Evidently, on the night of Poe's death (according to Eugine Didier, who wrote The Grave of Poe in 1872), the sullen man had been walking the streets of Baltimore in search of something to eat.
As the night ran on, Poe ran into some old friends from West Point who convinced him to sit down with them for a drink at a nearby tavern.
Poe was unable to handle his liquor, and after one glass of champagne, Poe stumbled off into the night and was theoretically robbed and beaten by several "ruffians" in the street.
As plausible as this theory was, it is even more likely that something more sinister had occurred.
Many believe that Poe had fallen victim to a "coping" plot.
Cooping was a popular practice where members of gangs in the 19th century would kidnap an unsuspecting victim, disguise them, and force them to vote for a specific candidate on an election night multiple times in different outfits with different identities.
Voter fraud was very common in Baltimore in the mid-1800s. Poe was found near a polling site, wearing a different set of clothes, and was uncharacteristically drunk as a skunk.
Over the years, the theory that Edgar Allen Poe was abducted, forced to drink alcohol and had voted multiple times has become the most widespread theory regarding his death. Poe was turned adrift, beaten mercilessly, and was left to die on the street. Coincidentally, he passed away the day that the election (which was for a notoriously corrupt sheriff) had concluded.