Edgar Allan Poe was a time traveler and you can’t convince me otherwise. Not only did he predict the Big Bang Theory in his short story “Eureka” as well as frontal lobe syndrome in “The Businessman,” he also predicted a terrifying shipwreck that hadn’t happened yet in The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket… right down to the name of one of the victims. And if all of that doesn’t scream “time traveler,” then his death—in which he died under mysterious circumstances wearing someone else’s clothes, while allegedly muttering the name of a stranger nobody knew—certainly does.
And that’s not even all the evidence. I’m here to tell you that Poe also predicted 2020, and if more people had bothered to read “The Masque of the Red Death” before March of this year then maybe we would’ve seen this stuff coming. Here are all the ways Poe predicted this absolute garbage year.
How the whole world would get hit by a major pandemic: “…far and wide, over sea and land, the black wings of the Pestilence were spread abroad.” — “Shadow: A Parable”
How we would define the term “doomscrolling”: “It has been the desperate attempt to escape from torturing memories, from a sense of insupportable loneliness and a dread of some strange impending doom.” — An 1848 letter to Sarah Whitman
How self-isolating would affect our daily lives: “His ordinary occupations were neglected or forgotten. He roamed from chamber to chamber with hurried, unequal, and objectless step.” — “The Fall of the House of Usher”
How we would all respond upon receiving yet another notification on our phones alerting us to distressing news: “Ugh! ugh! ugh! —ugh! ugh! ugh! —ugh! ugh! ugh! —ugh! ugh! ugh! —ugh! ugh! ugh!” — “The Cask of Amontillado”
How it would feel to binge-watch a Netflix series alone in your apartment with no one to share it with: “And all I loved, I loved alone.” — “Alone”
How some people would be able to hunker down for quarantine but essential workers would still be expected to go to work: “The abbey was amply provisioned. With such precautions the courtiers might bid defiance to contagion. The external world could take care of itself.” — “The Masque of the Red Death”
How Gilead Sciences, Inc. would be the company developing a vaccine for COVID-19: “Is there—is there balm in Gilead?—tell me—tell me, I implore!” — “The Raven”
How Australia, California, and Colorado’s 2020 wildfire seasons would break records: “How I revel on the prairie‘! how I roar among the pines!” — “The Fire Legend: A Nightmare”
How misinformation would spread on social media and beyond: “Believe nothing you hear, and only one half that you see.” — “The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether”
How we would all feel a lot of the time, just generally: “I dread the events of the future, not in themselves but in their results.” — “The Fall of the House of Usher”
How weeks would go by without anybody realizing it and you’d think you were going crazy: “And I hold within my hand Grains of the golden sand — How few! yet how they creep Through my fingers to the deep, While I weep — while I weep!” — “A Dream Within a Dream”
How the whole year would play out… basically TL;DR: “The year had been a year of terror, and of feelings more intense than terror for which there is no name upon the earth.” — “Shadow: A Parable”