Watch Vincent Price Turn Into Edgar Allan Poe & Read Four Classic Poe Stories (1970)

Can you have a Halloween without Edgar Allan Poe? Sure you can — but here at Open Culture, we don’t recommend it. So that you need not go Poe-less on this, or any, Halloween night, we’ve featured not just his complete works free to download, but other material like the animated adaptation of “The Tell-Tale Heart” as well as animations of his other stories; Poe readings by the likes of Christopher Lee, James Earl Jones, and Iggy Pop; and Orson Welles’ interpretation of his work on an Alan Parsons Project album.

We also believe that you shouldn’t have to endure a Priceless Halloween — that is to say, a Halloween without Vincent Price. Though he proved his versatility in a wide variety of genres throughout his long acting career, history has remembered Price first and foremost for his work in horror, no doubt thanks in large part to his possession of a voice perfectly suited to the elegantly sinister. It also made him an ideal teller of Poe’s ingeniously macabre tales, which you can experience for yourself in the recordings we’ve posted of Price reading Poe, a playlist which also includes readings by Price’s equally versatile Basil Rathbone.

Rathbone may also have got to read Poe, the work, but despite his huge number of roles on stage and screen, he never actually played Poe, the man. But Price did, in the special An Evening of Edgar Allan Poe, the closest any of us will get to an audience with the troubled, brilliant, and terrifyingly inventive writer himself. In it, Price-as-Poe takes the stage and, over the course of an hour, weaves into his performance four of his most enduring stories: “The Tell-Tale Heart,” “The Sphinx,” “The Cask of Amontillado,” and “The Pit and the Pendulum.” Go on, join Edgar Allan Poe in his drawing room this Halloween by having Price bring him to life on your screen — it will guarantee you a memorable holiday evening.

Related Content:

Download The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe on His Birthday

Watch the 1953 Animation of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart,” Narrated by James Mason

Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven,” Read by Christopher Walken, Vincent Price, and Christopher Lee

Christopher Lee (R.I.P.) Reads Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven,” and From “The Fall of the House of Usher”

Iggy Pop Reads Edgar Allan Poe’s Classic Horror Story, “The Tell-Tale Heart”

5 Hours of Edgar Allan Poe Stories Read by Vincent Price & Basil Rathbone

James Earl Jones Reads Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” and Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself”

Hear Orson Welles Read Edgar Allan Poe on a Cult Classic Album by The Alan Parsons Project

Edgar Allan Poe Animated: Watch Four Animations of Classic Poe Stories

The Fall of the House of Usher: Poe’s Classic Tale Turned Into 1928 Avant Garde Film, Scripted by e.e. cummings

Colin Marshall writes elsewhere on cities, language, Asia, and men’s style. He’s at work on a book about Los Angeles, A Los Angeles Primer, the video series The City in Cinemaand the crowdfunded journalism project Where Is the City of the Future? Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.

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  • Paul Day Clemens says:

    Price does not actually portray Poe himself in his Evening With Edgar Allan Poe. Rather, Price portrays the various narrator of each tale and, indeed, looks quite different in each episode. Hair color and styles change markedly, including silver gray hair in Casque of Amontillado. Poe died at the age of 40 and never had gray hair. Neither did he ever sport a beard, which Price does in this Poe-pourri.

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