Students react to the bone-chilling story of The Tell-Tale Heart


Tyson Head

A student reads The Tell-Tale Heart on their chromebook.

Tyson Head, Staff Writer

Edgar Allan Poe is best known for two accomplishments: being a famous poet and marrying his cousin. Born January 19, 1809, Edgar Allan Poe is one of the most significant poets and writers in American history. His 13-year-old-cousin aside, Poe stands out as an incredibly gifted writer. Although, not all of his poems are exactly beautiful; actually most are extremely disturbing. 

To be fair on all accounts, he is extremely good at what he does. Readers should look to the short story, The Tell-Tale Heart to find a brief introduction to his style of writing. The story can be found at and begins with the narrator (Poe) living at the same location as an old man. Poe loved the old man from what can be interpreted and may even be the old man’s caretaker.

The story does not stay normal for long as Poe describes the terrible eye this old man has: it’s the piercing eye of a vulture. This eye haunts Poe to no end even preventing him from sleeping. Poe determines the only way to shake this feeling would be to get rid of the eye forever, via murder. It gets creepier; for the next seven nights, he stalks the old man in his sleep. Dylan Luft shared, “It’s pretty creepy for sure I can’t imagine being watched in my sleep and how creepy that would be.” On the eighth night, he is caught by the old man and is forced to rush in and bludgeon him to death.

The story doesn’t end there though, the lawmen show up and sweat Poe, who nearly manages to convince them of his innocence. Yet a disturbance begins to stir; Poe begins to hear the heartbeat of the old man whom he disposed of under the floorboards. The heart beats louder and louder until Poe eventually loses his mind and screams his confession.

Quite the unordinary tale indeed. Cole Lombard shared his thoughts, “I think the story is pretty messed up for basically no reason. It makes no sense why you would want to murder someone just because one of their eyes looks different.”

Poe is most certainly a gifted, if not a strange writer. Some of his other works such as The Raven may come close to The Tell-Tale Heart, but none quite can top the sheer horror of watching while people sleep with them not knowing why one murders them. The words simply send shivers down one’s spine. Poe has definitely left a large impact on the writing scene, even though he was clearly loosely hanging on to his mind.