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The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  2,875 ratings  ·  243 reviews
An unnamed narrator performs a remarkable experiment when he hypnotizes a man who is In Articulo Mortis—at the point of death. Because the story wasn’t identified as fiction when it was first published in 1845, many readers believed Edgar Allan Poe’s sensational work to be a true account. The writing style Poe adopts for this story, as well as its many references to medica ...more
Paperback, 24 pages
Published February 2nd 2004 by BookSurge Classics (first published January 3rd 1845)
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Aug 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
This is one of the eeriest and most morbid stories I ever read from Poe. The narrator describes a mesmeric experiment on a dying man named Valdemar. The person acts in a peculiar way when in a mesmeric trance induced in the moment of death. What does the hypnotist do and how long can the mesmeric condition be sustained? The end of the story is extremely ghastly too. Nothing for the faint hearted. You really have to be a bit morbid to enjoy the action here but it is written and plotted in an exce ...more
Bionic Jean
The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar, written in 1845, is an example of a story which we would now class as "horror", but which Edgar Allan Poe submitted to the public as an essay. It is a tale about "mesmerism", which was then a newly fashionable method of inducing a trance-like state. It developed later into what we term today hypnotism. A mesmerist put a man in a suspended hypnotic state at the moment of death. The story includes medical students and nurses as witnesses to add to its authent ...more
Nov 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
***WELL***........this is about as dark as a read can get!

An experiment of mesmerizing a man on his death bed brings about quite a creepy and unsettling result that would definitely have me running for the nearest exit! Yikes!

THE FACTS IN THE CASE OF M. VALDEMAR was first published by POE on January 3, 1845.

Sanjay Gautam
Aug 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a story filled with horror and awe that send shivers down your spine.
Nov 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Audiobook in Portuguese. Edgar Allan Poe had a lot of imagination! This short story is impressive.
Jun 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very twisted and very good.
Aishu Rehman
Jun 16, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Uh, ok. I'm not sure what the point of that story was. Mister Valdemar is very ill, but he wish for live longer. When he knew that he would live just one more day he asked his friend to hypnotize him, offering an opportunity to research about hypnosis, therefore he laid on his bed for months.

Two witnesses and his friend watch his health but the man looks dead. He asked mister Valdemar, Are you asleep? Do you still feel pain in the breast, M. Valdemar? Mister Valdemar replied to feel no more pai
Jul 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Poe is brilliant. I adore how vivid his writing is. When I read his stories, it's like I am standing there, watching it all happen right in front of me. Always a bit grotesque, but hey, isn't that what makes him brilliant? It's one of the (many) things, at least! ...more
Jun 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: short-stories
Poe has a power of terror in this story unmatched, in my opinion, by King and Lovecraft. He uses literary power.

This may be the most horrifying story I've ever read, from an experiential perspective.
Jun 17, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, classics
So what can you find out about a dying man that has been hypnotized... Read and find out in this short story.
Classic reverie
I wanted to read this short story after listening to the radio adaptation, I heard today. Edgar Allan Poe, surely makes his rounds on "The Weird Circle" and this one is from April 8, 1945.
The radio version is more entertaining for a radio audience since it brings more drama between the doctor and hypnotist but when all is said and done, it holds up to the same storyline. This is a horror story of sorts which I did not read this version but a Delphi Collection of his works. The introduction to th
Nov 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have been saving the works of Poe which I have mostly read at a very young age, around my early teens, for the sake of reading them now as a student of literature and language, and I have been one for sometime, but now, I can relish in reading all that I have forgotten.
I remember I was unfailingly enthralled by the ideas he always portrayed and the gruesome themes. His works, including this stellar story, is filled with darkness, wretchedness and what my professor calls creative madness.
It is
This is a short story by Edgar Allen Poe. A hypnotist is experimenting on a dying man in a trance. Poe attempted to make the story feel scientific and non-fiction.
Jack Heath
4 Stars. Creepy. Here we have Poe disguising fiction in an effort to leave the impression of authenticity. Readers in 1845 couldn't be faulted if they thought this was a scientific paper dealing with the possibility that mesmerism, an early form of hypnotism, could delay death. Poe has used this technique before. In "The Balloon Hoax" he wrote of lighter-than-air enthusiasts crossing the Atlantic to the US decades before it actually happened. He submitted that story to the papers as news, only f ...more
Daniel McIlhenney
Jul 13, 2014 rated it liked it

Poe is studied in every high school in the country, but it is unlikely many schools are reading this story. As a story itself, it is not as suspenseful as the "The Tell-Tale Heart". It is far more gruesome. It is not as beautifully written as "The Raven". It is actually written as a scientific account more than as a piece of literature. That is where it becomes useful for a teacher. The short story is an account a dying man that is placed in a hypnotic state righ
Mar 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
what an idea ! i was mesmerized !
Sidharth Vardhan
Feb 22, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: short-stories, 8-usa
Ended too erruptly
The Bibliophile Doctor

Grotesque and morbid tale by Poe.

The narrator is fascinated with Hypnotism -Mesmerism in that times and wants to experiment it at the door of death. His friend Valdemar agrees to help him being curious himself , he is suffering from a illness that will soon lead to his death.


Valdemar is quickly mesmerized in a trance like state. In a trance, he reports first that he is dying—then that he is dead. The narrator leaves him in a mesmeric state for seven months, checking on him daily with the
Mar 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poe
A man is mesmerized (hypnotized in modern language) at his death bed. For medical science. It gets really detailed and specific, in a way that is pretty unsettling. And then I read that this story was initially intended to be an essay, so Poe would have researched the topic heavily. That makes it even more unsettling.
Dec 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Even on a Poe macabre rating scale this tale is pretty bizarre, but expertly done. Poe had quite the imagination and use of disgusting imagery to give this tale a level 10 Eww!!!!

"The realistic tone of the narrative and the popular belief in the powers of 'mesmerism' in the United State in the 1840's led many readers to believe that Poe's tale was fact rather than fiction. The publication in December 27, 1845, issue of the Broadway Journal of a letter from the Scottish druggist Robert Collyer, w
I read a lot of Poe in high school and college, but I do not recollect any of the facts in the case of M. Valdemar. I ran across this short story in Zombies: A Compendium, edited by Otto Penzler, which I've been enjoying tremendously. In order to forestall death, a dying man agrees to be mesmerized at the point of his death. For Poe's time, the writing is descriptive and gory, with an added scientific factual feel with the medics and doctors and nurses running around. Nicely done.

Jul 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As this was just 24 pages, I am glad that gave this a second read with the proper mindset.

The two important parts of that mindset: 1) Think of what it must have been like for people in 1929 that heard the radio broadcast of "The War of the Worlds", thinking that Earth was being invaded by Martians.

2) Then take that surprised innocence back to 1845, when "modern" medicine was still very basic and sometimes barbaric. Then someone submits what appears to be a medical essay that states that he can "
Tiffany Peña
Feb 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ibooks
I FUCKING LOVED THIS ONE. I feel like the shorter the story, the better (I mean in Poe's case, of course). This is the account of a dying man that is mesmerized and ends up being able to speak and move even after his death. Okay, pretty cool plot, right? But that is not what made me love it so much. YO, THE WRITING STYLE, THE DESCRIPTIONS, THE EERIE FEELING I GOT THAT WHEN I TURNED AROUND THE DYING GUY WAS GONNA BE THERE TO SAY HI. It is very vivid and I just loved that. I completely recommend i ...more
Aug 05, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
another horrific and satisfying ending to a rather muddled piece writing... Poe does the awfully nasty bits wonderfully, but all too sparingly here... second or third tale to use mesmerism, all the rage ages ago but now a carnival trick/strip mall scam operation... intriguing idea, suspension of cessation (puts one in mind of "The Matrix", alive since the mind believes it hasn't died), but a bit oversold on the delivery maybe... passed off as factual at the time of its release, or at least not p ...more
After reading Mesmeric Revelation and being disappointed, I was dubious about another story in which Poe focused on mesmerism. Although I did not love this, I certainly enjoyed it a lot more than I enjoyed Mesmeric Revelation.

The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar is the creepy tale I had hoped for when mesmerism and death were combined. I didn’t love it, but I certainly enjoyed watching the elements come together. If nothing else, the creepy vibe lingers after finishing and it certainly packs a p
JL Shioshita
Nov 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love this story. It reminds me of Cool Air by Lovecraft, and with all those nasty descriptors at the end, you can definitely link the inspiration to Lovecraft's depictions of gore and ichor in his stories. It's a cool concept, not rooted in supernatural causes but tied to the pseudo-science of the day, presented as a realistic depiction of an actual event, with a whammy of an ending. Recommended. ...more
Jul 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Poe's obsession with death is reflected much in this story. While he uses mesmerism as a basis for the story, it focuses on the idea of ​​non-death and he builds a story full of fright but beautifully written. ...more
A Mig
Mar 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
Mesmerism experiment on a dying friend, leading to a mesmeric trance. What more is there to ask in a vintage horror story? Poe has the gift of plunging us into the strangest ideas of the 19th century… and is always avant-garde in the study of the portal leading to the singularity that is Death.
Jan 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love Poe. Always have and this is as scary as his other stories. I adored the scene towards the end when the question 'are you asleep?' is asked and the reply (I won't spoil it!) gave me chills. ...more
A very spooky story. The imagery is vivid
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The name Poe brings to mind images of murderers and madmen, premature burials, and mysterious women who return from the dead. His works have been in print since 1827 and include such literary classics as The Tell-Tale Heart, The Raven, and The Fall of the House of Usher. This versatile writer’s oeuvre includes short stories, poetry, a novel, a textbook, a book of scientific theory, and hundreds of ...more

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