2nd November 1848
Illustration by Igor Kubik

2nd November 1848

Anniversary of the Month
Adam Węgłowski
time 4 minutes

The almost 40-year-old Edgar Allan Poe is depressed. He cries for nights at a time. Drinks without stopping. Takes opium. On 2nd November 1848, he stuffs himself with laudanum and boards a train from Providence to Boston. But for him this journey is to end somewhere else entirely. At least that’s his plan.

Why was Poe in such a gloomy mood? Was he so affected by what he wrote? Was the darkness of the American’s own art coming out of him? After all, he was the author of the gloomy poem “The Raven”, the shocking crime story “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” and the tale of horror “The Masque of the Red Death”. But he also wrote things with a wink and a nod, funny and grotesque. And even educational. It was in 1848 that he published “Eureka”, an essay “on the material and spiritual universe”. He saw it as his opus magnum, but it didn’t win the recognition he expected. It bored or


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The Sloven
Photo by depositphotos

The Sloven

Stefan Grabiński

“The Sloven” is a classic railway horror story written over a century ago by Stefan Grabiński (1887–1936). Dubbed the ‘Polish Lovecraft’ or ‘Polish Poe’, Grabiński pioneered fantasy fiction in the early 20th century, creating some of the most remarkable and scary horror stories in the genre. He was especially interested in spiritualism, paranormal activity, demonology and… the railway. In 1919, he published The Motion Demon (Demon ruchu), a book of short stories connected by the theme of railway travel: the unexplained catastrophes, ghost trains, abandoned stations and unearthly creatures. The book was very well received by both critics and readers, and remains Grabiński’s most acclaimed and popular work some 100 years after its publication. “The Sloven”, a story about eerie premonitions and imminent catastrophes, comes from that volume.

After making the rounds of the coaches charged to his care, the old conductor, Blazek Boron, returned to the nook given over exclusively to his disposition, the so-called “place designated for the conductor.”

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