The cemetery is tiny, nestled against a church and tucked between the high-rise buildings of the medical college and office towers. When you first walk in there is a large marble monument to Poe and his wife and mother-in-law, but keep walking to the back to see Poe's original place of burial. The dates on the headstone are not his birth and death, but rather the dates when he was buried in that spot. His grave was unmarked for many years. He was later moved to to a more prominent location after public outcry.
I have to say it was a bit disconcerting to see a patio umbrella just behind Poe's tombstone, but I was pleased to see that there were candles and flowers at his headstone. I'm so glad I was finally able to visit this spooky landmark. (By the way if you go to the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore- another one of my list check-offs - there is a giant stature of Edgar Allan Poe made out of Peep marshmallows you should see.)
We jumped in the car after our brief visit with Poe and headed to Philadelphia to visit The Mütter Museum. As you probably know, the museum houses a history of medical treatments, equipment, and specimens. You may have seen photos of the impressive wall of skulls they display. The museum did not allow photography, so you'll just have to go see for yourself.
The Mütter describes itself as "Disturbingly Informative" and it is all that. There were some exhibits that I really couldn't spend much time with; they made me a bit sad. But overall, I really enjoyed my visit. There were exhibits on medicinal folklore in Grimms Fairytales, medicine during the American Civil War, a medicinal garden, and more skulls and skeletons than you'll ever see in one place. Of course, the soap lady and Einstein's brain were there as well.
There was a special exhibition on Victorian Hair Art that was impressive. I had seen parts of the exhibit previously at The (now closed ) Morbid Anatomy Museum in Brooklyn, but the exhibit has been expanded and made we want to start saving all my hair that falls out! I need to give this a try. I'll have more about an artist who still practices the art of hair sculpture tomorrow.
For all the seriousness of the exhibits, the museum gift shop had a light, humorous touch and I left with a two-headed gingerbread man cookie cutter that made me laugh. The museum isn't very large and I'd say we spent a little over an hour there. It was fairly crowded at about 1pm on Saturday when we visited and I would recommend arriving early in the day. If you're not squeamish about seeing body parts in jars, you need to make sure this in on your bucket list.