It was a dark and stormy ... alright, it wasn't stormy, at least I don't remember that it was, but it was certainly dark, probably around 11 pm and I was still wide awake. On vacation with my parents they had already headed for bed. I on the other hand wanted to see this movie on TV. With a let's-see-what-happens attitude my parents allowed me to stay up and watch it. They probably thought I'd turn off the TV set after the first ten minutes or so. After all I wanted to watch a horror movie. And that at the tender age of ten or eleven years old. But seeing how I've been reading books for much older kids than myself, I didn't see why I shouldn't watch a movie for, uhm, older viewers.
Long story short. I watched the movie from beginning to end. I loved it. Granted, I then decided I'd rather be cremated than buried, but hey, lots of people choose this option without having watched The Premature Burial.
This was my first contact with Edgar Allan Poe and while it was a movie rather than one of his books, it certainly left a lasting impression on me. His most recurring themes deal with questions of death, including its physical signs, the effects of decomposition, concerns of premature burial, the reanimation of the dead, and mourning. This quite obviously reflected in his above mentioned 1962 movie, based on the horror short story published in 1844.
Poe didn't solely write horror though, his fiction spans multiple genres, from horror to adventure, and from science fiction to detective stories. In fact, he is even credited with inventing the latter. If you're looking for novels by the author you will only find one, with the not really catchy title The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket.
Most of his work were poems and short stories. Some of his best known short stories are The Fall Of The House Of Usher, The Murders In The Rue Morgue and The Pit And The Pendulum.
Interesting nitbit - He was the first well-known American to try living by writing alone. Knowing that he earned only $9,00 for the publishing of his most famous poem The Raven (to name just one example) it's no surprise that in the end he needed to boost his income through other means as well, and he did so mostly through editorial work.