(originally published anonymously and subtitled “A Tale in Imitation of the German”
published January 24 in Philadelphia Saturday Courier)
“Near neighbors are seldom friends….” The Berlifitzing and the Metzengerstein families have been rivals for generations. When the Berlifitzing house catches fire, Frederick, the young new head of the Metzengerstein household, is suspected of having caused it. Shortly after the head of the Berlifitzings dies in the fire, Frederick comes into possession of a strange horse. Frederick grows mysteriously obsessed with the horse, shunning human companionship for long rides on the animal instead. This horror story, set in Hungary, starts with a fire and it ends with a fire too. It was Poe's first published short story.Summary written by Taylor Colegrove, May 2011. Title links to the full text of the story.