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Shadow Crosser
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I have always been fascinated with Edgar Allan Poe. His writings to me are part of Halloween and I always have a book of his writings and a Raven on a table at my parties.

Well, I ran across on online game that I played "The Edgar Allan Poe Conspiracy", and it got me to thinking....I had believed what I was taught in school when I was young that Poe had died of a laudanum overdose. So I went online and looked up more information on Poe.

Death of Edgar Allan Poe - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I found it extremely fascinating...And now I have several ideas for a new Halloween theme. The information surrounding his death are very mysterious and leads me to think that it would make a great graveyard theme, party theme and murder mystery.

Anyone else interested in Edgar Allan Poe? Would love to start a thread on these ideas.
 

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I've always been interested in Poe, as brilliant as he was he died pennyless...most accounts have him dying of alcoholism..I always have a framed picture of him on my wall at halloween.
 

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Shadow Crosser
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Kelsey, go to the link I included in my post and read how he really died. You'll find if very interesting and will see why I think this would be a good theme for a murder mystery.
 

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Just a little of the history:

On September 27, 1849, Poe left Richmond, Virginia, on his way home to New York. No reliable evidence exists about Poe's whereabouts until a week later on October 3, when he was found delirious on the streets of Baltimore, outside Ryan's Tavern (sometimes referred to as Gunner's Hall). A printer named Joseph W. Walker sent a letter requesting help from an acquaintance of Poe, Dr. Joseph E. Snodgrass. His letter reads:

“Dear Sir—There is a gentleman, rather the worse for wear, at Ryan's 4th ward polls, who goes under the cognomen of Edgar A. Poe, and who appears in great distress, & he says he is acquainted with you, and I assure you, he is in need of immediate assistance. Yours, in haste, Jos. W. Walker”

Snodgrass later claimed the note said that Poe was "in a state of beastly intoxication", but the original letter proves otherwise. Snodgrass's first-hand account describes Poe's appearance as "repulsive", with unkempt hair, a haggard, unwashed face and "lusterless and vacant" eyes. His clothing, Snodgrass said, which included a dirty shirt but no vest and unpolished shoes, was worn and did not fit well.

Dr. John Joseph Moran, who was Poe's attending physician, gives his own detailed account of Poe's appearance that day: "a stained faded, old bombazine coat, pantaloons of a similar character, a pair of worn-out shoes run down at the heels, and an old straw hat". Poe was never coherent for long enough to explain how he came to be in this condition, and it is believed the clothes he was wearing were not his own, not least because wearing shabby clothes was out of character for Poe.

Moran cared for Poe at the for-profit Washington College Hospital on Broadway and Fayette Street. He was denied any visitors and was confined in a prison-like room with barred windows in a section of the building reserved for drunk people.

Poe is said to have repeatedly called out the name "Reynolds" on the night before his death, though no one has ever been able to identify the person to whom he referred. One possibility is that he was recalling an encounter with Jeremiah N. Reynolds, a newspaper editor and explorer who may have inspired the novel The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket. Another possibility is Henry R. Reynolds, one of the judges overseeing the Fourth Ward Polls at Ryan's Tavern, who may have met Poe on Election Day. Poe may have instead been calling for "Herring", as the author had an uncle-in-law in Baltimore named Henry Herring. In fact, in later testimonies Moran avoided reference to Reynolds but mentioned a visit by a "Misses Herring". He also claimed he attempted to cheer Poe up during one of the few times Poe was awake. When Moran told his patient that he would soon be enjoying the company of friends, Poe allegedly replied that "the best thing his friend could do would be to blow out his brains with a pistol".

In Poe's distressed state, he made reference to a wife in Richmond. He may have been hallucinating, thinking that his wife, Virginia, was still alive, or he may have been referring to Sarah Elmira Royster, to whom he had recently proposed. He did not know what had happened to his trunk of belongings which, it transpired, had been left behind at the Swan Tavern in Richmond. Moran reported that Poe's final words were "Lord, help my poor soul" before dying on October 7, 1849

After Poe's death, Rufus Wilmot Griswold wrote his obituary under the pseudonym "Ludwig". Griswold, who became the literary executor of Poe's estate, was actually a rival of Poe and later published his first full biography, depicting him as a depraved, drunk, drug-addled madman. Much of the evidence for this image of Poe is believed to have been forged by Griswold, and though friends of Poe denounced it, this interpretation had lasting impact.
 

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I have always been a huge fan of E.A. Poe, and I believe that Vincent Price brought all of his tales to life quite well.

It is believed that Poe had been 'turned or rolled', his possessions stolen. Even his clothes, Poe was known to tip the bottle, someone I am sure slipped him a little extra something... that was why he had on odd clothing and acted strangely...too much laudenum??
 

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I'm doing some reseach as this has really grabbed my interest. There are several suspects in all of this...

Dr. Moran kept changing his story about Poe's condition and had him locked away.

Dr. Joseph E. Snodgrass who's help was requested made claims of Poe's condition that were refuted from the original letter sent to him. He never examined Poe while in Dr. Moran care.

Rufus Wilmot Griswold - Who was a rival of Poe's, somehow became the executor over Poe's Literary Estate. Griswold wrote the Obit for him under the pseudonym "Ludwig". He later published his first full biography, depicting him as a depraved, drunk, drug-addled madman. This is the claim that seems to stick.

Sheltor Children -Sarah Elmira Royster Shelton became engaged to Poe (several years after her husband's death) and shortly before Poe died. She had an inheritance of 100,000 with the stipulation that if she remarried she would loose a portion of the estate. Her children (trying to verify their ages at this time) might have motive to keep Mom from remarrying. ($100,000 was a lot of money back then.)​

There are more...I am researching.

I want to do this theme next year as a Murder Mystery.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Oh one more:

Poe was thought to be a victum of Cooping. Cooping was a practice by which unwilling participants were forced to vote, often several times over, for a particular candidate in an election.

Another area to reseach. At any rate....great material for a Murder Mystery!
 

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That just gave me a greeeeeat idea. I need to get a hold of a recording of the tell tale heart. Does VP have one??? THat would be a great mid party break on my ipod. Well, I guess if it's not too long. I know!!!!! I can make a drinking game out of it. Every time they say.......Heart? Help me out people.... you need to do a shot of Blood (bloody mary) or something like that? ********Wheels turning****** On another quest.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I'll look at my copy of Poe's work tonight and see what other poems would work well as an invite.
 
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