When October rolls around, I get a little fixated on horror stories. Rather than a “slasher,” I want to find and watch the most suspenseful horror movie coming out. I enjoy the feeling of being on the edge of my seat because I know that something is going to happen… and it will not be good. What makes it fun is that none of it is real.
Edgar Allen Poe: The Original
The American original in the horror department is Edgar Allan Poe, famous for “The Raven” and “The Telltale Heart,” as well as for creating one of the first detective stories even written, “The Murder at the Rue Morgue.” Just in case you don’t know the rest of the line from “The Raven” – it is the word “nevermore.”
His Reputation Was Destroyed
A reputation could be thoroughly destroyed by bad PR, even back in the 1800’s. Many people, to this day, believe that Poe was creepy, a drug addict, and a degraded human being.
The majority of these stories are false, and were generated by a rival writer, one Rufus Griswold. The story is that both men were enamored with the same woman, and were in competition on something far more personal than writing skills.
Griswold was the quintessential “troll” of the time, obsessed with destroying Poe’s reputation, even going as far as forging letters he claimed were from Poe. He wrote a biography filled with misrepresentations and lies, and his lies eventually became “truth” as the stories were shared.
This sounds a bit familiar – the same thing happens today. Celebrities deal with this problem on a daily basis. An off-the-cuff remark can turn into a media sensation within moments, eventually leading to the official apology, which never really handles the situation. Or, a business can have its reputation sullied when competitors or internet bullies with a vendetta leave unfair reviews or comments online.
The Truth About Edgar
The facts about Edgar Allen Poe show that in fact, he was an athlete, a hiker, a swimmer, and champion long-jumper, and was considered to be an attractive ladies’ man and gentleman, rather than the tarnished character so (unfaithfully) portrayed by his “good friend” Mr. Griswold.
October is a great time to enjoy horror. Don’t face the real-life horror of a destroyed online reputation. Something can be done about – talk to us at Creative WordCraft to find out more.