The Last Haunting of Edgar Allan Poe : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread

Would you be so kind as to check out a new website that concerns Edgar Poe. The site presents a novel theory that Poe is the author of The Beale Papers, a mysterious pamphlet published anonymously in Lynchburg, Virginia in 1885. The Beale Papers is famous as a work that contains the oldest unsolved cryptograms in United States history. Purportedly, solving the cryptograms leads to a treasure in gold and silver.

The website, titled The Last Haunting of Edgar Allan Poe, sets forth evidence, admittedly cicumstantial, that examines Poe's background as a hoaxer and cryptographer. Much of the evidence involves word, phrase and plot comparisons between The Beale Papers and Poe's work. The similarities are amazingly close!

My hope is that some of your readers might be interested in this mystery that touches on Poe. Some may even take up the challenge of The Beale Papers and prove Poe's authorship of this great treasure hoax.

The site can be found at:

Comments would be appreciated. Thank you for your consideration.


-- Anonymous, July 23, 2002


Seems to be itself an elaborate and learned hoax. The idea of anyone burying treasure for fun much less poor Poe is kind of a stretch. I suspect the value of the treasure to be small and the people associated with this story to be local Virginians and avid Poe fans and/or scholars. A very good intro to Poe's hoaxes and puzzles in any case and a good mystery to solve.

-- Anonymous, July 23, 2002

OK, linkage shows this to be a mystery predating the Poe authorship claim. That Poe lost a small trunk shortly before his death is also a tempting tie in. The connection seems remote and playful and in the original probably still a hoax, since why would anyone hide so much treasure protected only by a clever cipher?

-- Anonymous, July 23, 2002

What a bogus load of tripe. Not only is the supposed evidence of the most twisted and dubious nature, but the presentation, as if by Poe himself, really smells of propoganda. In fact, the whole argument stinks to high heaven.

-- Anonymous, July 23, 2002

That the "Beale Papers" possess a smack of (clever) hoax is one thing; that they could be linked with Poe's fondness to similar exercises is another. We may regret, however, that all the arguments are written as by Poe himself, ruining thus, according to my own taste and humble knowledge of this author, most of all the credibility for such an ambitious demonstration and tantalizing suggestion. The best of Poe's hoaxes, to my mind, is his "Outis" letter, still debated about today (though clearly from his pen). But in this precise case, we plainly can catch the (commercial- jounalistic-editorial) purpose. While with the now submitted pamphlet, we can't, I fear... Nevertheless, surely a bright idea herein digged! No more for the moment. Yours sincerely, Raven's Shade (Belgium).

-- Anonymous, July 31, 2002

Thanks to all who took the time to reply. Your comments, both negative and positive, are much appreciated. For the record, my purpose in writing The Last Haunting piece was twofold: i.) to establish the close connection between Poe and The Beale Papers and 2.) to suggest that Poe is, in fact, the author. Showing the connections to Poe, even if they merely prove that someone mimicked Sir Edward, advances the march to solution of this great American mystery. Some who have been working on this mystery for 30 years are very excited about the new developments published in The Last Haunting website.

I admit that proving that Poe is the author of The Beale Papers is a longshot quest, but I firmly stand by that assertion. For those who take an interest in such matters, I recently "discovered" two very persuasive connections to Poe. First, The Beale Papers title contains Poe's initials TWICE. Second, Poe valued his step-father's inheritance, a fortune that should have passed to him, at $750,000. It is no coincidence that Poe also valued the Beale treasure at "three-quarters of a million".

For a detailed analysis of the Poe/Beale connections see



-- Anonymous, August 02, 2002

The idea that the title "The Beale Papers" contains the initials "EAP" is a point with no point. "E" is probably the most commonly used letter in English, and as a vowel "A" is also a high-use letter, even if one discounted its use as an article. "P" is hardly unusual. And what does one do with the extraneous letters that do not spell EAP? More dubious and valueless "evidence." Such desperation shows the weakness of the entire attribution. Again, more bogus tripe. If people interested in the Beale papers find this sort of evidence persuasive, I can only assume that the "papers" as a subject only appeals to people with little criticial judgement.

-- Anonymous, August 04, 2002

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