On Twitter, the words celebrity and credibility often blur. Nowhere is this more obvious than with the dozens of dead celebrity accounts where strangers take on the identity of deceased stars, often to disturbing yet surprisingly successful results. Unlike Facebook, Twitter doesn’t give a rat’s ass who are you (unless you claim a verified account) — its namespace is a free for all where squatters, hucksters and freaks thrive with relatively no impunity. Below are 10 dead Twitterers I’ve selected because they’re either really successful (huge following), humorous or so weird that they’re notable, sometimes for the wrong reasons.
Sammy Davis Jr
(203 followers, 163 tweets)
Not only is the Candyman a pretty decent Twitterer (163 tweets so far), he’s updated his hipster lingo as evidenced in this tweet: “Snuck into Brooklyn to see @questlove last night. All that & the company of @faraichidea. As the kids say, “full of win!”
William S Burroughs
(485 followers, 14 tweets)
For a great author, William S Burroughs surprisingly isn’t the most productive dead twitterer but among his 14 tweets are a couple of gems worthy enough to attract 462 weirdos followers. My favorite is this one: “When you cut into the present, the future leaks out.”
(2,907 followers, 149 tweets)
Sure he’s been dead for almost 40 years but that hasn’t stopped Jimi Hendrix from amassing nearly 3,000 followers with tweets like “my fingers are hurting, time to take a break from playing and light myself up a joint.”
(95 followers, 51 tweets)
The scatological punker only has 95 followers and hasn’t tweeted since Nov last year because “I got piss in my PC and for some reason it stopped working” but late punker GG Allin is alive and well on the social platform. With tweets like “Ate some chilli with my hands then fingerbanged myself. Felt GOOD too, real hot and spicy up my hole,” Allin takes NSFW to new levels.
(11 followers, 11 tweets)
Admittedly Joan Crawford is not the most prolific dead twitterer with only 11 tweets posted in over a year but her inaugural tweet ensured this faux diva a place on this list with the dismissive observation: “Busy with housework!” (followed by a series of drunken accounts involving vodka befitting the Hollywood star).
(340 followers, 15 tweets)
The Bell Jar author took her own life in 1963 by sticking her head in an oven. Decades later on Twitter, Plath is still haunting her 340 followers with chilling entries like “Cleaning the oven.”
(26,075 followers, 0 tweets)
Although he hasn’t posted a single tweet and another MJ account has been verified, TheRealMichaelJackson gets props for gaining over 26,000 followers without lifting a single sequined finger.
(1,533 followers, 30 tweets)
Music virtuso Frank Zappa not only tweets, he knows who “A list blogger” Robert Scoble is and accurately notes, “Scobleizer twitters more often than I release live albums….”
(0 followers, 0 tweets)
Okay this one is clearly too soon — the heartless freak who runs the DeadCoreyHaim Twitter account hasn’t even posted a single character but the compelling content here isn’t his tweets; it’s the solitary person Haim is following. Classic conspiracy fodder.
(2.328 followers, 8127 tweets)
Okay the dude’s not dead and every single of his 8,000+ tweets reminds you of that. Apparently over 2,000 followers need to be reminded regularly.
John Wayne Gacy. Not sure who is more disturbing, this serial killer imposter or his followers.
Jay Leno. Yeah he’s not dead but his career should be, judging by his non-stop shilling tweets. I’m with Coco.
Adolf Hitler. 1,800+ people follow a doofus who tweets things like “Attention Twitter. Jew’s have furry nipples. That is all.” Real funny.
J Edgar Hoover. No followers, no tweets, not following anyone. Just a big zero like the guy was in real life.