The end for Poe's mysterious mourner
Thursday 20 January 2011
A mysterious visitor to Edgar Allan Poe's grave has failed to show up for the second year in a row.
Fans of the writer waited all night at the Baltimore cemetery where Poe is buried. Four impostors came and went. At about 5am yesterday, the dozen Poe fans who were left began to wonder if the eerie ritual is indeed nevermore, so they walked to Poe's grave and performed their own tribute by leaving roses and drinking a cognac toast.
A fascinating tradition – that ran for some 60 years and was never fully explained – appears to have ended. The unknown person who left three roses and a half-empty bottle of cognac at Poe's grave on the anniversary of the writer's birth failed to appear for the second straight year.
"I think we can safely say it's not car trouble, and he's not sick," said Jeff Jerome, curator of the Poe Museum. "This doesn't look good."
It would be an ending befitting of the legacy of Poe, the American literary master of the macabre who was known for haunting poems such as "The Raven" and grisly short stories including "The Tell-Tale Heart" and "The Pit and the Pendulum".
The ritual began in the 1940s and was first mentioned in print in 1949 by The Evening Sun of Baltimore. Those who have glimpsed the "Poe toaster" always saw him dressed in black, wearing a white scarf with a wide-brimmed hat.
- 1 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 2 Licence fee: What is the BBC charge – and how will the changes affect you?
- 3 This is what the photographer has to say about the picture of a weasel riding a woodpecker
- 4 Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
- 5 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
Bill Clinton portrait features Monica Lewinsky reference, artist admits
Japanese island overrun with cats after population explodes
Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
Pornhub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
£16000 - £46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...
£9 - £13 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity to join a s...
£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Have you got a proven track rec...
£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity for...