After more then a seven decade performance, an Edgar Allan Poe birthday tradition apparently has come to an end.
The infamous macabre style poet died at the age of 40 in 1849 and was originally buried in an unmarked grave in Baltimore, Maryland. 26 years later his grave site was moved to the Westminster Burying Ground in Baltimore.
His original burial site, however was later marked with a headstone as a historical site. And according to witnesses, a tradition started in the mid 1930’s where a mysterious figure dressed in all black and a wide brim hat and white scarf, would visit the stone marking the original grave site on the night of Poe’s January 19th birthday, usually shortly after midnight.
The mysterious figure would become known as the ‘Poe Toaster’ for the fact that when he appeared he would pour himself a class of cognac and toast the grave, then leave behind the rest of the cognac in it’s bottle and 3 red roses, and on occasion controversial notes, before slipping away.
After the tradition became more well known onlookers would gather in hopes to catch a glimpse of the mysterious figure. Many witnesses believe sometime in the 1990’s the original toaster passed the tradition on to a son after passing away, due to notes left behind.
The figure has never seeked publicity and has been rarely photographed, and has never been identified, even after a 2006 attempt to detain him by several onlookers he was still able to slip away.
But since the last known visit by the ‘Poe Toaster’ in 2009 he has not shown up to grave site. This past January 19th some witnesses still came to the site to see if the figure would once again visit after a two year absence, but he did not, and probably effectively has ended the tradition.