Downtown, Baltimore, Maryland, United States

The Poe Toaster

Every January 19, in the wee hours of the morning, a man appears at the original grave site of Edgar Allen Poe. Wearing a wide-brimmed hat and white scarf, he pours himself a glass of cognac and raises a toast in memory of Poe. As quickly as he appears, the man vanishes into the night, leaving a distinctive arrangement of 3 red roses and the remaining cognac.

The tradition of the "Poe Toaster" began in the 1930s, and despite the attempts of onlookers over the years, no one has been able to identify the person. (In 2006 a group of people tried to intercept him unsuccessfully.) Notes left by the Toaster indicate that the tradition has been carried out by a father-son team, the torch having been passed to the younger when the elder passed away in the late 1990s. But the Toaster has not appeared since 2010, indicating that the tradition may be over.

More interesting tidbits about the Toaster here!

Image via Bess Lovejoy.

The Poe Toaster