BALTIMORE – It is what Edgar Allan Poe might have called “a mystery all insoluble”: Every year for the past six decades, a shadowy visitor would leave roses and a half-empty bottle of cognac on Poe’s grave on the anniversary of the writer’s birth. This year, no one showed.
Did the mysterious “Poe toaster” meet his own mortal end? Did some kind of ghastly misfortune befall him? Will he be heard from nevermore?
“I’m confused, befuddled,” said Jeff Jerome, curator of the Poe House and Museum. “I don’t know what’s going on.”
The visitor’s absence this year only deepened the mystery over his identity. One name mentioned as a possibility was that of a Baltimore poet and known prankster who died in his 60s last week. But there is little or no evidence to suggest he was the man.