Poe visitor comes nevermore, yet mystery lingers

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Associated Press

Posted on January 18, 2013 at 2:03 PM

Updated Friday, Jan 18 at 3:04 PM

BALTIMORE (AP) — Every year, for decades, a mysterious man in black left three roses and an unfinished bottle of cognac at the grave of Edgar Allan Poe on the author's birthday.

The Baltimore tradition ended in 2009, just as mysteriously, when the visitor failed to appear.

Ahead of Poe's 204th birthday Saturday, the person who has overseen an annual cemetery vigil since the 1970s talked about the story behind it.

Baltimore native Jeff Jerome knows plenty about Poe and his grave. He knows secret signs the mystery man made to verify he was the genuine Poe Toaster. But Jerome claims not to know the visitor's identity.

Jerome said last year he would nevermore hold his cemetery vigil, but now he says he may pull one more all-nighter there — just in case.

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