No-show deepens mystery as Edgar Allan Poe fans flock to Baltimore for annual graveside ritual

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BALTIMORE - Fans of American author Edgar Allan Poe are heading to Baltimore again this year to try for a glimpse of the shadowy figure known only as the "Poe toaster" — even though the mystery visitor was a no-show last year.

An anonymous caller had left three roses and a half-empty bottle of cognac on Poe's grave on the Jan. 19 anniversary of the writer's birth every year for some six decades, but the person failed to appear in 2010.

But that's not the end of the story. If anything, the no-show has deepened the mystery, attracting more curiosity to the ritual.

The curator of the Poe House and Museum says he's expecting a larger crowd than usual Wednesday morning as fans gather in hopes that the Poe toaster will return. Poe was born in 1809 and died Oct. 7, 1849.

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