Should Poe Toaster Secrets Be Revealed?

Previously undisclosed information may be released--if readers want it.

Now that Jan. 19 has come and gone, the general consensus is that the Poe Toaster’s annual tribute—leaving cognac and roses at Edgar Allan Poe’s grave—is finished.

“It's over with," Jeff Jerome told reporters.

Jerome, curator of the Poe House and Museum, has kept vigil for the Poe Toaster since 1978.

Countless people around the world are fascinated by the unusual tribute. Who is the Poe Toaster? What do the gifts mean? How does he get in and out of the cemetery without being seen by the crowd of people that gathers every year? Did the media and rowdy crowds kill the tribute?

dates to 1983, when Jerome invited me and three other students to beneath Westminster Hall. We were the .

In the fall of 2008, while working on a story about Poe, I visited Westminster Burial Ground once again and discovered something that may explain how the Poe Toaster was able to evade the crowds and enter the cemetery so easily.

The next time Poe’s birthday came around, Jan. 19, 2009, in the early morning hours, my then-16-year-old son and I encountered the Poe Toaster—spoke with him, and had our photo taken with him. That was the last time he visited Poe’s grave.

If the Poe Toaster’s tribute is indeed over, previously undisclosed information could be revealed, including video from Westminster Burial Ground that’s never been publicly viewed. I have some tantalizing clues for Poe Toaster aficionados—if there is public demand for it.

Personally, I’m torn. Everybody likes a good mystery, and a good mystery should be kept that way. On the other hand, who wouldn’t like to know more?

I’ll share this exclusive information about the Poe Toaster (including a list of suspects who are definitely not the Poe Toaster) if there is overwhelming public interest--as expressed by “liking” Arbutus Patch on Facebook. It’s that easy. Want to hear the rest of the story? “LikeArbutus Patch. If enough people want it, I’ll do it.

K Blue January 20, 2012 at 05:51 PM
Whether you share the secrets of the Toaster or not, I would be interested in seeing the list of suspects who definitely are not the Toaster as well as a few clues about the real Toaster and how he/she was able to avoid detection for so long.
Sean Tully January 21, 2012 at 05:55 PM
Keep the secret. That is why the story is so interesting to some. Once the truth is known, nobody will care about it any more.
Terry January 21, 2012 at 07:55 PM
Bruce, what a great honor to meet the Poe Toaster! I'm a big fan of Poe and part of me would really like to hear the whole story. However, the legend and myth should live on. There is still alot about Poe we will never know. GREAT ARTICLE!
jeanie coolahan January 21, 2012 at 10:24 PM
Sean, you are so right!
Patti Sue Nolan January 22, 2012 at 02:14 AM
Keep the secret!
Bruce Goldfarb (Editor) January 22, 2012 at 03:56 AM
Some interesting comments. So far the voting is about evenly tied, and so have the comments here and on Facebook. A lot of people would like to know more.
Bruce Goldfarb (Editor) January 22, 2012 at 04:02 AM
Thanks, glad you enjoyed it. The encounter was actually brief and innocuous. In fact, Phil and I didn't realize that it was the Poe Toaster until we compared notes on the ride home and certain things seemed odd. Jeff Jerome late confirmed that that was the Poe Toaster.
Sean Tully January 22, 2012 at 07:22 PM
Just for your info, the poll is now tied at 36 yes and 36 no. Why? Because I just voted "no" again (the second time). (My journalist side of me wanted to see if indeed I could vote twice. I could.) I am not sure you can go by this poll. Use your own good judgement and I am sure the best decision will be made.
Chuck January 23, 2012 at 03:23 AM
Yes, please , if anything, they at least deserve the notoriety of being responsible for a 60 year tradition...
Buck Ewer June 06, 2012 at 06:13 PM
Should the Poe toaster be revealed? ...Nevermore...
Sceptic September 30, 2012 at 08:38 PM
It's interesting how you wrote an article in 2009 about the 'encounter' with your son and the toaster but in that article you said you had no clues, were not sure if it was him, and that you blew your chance at uncovering anything about the mystery. I don't know what the outcome of this was, but seems as though you were just like-whoring for your facebook page.
Bruce Goldfarb (Editor) October 01, 2012 at 05:14 AM
Sceptic, what makes you think all has been told? I've admitted withholding information as far back as 1983.
Jerry Victory June 20, 2013 at 08:07 AM
It has been four years now and the tradition/tribute has obviously come to an end so I would vote YES! Reveal all that you know (as long as it is verifiable). Even Deep Throat was eventually revealed.


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