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? “Like” Arbutus Patch. If enough people want it, I’ll do it.