Mysterious 'Poe Toaster' Returns for Writer's 200th Birthday

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To mark the 200th anniversary of writer Edgar Allan Poe's birth, a mysterious visitor again placed three red roses and a half-filled bottle of cognac at Poe's grave in Baltimore before quietly slipping away.

The curator of the Poe House and Museum, Jeff Jerome, said about 50 people waited outside the cemetery of Westminster Presbyterian Church, hoping to catch a glimpse Monday of the elusive man known as the "Poe toaster." The man returns each year in the early morning darkness on Poe's birthday.

Jerome says the visitor did not leave any note, not even to comment on the milestone anniversary. He adds the crowd was smaller than he expected and was better behaved than the rowdy groups that have attended the vigil in recent years.

Poe's enduring literary works, brief life and mysterious death will be marked by an exhibit at two universities in honor of his 200th birthday.

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