The mysterious stranger who’s been visiting Edgar Allan Poe’s grave every night on Poe’s birthday with roses and cognac was absent this year, for the first time in 60 years.
“I’m confused, befuddled,” said Jeff Jerome, curator of the Poe House and Museum. “I don’t know what’s going on.”The visitor’s absence this year only deepened the mystery over his identity. One name mentioned as a possibility was that of a Baltimore poet and known prankster who died in his 60s last week. But there is little or no evidence to suggest he was the man.
The annual tribute began in 1949 — unless it started earlier, or later. The first printed reference to the tribute can be found that year in The Evening Sun of Baltimore. The newspaper mentioned “an anonymous citizen who creeps in annually to place an empty bottle (of excellent label)” against the gravestone.
Every year since 1978, Jerome has staked out the grave at the Westminster Hall and Burying Ground. Year after year, he said, he and various friends and Poe enthusiasts would watch from inside the Presbyterian church as a figure dressed in black, with a wide-brimmed hat and a white scarf, would leave three roses and cognac and steal away.
Mystery Visitor to Poe’s Grave is a No-Show [Yahoo! News]