A mysterious visitor who for decades has left roses and cognac before dawn at the grave of 19th century author Edgar Allan Poe failed to show up on Tuesday for the 201st anniversary of the writer's birthday. The curator of the Poe House and Museum in Baltimore, Jeff Jerome, and some three dozen others waited all night in a church cemetery in downtown Baltimore for the visitor to arrive. The tradition of graveyard visits dates back to at least 1949 and has never been interrupted before, said Mr. Jerome.
“I’m very disappointed, to the point where I want to cry,” said Cynthia Pelayo (29). “I flew in from Chicago to see him. I’m just really sad. I hope that he’s OK.”
She and other Poe fans passed the overnight hours reading aloud from Poe's works, including the poem “The Raven,” with its haunting repetition of the word “nevermore.”
Since last year was the 200th anniversary of Poe's birth, Mr. Jerome speculated that perhaps the visitor considered that an appropriate stopping point. He said he would continue the vigil for at least the next two or three years in case the visits resume. “So for me it's not over with,” he said.