Tradition dating back to the 1940's may have ended

3 "impostors" show up overnight

BALTIMORE - The man known as the "Poe Toaster" failed to appear for the third year in a row at the grave of Edgar Allan Poe in Baltimore, which may mean the tradition has finally ended.

Fans gathered overnight Thursday morning to watch for a mysterious visitor who, has legend has it, would leave cognac and three roses on Poe's grave on his birthday every January 19th. Some stood outside the grave and say at least three impostors showed up.

Poe House and Museum Curator and historian, Jeff Jerome, says he has seen the "Poe Toaster" visit Poe's grave more than two dozen times and says there is a secret signal he gives to verify that it is him.

Life magazine took a picture back in the 1940's of the "Poe Toaster". It shows only a man dressed in a black cloak. As legend has it, he would tip his hat to Poe's grave, place the flower and liquor beside it, and disappear into the darkness.

Jerome says there have been notes left with the tributes that indicate the tradition passed to a new generation in the 1990s. Jerome says an impostor arrived in a limo last year.

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