London, Jan. 20 (ANI): A mysterious visitor, who has been leaving roses and cognac at American writer Edgar Allen Poe's tomb on his anniversary for the past 61 years, has failed to maintain the tradition, deepening the mystery further.
Each year since 1949, the 100th anniversary of Poe's birth, an individual, often wearing a cloak, left a bottle of cognac and a few roses at the foot of Poe's tomb in Baltimore, Maryland.
"He did not show up this morning... Occasionally he showed up early, like 11:00-11:30 the evening before. But normally it's from midnight to 5:00 am," Jeffrey Savoye, secretary of the Poe Society said.
About 50 people waited in vain from Tuesday night to watch the "Poe Toaster," as the visitor has been dubbed. Many had travelled from across the United States for the 201st anniversary of Poe's birth.
"As far as we know, they have not missed a year until now," Savoye said of the Poe Toaster.
The original yearly visitor apparently died in 1998, but left the pilgrimage up to his two sons.
"We were left a note some years ago saying that the original toaster had died... We interpreted the message that the torch will be passed... We are assuming that two sons of this person have been carrying it on," he said.
"We don't know who they are."
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.
Poe was the American literary master of the macabre, known for poems such as "The Raven" and grisly short stories like "The Tell-Tale Heart," "The Fall of the House of Usher" and "The Pit and the Pendulum."
He is also credited with writing the first modern detective story, "The Murders in the Rue Morgue." He died in 1849 in Baltimore at age 40 after collapsing in a tavern. (ANI)