Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Mystery Toaster

O.K. I know, this is at least my third post about Edgar Allan Poe, I need to stop. But a new bit of news has surfaced, even though he has been dead for over 150 years. You see, every year since the 1930's, there has been a mysterious visitor to his grave. The person comes in the early hours of Poe's birthday, every year. He is always dressed in black, with a wide brimmed hat, and carries a silver tipped cane. He brings an unfinished bottle of cognac, which he pours in a glass and raises in a toast. Then he leaves the bottle and three roses on the grave and disappears into the night shadows, as mysteriously as he came. Sometimes he would leave mysterious notes. A note was left that he had died in 1998 and passed on the duty to a son. Unsuccessful attempts have been made to stop and identify him, never working. Each year for at least the last thirty years, dedicated Poe fans keep an all night vigil at the grave. The Toaster, as he is known, did not show in 2010, nor last year. This was the final year for the vigil, and again he didn't show. So it looks like the end of a very touching yearly tribute. It's been a ritual the fans will miss, filled with almost as much mystery as the master of the macabre was. And I somehow think Poe would find that very fitting.


“And regarding the question, friends, that has come up about what happens to those already dead and buried, we don't want you in the dark any longer. First off, you must not carry on over them like people who have nothing to look forward to, as if the grave were the last word. Since Jesus died and broke loose from the grave, God will most certainly bring back to life those who died in Jesus.”
1 Thessalonians 4:13

29 comments:

Joanne said...

I have heard of this! I think it is so touching that someone would do this every year. such love! Too bad that it stopped. Love your picture Ginny... Looks like he's there between you!
Blessings, Joanne
P.S.(I Missed you too!)

Betsy from Tennessee said...

"Quote the Raven, Nevermore" --is about all I remember from Edgar Allan Poe. Your interest has helped educate me about him... Wonder what happened to the 'Toaster'????? Hmmm---you have me interested now... If you hear anymore, let me know please.
Hugs,
Betsy

Darlene said...

I had not heard that story. I need to read your past Poe posts! Very nice photo of the three of you!

SquirrelQueen said...

All these years it has been a tantalizing mystery, it is so sad to see the ritual come to an end. While so many tried to figure out the mysterious Toaster's identity it was actually more intriguing not to know. But we will always wonder why he (?) made his visits. As a Poe fan since my teen years I will very much miss his visits.

Ginny, my b/w photo posted today was originally almost black & white but I did convert it for a more dramatic effect.

reanaclaire said...

A very nice picture of Phil holding your hand, Ginny!! Have a nice week ahead..

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

I always loved the legend of the toaster.
WEre the pics taken at the house in Baltimore?

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

How very interesting. I didn't know about The Toaster. Kind of sad that he has disappeared... Thanks for this information. blessings ~ tanna

LC said...

Thank you so much for this post. I had never heard of the toaster. At first glance at the title I was envisioning achrome 2-slice pop-up toaster. Duh! Will have to join Darlene in reading past Poe toasts.

The Café Sucré Farine said...

Ginny - what a fun post! I love the way you tie things together, so creatively! Just like our Creator!

From the Kitchen said...

I think the photo of you, Phil and Edgar was taken in Richmond?? I've been there--and every other site of Poe that I can find including the island where he wrote "The Goldbug" and to his grave in Baltimore. That grave is spooky even on a sunny day. I LOVE his poetry the most but also his short stories.

Best,
Bonnie

Sandra said...

THH and LOL at first i thought you were holding POES hand. If we add a mustache and a little hair and get Phil to turn his head a little to the right, he could be Poe's brother. i thought i had landed in the twilight zone... woooo eeee ooooowwoooo maybe it was a ghost toaster...

Kim @ Stuff could... said...

I have not heard of this...it is so interesting. Nice pic of yall

Tammy@Simple Southern Happiness said...

Hummmm, dress hubby up and he could be the mysterious man....The Phantom.

Hope your day is a good one.

SweetMarie said...

This is so very interesting! I had never heard of the "mystery toaster". I love getting educated from your post. :)

wildlifewatcher said...

Hi Ginny, How interesting. I learned something new by reading today's blog post here. Have a super good day. Glad you enjoy Poe a bit. He was a true American Master of literature.

Remington said...

Oh! Beth would LOVE to go there!

DawnTreader said...

I don't think I ever heard this story. Yes it almost seems like Poe had staged it himself... ;)

Stephanie V said...

Do you think that the mystery toaster has died? That's my theory but I'll never know.

George said...

I've read about the Mystery Toaster in the past. I thought it was a fitting tribute to Edgar Allan Poe. It's a shame it has apparently come to an end.

Filip Demuinck said...

He wrote a lot, did you read it all? Isn't it difficult these old texts.

Greetings,
Filip

Fred Alton said...

Oh My, Oh My, Ginny! From the title I thought I was going to learn something about a new kind of toaster - and was kind of anticipating a new way to brown my bread. ☻ That's bad, I know. Sorry, I couldn't help it.

Always loved The Raven. And The Fall of The House of Usher by Poe. Never did read much more that he did but was intriqued by his style. "On a midnight dark and dreary - while I pondered weak and weary - over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore - Suddenly there came a tapping - as of someone gently rapping - rapping, tapping at my chamber door"

Ann said...

brings an unfinished bottle of cognac, which he pours in a glass and raises in a toast. I thought only the Chinese do this. Someone even wrote, we have a picnic at the grave.

Ann said...

Too bad the toaster gave up on the ritual.

Shug said...

How interesting....I have never heard this before. I am sure there are a lot of fans that are highly disappointed in the no show...Thanks Ginny for the history lesson...
Shug

S. Etole said...

Very intriguing mystery!

Chatty Crone said...

Maybe that person died - and no one will ever know... sandie

Reena Walkling said...

I had never heard this story. Remarkable that someone has done that since the '30s. Sad it has come to an end.

Bobbi said...

My son Justin is a Poe fan... I'll have to tell him this story. Very interesting!!

Ann said...

To clarify:

Yes, I 'flew" the Tiger moth"
No, I didn't fly, I mean I was in the plane, but I wasn't allowed to touch the controls.
So I was just a passenger.
Still it was a lovely experience, a tick off my bucket list.