Edgar Allan Poe is one of Baltimore’s most famous residents–and one of Baltimore’s most famous decedents, incidentally. Edgar Allan Poe’s birthday, on January 19, provides another opportunity to celebrate the singular literary figure.
As in his stories, a lot of mystery surrounds the life and death of Edgar Allan Poe. Read on for suggestions on how you can celebrate Edgar Allan Poe’s birthday like a true fan.
A mysterious tradition began sometime in the early 20th century, where a shadowy individual would appear at Poe’s grave, toast him with cognac, and leave three red roses in a specific pattern. Through the years, the original toaster’s legacy was passed on to “a son,” and notes were occasionally left. Around 2010, the Toaster stopped coming. Now, in partnership with the Maryland Historical Society, each year the Edgar Allan Poe house and museum auditions and selects a Poe Toaster to carry on the tradition.
Read about this year’s Poe Toaster in the Baltimore Sun.
Needless to say, curling up with a Poe anthology and a glass of cognac would be a fitting way to celebrate Edgar Allan Poe’s birthday. You can even read contemporary graphic novel interpretations of Poe’s works done by artist Richard Corben.
Westminster Hall, the location of Poe’s grave, is in the southeast corner of Fayette and Greene Streets. Edgar Allan Poe house and museum
The Edgar Allan Poe Society gives helpful directions:
From the Poe House on Amity Street: Continue south on Amity to the end of the block. Turn left on Lexington to the first traffic light, which is Fremont. Turn right on Fremont and follow for 2 blocks south to Baltimore Street. Turn left on Baltimore and go 3 blocks to Paca. (The University of Maryland Hospital will be on your left and the Veterans Hospital on your right.) Turn left on Paca and stay in the left lane. Go one block and turn left on Fayette, heading west. The next street is Greene. Westminster Hall and the Poe Grave are immediately on the left, at the corner.
TasteofCinema.com recently posted its list of the 10 best horror movies based on the works of Edgar Allan Poe here. Ranging from black and white classics to 60s thrillers and more, you could choose any of these films and raise that glass of cognac (or a bowl of popcorn) in Poe’s honor.
You might also consider the recent Stonhearst Assylum–featuring an impressive cast including Michael Caine, Ben Kingsley and Kate Beckinsale–which is based on Poe’s “The System of Doctor Tarr and Professer Fether.”
One of the best ways you could celebrate Edgar Allan Poe’s birthday is by booking a stay at The Wayside Inn. Our historic inn exudes ambiance and charm, making a suite here the perfect fit for Poe enthusiasts. .Book your stay and download our free vacation guide today!