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Edgar Allan Poe and the Missing Toaster: A Great Mystery for Kids

Edgar Allan Poe

Today is the 202nd anniversary of Edgar Allan Poe's birth

Do your kids love a good mystery? Are the Harry Potter books up their alley? If so, it might be time to introduce them to an old-school master of suspense: Edgar Allan Poe. His ghoulish short stories are legendary, and he is considered by many to be the father of the detective-fiction genre. It’s not exactly bedtime story material for toddlers, but it you have older tweens who enjoy a good thriller, see how they like macabre stories like The Tell-Tale Heart and The Pit and the Pendulum.

Poe was born 202 years ago today, and since 1949, on the eve of the anniversary of this birth, diehard fans have awaited the appearance of an anonymous man in black at his grave in Baltimore who has always left a partial bottle of expensive French cognac and three blood-red roses. However, the Poe “toaster” failed to show last year, and this year fans were disappointed yet again.

The curator of the Poe House and Museum and a handful of Poe enthusiasts have kept watch inside a nearby Presbyterian church for the toaster’s arrival since 1978, with other fans waiting at locked gate outside the cemetery. Some waited until the dawn this morning to see if he would arrive, but he never did.

While others have shown interest in taking over the role of the man in black since he failed to arrive last year, Poe’s museum has said that if the original man has stopped, then the tribute should as well. According to the Associated Press, four people arrived early this morning dressed like the toaster, but the museum’s curator said they were imposters and turned them away. Poe’s Facebook page (yes, even he has one) has even asked imposters not to try and take the toaster’s place.

So, the mystery of the disappearance of Edgar Allan Poe’s toaster will remain in tact, at least for now. Seems like Poe couldn’t have written a better mystery himself.

Do you think your kids would like the stories of Edgar Allan Poe?

Image: Wikipedia

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