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Dark-hooded man raises birthday toast to Poe

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With his face hidden beneath a dark hood, a man crept into a bitterly cold downtown Baltimore graveyard before dawn on Sunday and raised a solitary birthday toast to Edgar Allan Poe.

Continuing a 54-year tradition, the man, whose identity remains unknown, put his hand on Poe's tombstone, bowed, placed three red roses and a half-empty bottle of Martel cognac on the grave and then silently slipped back into the shadows.

A huge, pale-white moon glowed over the city, yet the man still managed to elude the dozens people who waited in their cars or huddled together on the sidewalk outside the cemetery.