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Edgar Allen Poe bringing spooky stories to Fort Necessity

Mary Pickels
| Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017, 3:00 p.m.
Literary historian Rob Belella will portray Edgar Allan Poe Oct. 30 at the Fort Necessity National Battlefield in Farmington.
Literary historian Rob Belella will portray Edgar Allan Poe Oct. 30 at the Fort Necessity National Battlefield in Farmington.

The spirit of the author of "The Tell-Tale Heart" and "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" will be portrayed by literary historian Rob Velella at 7 p.m. Oct. 30 in the Fort Necessity National Battlefield visitor center, a Friends of Fort Necessity presentation.

Born in Boston in 1809, Poe became famous for his stories and poetry of the mysterious and the macabre. He is often credited for giving rise to the modern detective story.

He died in 1849 in Baltimore. For 75 years, his original grave site inspired another mystery, as a man (or men) dubbed the "Poe Toaster" visited his original grave before dawn each Jan. 19, Poe's birthday. Dressed in black, the visitor would bring a bottle of cognac, pour himself a glass, and recite a brief toast to honor Poe's legacy. He would then leave the rest of the cognac by the gravestone and decorate the grave site with three red roses. The visits ended, the stranger never identified, in 2009, according to National Public Radio.

Velella is an independent literary historian and playwright specializing in American literature of the 19th century. He will read a combination of Poe's well-known and lesser-known works, explain his reasons for writing the way he did and take questions.

This performance is recommended for those age 13 and up.

Tickets are $10 and must be purchased in advance electronically through PayPal with payment made to FriendsOfFortNecessity@yahoo.com. Any remaining tickets will be sold at the door.

Details: 724-880-3897 or facebook.com/FriendsofFortNecessity.

Mary Pickels is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-836-5401 or mpickels@tribweb.com or via Twitter @MaryPickels.

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