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GEO-POE: The Complete Clue Set and Writers Revealed

In October 2014, fourteen writers hid fourteen stories inspired by the death of Edgar Allan Poe or written in a Poesque fashion.  Geo-cached in spots around Baltimore, each story is part of a puzzle that is GEO-POE: A Literary Geo-Caching Adventure.

Free Fall Baltimore Event
Geo-Poe: The Reading
Oct 29, 7pm at Westminster Hall
Please RSVP for free admission here

At last, let the identities of these fourteen warped writers be revealed!

Row 1: William Patrick Tandy, Nik Korpon, Scott Meek, Davida Gypsy Breier
Row 2: Elizabeth Evitts Dickinson, Timmy Reed, Michael M. Hughes, Aaron Henkin
Row 3: Rafael Alvarez, Fitz Fitzgerald, Caryn Coyle, Dean Smith
Row 4: Gregg Wilhelm, Rahne Alexander

Here is the complete clue set (alas, most of these geo-cached stories have vanished!):

Alluring sentence #1: I lie there bleeding to death each night, only to stitch my wounds and greet him each morning as if nothing had happened.

Clue: Mr. Poe never visited this village-on-the-Thames in Oxfordshire, whose most poetic native son is said to have escaped “the witchery of Poe’s methods,” although golden wings and raven wings may both be found on the shelves here.  Find Me!

Alluring sentence #2: Mom grabs Dominic out of my grandfather’s arms—he’s crying, he’s right out of Pagliacci—and she and my grandmother jump in a cab and run up to Johns Hopkins.

Clue: Mr. Poe’s work was considered meaty, meaning of intellectual heft, and graphic, in a still-beating-heart sort of way.  You can bank on it!  This story rests in the spot once home to the hotdog most associated with the hometown Orioles.  Find me!

Alluring sentence #3: Let me die knowing I’ve given a man the gift of murder.

Clue: Many Poe enthusiasts believe the poet may have taken a last drink at this popular Fell’s Point pub.  Others think those believers are just horsing around.  Regardless, plant yourself on a stool and you may sense Poe’s aura in a (s)pot nearby.  Find me!

Alluring sentence #4: Reaching up, he sucks his fingers, tastes the tangy sap intermingled like the remix of her screams.

Clue: By the time young Poe and his family traveled to Britain, the British had come and gone in Baltimore.  If he were in Baltimore at the time, the wee Edgar would have no doubt scurried to the top of this hill to observe the Battle and the rocket’s red glare.  Here now stands a Poe-goda, and near it a tree, and in the tree a hole.  Dare you stick a hand into this dark abyss?

Alluring sentence #5: So, who was this drunk at the end of the bar who called out Reynolds for who he was— for what he was—amidst the company of burly longshoremen and nameless whores whose sudden absence would never make the papers?

Clue: Poe had a thing for old-school anatomy, and if he did not know Frank the Body Snatcher personally, this legend seems worthy of Poe’s own imagination.  Visiting this site may have grave consequences.

Alluring sentence #6: He told me he was a famous writer and that an occultist who lived on Saratoga Street had given him mescaline.

Clue: The master of the macabre would have died over this landmark restaurant’s Lobster Cardinale and ice cream slathered in fudge sauce. Alas, the man who penned stories with flesh-eating birds had a much more bland diet. There are reports that Poe lived for weeks on nothing more than bread and molasses. Search the side alley next to this storied Baltimore eatery for the fiction, not the mescaline!

Alluring sentence #7: Outside, I step carefully on the cobblestones wondering where, exactly, Poe had lain when he left this pub.

Clue: “POEtic license,” is what they call it.  So many books and movies have riffed on the life of Poe, weaving fiction with fact. That’s okay, that’s what writers of fiction do, and the poet himself would have had it no other way.  That said, John Cusack’s movie version Poe died on a bench much like this one located outside a tavern in which the real Poe likely never set foot. Or did he? More fiction awaits you here.

Alluring sentence #8: I catapulted myself onto the brute’s calf, sank hard into flesh, tasted a drop of warm cruor.

Clue: Poe could have patronized this Fells Point watering hole, a building that pre-dates his own time and remains haunted to this day.  The English ale, sea shanties, and ratty characters would also be cause for Poe to “hang around” here.

Alluring sentence #9: As it rose toward the long brick building in the distance, the white ball transformed itself into a black bird.

Clue: Books and baseball are just some of the things for which Baltimore is known.  Poe was born in the early 19th century; the other star of this story was born in Baltimore at the end of the 19th century.  Swing for the fences to find this story near a diamond along University Parkway.

Alluring sentence #10: The man in Gunner’s Hall was dressed in a fine vest and neck-cloth, with a bow tied neatly as if it were holding his head in place.

Clue: The story of a story stolen, and the ramifications of the theft on said pilferer, sounds down-right Poesque.  Alas, it’s just life on the street for a Geo-Poe canister. The author has since re-stashed his story in a less-fancy vessel, wedged in a crack in front of a sculpture in the middle of the road not far from where Poe was found. Look both ways!

Alluring sentence #11: Medics wheeled my neighbor, zipped in a green body bag and strapped to a gurney, into an ambulance.

Clue: Besides graveyards, many of Baltimore’s dead wind up in Leakin Park (the seriousness of which would not have been lost on Poe). Head here during the day to find this fiction, swinging as if from a gallows overlooking Winan’s Meadow. Ascend the stairs and look for the wooden sanctuary where you can rest in peace.  

Alluring sentence #12:  There, on his chest, was what appeared to be a living, beating heart ripped from its cavity.

Clue: Poe and this contemporary were born four months and forty miles apart, yet somehow both found their way to Baltimore. This merchant and philanthropist long outlived the poet, but without him Poe’s books would have no shelf-life. Find this story stashed among the free volumes of a best-selling English female devotee.

Alluring sentence #13: Hell really is other writers.

Clue: While Poe certainly availed himself to train travel, he likely never made it to this spot, once the headquarters of the B&O Railroad.  Now a hotel and restaurant, the location affords this story a window-view on the Baltimore of today.  Sip a Manhattan and find me!

Alluring sentence #14: Glasses spilling in a bar mean drunks, not ghosts.

Clue: Lives, like Poe’s, aren’t the only things to get fictionalized.  Some of Baltimore’s most recognizable architecture has stood in for things they weren’t. In fact, this landmark looks more like a home for HoBOs than what it was used for as a setting in a popular cable series. A crook wouldn’t want to fence his stolen loot there!

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