By Chris Kaltenbach, The Baltimore Sun
1:26 PM EDT, May 3, 2012
For a guy who's been dead some 160 years, Edgar Allan Poe's not getting much rest.
A team of ghost hunters from the Wilkes-Barre, Pa.-based TV program "Ghost Detectives" will be spending this weekend at the Edgar Allan Poe House and Museum and at Fells Point's Admiral Fell Inn, looking for signs of paranormal activity — hopefully by the ghost of Poe himself.
"The Poe House has always intrigued us," said Steven Barry, one of the show's investigators.
Paranormal investigators are constantly asking for permission to spend a night at the Poe House, curator Jeff Jerome said.
"I get so many calls about this that I could spend every night of the week at the Poe House with paranormal investigators," he said.
Although he normally turns down such individual requests, Jerome said, he decided to make an exception in this case. TV crews tend to act more responsibly when working in the house, which dates back more than 180 years, he said.
"I thought, 'Why not?'" Jerome said, "as long as they spell Poe's name correctly."
The team from "Ghost Detectives" will be arriving in Baltimore Friday, Barry said, and will be filming at the Poe House on Saturday. They are also hoping to investigate and film at the Westminster Burial Grounds and catacombs, where Poe is buried, he said.
Barry said the episode would probably air sometime in mid-June. "Ghost Detectives" begins its third season later this month; episodes can be viewed on the show's website, ghostdetectives.tv.
This weekend's filming comes as the Poe House, at 203 N. Amity Street, is fighting for its very existence. The city, which owns and operates the museum, cut off its funding in 2010; since then, the house has remained open to the public thanks to private donations and fund-raising activities.
A city-hired consultant, charged with finding ways to keep the home open and self-sufficient, recently recommended operating it in partnership with the nearby B&O Railroad Museum.
The Boston-born Poe, an early master of the horror story and a key American literary figure of the 19th century, lived in the Amity Street row house for a few years in the 1830s. He died in Baltimore in 1849, under mysterious circumstances that have played no small part in keeping the Poe legend alive.
"The Raven," a movie starring John Cusack as Poe and currently playing in theaters, offers the romantic idea, though far-fetched and historically unsubstantiated, that he died trying to save a woman from being murdered.
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