And so, with nothing in particular to do at 1:00 a. m. on a Monday morning and having the day off anyway (one of the few advantages of being a gummint employee), I decided to head over to the Poe Museum, meet up with my friend Sarah, and check out the goings-on for Edgar Allan Poe's 200th Birthday Bash.
It was... interesting!
The entrance (housing Ye Olde Gifte Shoppe--gotta have one of those) is deceptively small (by the way, these first three pictures are not mine)...
..and hides a complex of vintage buildings bordering the "Enchanted Garden"...
..and terminates with the Poe Shrine, constructed with bricks from the Southern Literary Messenger building where ol' Edgar once worked as assistant editor...
Now, imagine all this in the dead of night. Yeah, it was eerie. The garden was illuminated with a few floodlights which somehow managed to make the place decidedly (and surprisingly) gloomy, while the bust of Poe was lit by candles (excuse the crappy cell phone pics--cameras weren't allowed):
All was well and I was suitably impressed... then at 2:00 a. m. they held an outdoor seance.
Which was cheesy, and not necessarily in a good way.
Okay, without going into too many details, a few suggestions: (1) if you're going to hire an actor to play a medium make sure she can act. (2) If you're going to stage an apparition of Poe, make sure the actor (a) in some way resembles Poe and (b) doesn't audibly stumble over the underbrush as he makes his escape. (3) Perhaps most importantly, don't park your clearly-labeled special effects truck in front of the museum.
But the crowd of about fifty (which was, surprisingly, completely Goth-free, yet included a lot more girl-on-girl action than I or Poe could have imagined) seemed to enjoy it, so who am I to complain? Besides, the Museum itself is unspeakably cool, especially at night.
Happy Birthday, Edgar; see ya next year!