Save the date: October 6, 2018!

Once upon an evening eerie...


Foundation for Baltimore County Public Library invites you to join Edgar Allan Poe at Reisterstown Branch for A Toast Among Ghosts, a spooky night of fun, food and beer in a historic cemetery.

The Reisterstown Branch was formerly the Franklin Academy, where in 1831, Edgar Allan Poe applied to be the headmaster. He wasn't selected, but maybe it's time Poe returned to one of his old haunts. Poe died in Baltimore on October 7, 1849. To honor his life and legacy, we're remembering the anniversary of his death in a macabre way he'd truly appreciate...in a graveyard!

There will be live music by local bands Rock Creek Revival, Eli August and the Abandoned Buildings and Edgar Allan and the Poe Boys, local food vendors, beer and wine, famed Edgar Allan Poe impersonator David Keltz (found, appropriately enough, in the graveyard), a Reisterstown founder John Reister impersonator and ghost stories around a fire pit, as well as guided tours through the historic Reisterstown Community Cemetery (est. 1764).

Our beer vendor is once again RavenBeer! We can't think of a better partner.

Chat with Poe among the graves and make a toast among ghosts!

Tickets on sale September 1.

Sponsorships are available.

Our 2018 Sponsors:

The Raven Level

Annabel Lee Level

Tell-Tale Heart Level

Black Cat Level

James Cooke, Chip and Cathy Heibler

Sponsorships are available.

In 2016, Baltimore County Public Library introduced the Tales of the Dead: Short Horror Story Contest. The contest was inspired by a ghost story writing challenge 200 years ago which led to the creation of Frankenstein's monster and the first modern vampire story. It was the summer of 1816, the year without a summer, when the incessant rains inspired Lord Byron to challenge his friends to write scary stories inspired by the horror anthology Fantasmagoriana: Tales of the Dead. Dr. John Polidori wrote a story, later published as The Vampyre, which introduced the modern concept of the blood-sucking vampire, and Mary Shelley sketched out a story which would later be published as Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus, two of the greatest gothic horror stories of all time.

In the spirit of that contest, and in conjunction with A Toast Among Ghosts, Baltimore County Public Library is once again challenging you to write your own original horror story. Anything that goes bump in the night is fair game — ghosts, ghouls, goblins...whatever frightens you. Just frighten us!

There are two categories: Adult (21+) and Under 21.

First, second and third place adult winners will be selected by a panel of judges including librarians and published authors. Criteria for judging includes originality, fear factor and quality of writing.

The adult winners and one guest each will receive tickets to A Toast Among Ghosts on Saturday, October 6, where the winners will be invited to read their stories around the ghost story fire pit. Entries must be received by September 21. The winning stories will be published on the Foundation website. Winners will be notified on September 28.

While the event is 21+ only, writers under 21 can enter too! The winner will receive a prize package including an A Toast Among Ghosts T-shirt, books and a gift card. One winner will be selected in the Under 21 category. Criteria for judging is the same as for adults.

Full contest entry rules


Congratulations to our 2017 Tales of the Dead short horror story contest winners! Read the winning stories below:

Adult First Place Winner: A Sinister Charm by Gary R. Beard

Adult Second Place Winner: Captured by Christine Stake

Adult Third Place Winner: Close Neighbors by Carolyn Eichhorn

Under 21 Winner: The People of Sails by Hailey Schap

2017 Photo Album



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