Once upon an evening eerie...


Foundation for Baltimore County Public Library invites you to join Edgar Allan Poe at Reisterstown Branch on Saturday, October 6, from 7 p.m.-10 p.m. 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, ghost stories around a fire pit and guided tours through the moonlit historic Reisterstown Community Cemetery (est. 1764).

Our beer vendor is once again RavenBeer!

We can't think of a better partner. Drink tickets are $5 each and must be purchased at the drink ticket tables. Please note: Adult beverages can only be purchased with drink tickets. No payment is accepted at the wine or beer booths.

General admission tickets are $20 in advance or $30 at the door. Save time and avoid the drink ticket lines with VIP tickets, available while supplies last for $40. VIP tickets come with a swag bag that includes 2018 commemorative pint glass, a "Poe Toasting" print and two drink tickets. There are limited VIP tickets available, so get them while you can!

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

Event is rain or moon shine. 21+

Sponsorships are available.


Q: Where should I park?
A: Free parking is available at the Reisterstown United Methodist Church (246 Main Street) with overflow parking at the Franklin Middle and Elementary Schools (10 Cockeys Mill Road and 33 Cockeys Mill Road). (See map below.) There will be parking attendants at the church parking lot to guide you to the check-in tables and the bridge that connects to the Reisterstown Branch parking lot. There is a limited amount of accessible parking reserved on the far side of the branch. Call or see a parking lot attendant for more details.

Q: If I purchase my tickets in advance, how do I get in?
A: There are no physical tickets. Your name will be on a list at the check-in will-call tables. Please check in upon arrival to get your hand stamped. You must have your hand stamped to purchase alcohol and take the cemetery tour. There will be no admittance without a stamp so remember to check in! This is a 21+ event so don't forget your photo ID. Additional tickets can be purchased at the door ($30 each) if available, cash and credit is accepted.

Q: Will I need cash?
Probably. Most vendors take credit cards, but some may be cash only. And cash is definitely faster, which means shorter lines! Plus, we always have a great raffle basket!

Q: Is there seating?
Seating is extremely limited. There will be a few high-top tables and a few chairs around the fire pit, but feel free to bring a blanket or lawn chairs.

Q: How do the cemetery tours work?
The tours of the historic Reisterstown Community Cemetery are led by cemetery volunteers and are on a first come, first served basis. Tours will start approximately every five minutes with groups of 10 or so. Queue up at the cemetery booth to catch the ghostly tour.

Q: What's the restroom situation?
We've added portable restrooms this year on the far side of the Reisterstown Branch building. Additional restrooms, including an accessible restroom, are located inside the branch, along with a local history display, an information table where you can sign up for a library card and merchandise sales. Staff will be located inside to guide you if you are unfamiliar with the branch. Be sure to get your official A Toast Among Ghosts T-shirt and commemorative pint glass!

Our 2018 Sponsors:

The Raven Level

Annabel Lee Level


Tell-Tale Heart Level

Black Cat Level

Baltimore T-Shirt Company

James Cooke

Chip and Cathy Hiebler

Media Sponsor

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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