(photo by Jason Furda!)


This was my summoning as a spellcaster using Magic and Art and my funerary background for Valentine. We locked ourselves in Room #5, the Poe Room, for dark romance. Our guest list included Skot Jones, Stephanie Jones, Deanna Dolges Kane, Thom Pulliam, Margarat Bashaar, Adam Blai, Dustin Bones, Brandi Breisch, Jason Kirin, Kitty Durgin, Stephanie Conrad, Bill Young, Kevin Bean, Mallory Jean, Michael Meechan, Julie Hinerman Meechan. I give you Akabar! The Greatest Lover of All Time!

Thank you Kelly Macabre Noir for the original Poe painting in the background. Thank you Mark Paul Stehlik for the entire library donation of Poe books, being the catalyst offering creating the room in the first place. Thank you Elaine Bergstrom for connecting us with Mark. Thank you Louis Wolf for the original idea from your Poe Nights long ago… Haunting beautiful music by Kevin MacLoed of Incompetech and ‘Dolmen Music’ by Meredith Monk. Please support these incredible artists.

PS: The curse is real…


This was a gift created by taxidermy beauty Sarah Ford Coco.



This year we unveiled the new Poe Room.  A large private collection of Edgar Allan Poe books was donated to the Midway, to create a new Gothic library on the hotel second floor.   Books are not be allowed to be taken out of the room, but guests can enjoy them in this smaller library during their stays.  Other sections within the room will celebrate and include collections of the works of Anne Rice, Elaine Bergstrom, Stephen King, Poppy Z Brite, Leonard Wolf, Rosemary Ellen Guiley, David Skall, J. Gordon Melton, Katherine Ramsland, H.P. Lovecraft, William Peter Blatty, Robert Louis Stevenson, Oscar Wilde, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Aleister Crowley, Leilah Wendell, and many other darker authors.  The collection has extended into many rare and unusual books of note.  Right from the get-go visiting artists started gravitating toward this room, the collection of unique objects displayed, and the wonderful seclusion the setting offers.

Pittsburgh artist Kelly Macabre Noir created special Poe works of art for the new room.

As popular as the Movie Screening Room, the Poe Room has become the hotel late night meeting room.  4AM it is often buzzing and wide awake.  Here Damien Youth enjoys some Absinthe on one of our many Absinthe nights.

“That night was a night on a haunted Pirate Ship.  Riccardo Boccanegra was the mad drunk Sea Captain that left the ship to steer itself, all so he could get his crew mad intoxicated, right before telling them “the ship is sinking”. . . But before he’d even get his chance, the room grew absent around myself & the Exorcist. . . .going it all over again… each convinced, it’s the other that will be first off the plank.” -Damian Youth

“This night, and the memory of it will be in my mind forever. It was one of those nights that could never be duplicated. The ambiance, the friends, the conversation, the absinthe and the late hour. When my last day comes, and I draw my final breath…this is one of the memories that will be in my thoughts. Thank you for being a part of it brother. Much Love…”  -Riccardo Boccanegra

The room has also become a great Dungeons & Dragons escape pad for serious adult visiting gamers…



Long before the Poe Room, this room (which connects with the entry to Room #4) was simply a secret upstairs 3 AM escape room where folks sometimes played causal late night music.  Here is earlier footage as Damien Youth performs his song Red Ghost Mother: