An Interview with my Dad, the Gravedigger (Part 2)
If you’ve read the first interview I conducted with my dad, you know that my dad is a grave digger, and that his interest in the horror genre played a pivotal role in me becoming horror fan and eventually writing for the Morbidly Beautiful website.
With these facts in mind, it should come as no surprise that October is my dad’s favorite month and Halloween is his favorite holiday. In this second interview, I ask him about this love and other questions pertaining to Halloween, horror and his job.
INTERVIEW WITH GRAVEDIGGER STEVE TOLLE
Why is Halloween your favorite holiday?
I am not sure why, but as far back as I can remember the thought of Halloween was thrilling. Becoming monsters, wandering the neighborhood in the cool dark, seeking out candy and some spookiness in the shadows…what’s not to love?!
What is it about October (besides Halloween) that earns it the distinction of your favorite month?
I really enjoy the cooler weather, fresh pressed cider, the flaming fall colors and the beginning of Hunting Season.
What fond memories from your childhood do you have of October and Halloween?
Well. I came from a big family so I always went out trick-or-treating with my brothers and sisters. We would go until we could hardly lift our double bagged paper sacks of candy and homemade treats like brownies, candied apples and marshmallow bars. And when I was really little, I remember my dad and our neighbors burning our raked up leaves along the curb instead of bagging them up as we do nowadays. I still love that smell and the foggy look that it gave our street.
What’s your favorite candy?
Dark chocolate, Mr. GoodBars, Three Musketeers bars and Milky Ways were always the prized treats.
What kind of weird things have happened prior to Halloween (or immediately after) at the cemetery where you work?
There must be some wiccans and voodoo followers in our small city because we do find strange things in the cemetery around the pagan holy days. Most commonly beheaded chickens of various colors, or painted coconuts with candles, food, liquor and perfumed clothing or scraps of fabric. More than once, pig heads have been found and once a beheaded goat. No cat or dog sacrifices have ever been found thankfully.
What are your top horror films to watch in October?
Lady in White is my all time favorite. Something Wicked this Way Comes is perfect for the season. And every year I watch Let the Right One In.
What are your top horror books to read in October?
The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury, The October Country by Ray Bradbury, and Something Wicked this Way Comes by Ray Bradbury. As you can see I am a big fan of Mr. Bradbury!
Are any parts of the cemetery where you work supposedly haunted?
After working there over thirty years, I have never seen or heard of any ghosts. But there is the popular ghost hitch-hiker tale told about a young girl picked up by the cemetery gates. That story has been passed around the area for years.