“For some, autumn comes early, stays late through life where October follows September and November touches October and then instead of December and Christ’s birth, there is no Bethlehem Star, no rejoicing, but September comes again and old October and so on down the years, with no winter, spring, or revivifying summer. For these beings, fall is the ever normal season, the only weather, there be no choice beyond. Where do they come from? The dust. Where do they go? The grave. Does blood stir their veins? No: the night wind. What ticks in their head? The worm. What speaks from their mouth? The toad. What sees from their eye? The snake. What hears with their ear? The abyss between the stars. They sift the human storm for souls, eat flesh of reason, fill tombs with sinners. They frenzy forth. In gusts they beetle-scurry, creep, thread, filter, motion, make all moons sullen, and surely cloud all clear-run waters. The spider-web hears them, trembles—breaks. Such are the autumn people. Beware of them.”
I’m not a particularly scare-fest person but I like a good cemetery. I’ve celebrated them for as long as I can remember. My “dark side” was shaped by being an introspective child who never craved scary experiences. I preferred reading about others who were famed for plumbing darker subjects. But I recall being fascinated, if not thrilled by Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Three Detectives” to the point of obsession. I found a kind of lust for the novel and film, “Escape To Witch Mountain,” and was delighted by “Return To Witch Mountain” and finally “Beyond Witch Mountain” I recall some sort of gothic esthetic was born in me, a strange passionate sensation that shaped my sense of life beyond explanation upon discovering the film “From The Mixed Up Files of Basil E. Frankweiler.” That one somewhat terrified me as much as it intrigued same time and think it was a mistake to watch it alone on a Saturday in my basement. Throw in “Something Wicked Way This Comes,” along with endless episodes of The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, Leonard Nimoy’s In Search Of, and every Hardy Boys’ book with just a touch of Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, and there’s not much more that one needs to understand who I was made into well before high school. In fact, if you’d told me by age 13 that there was nothing else past some Chronicles of Narnia and a few Stephen King books to come along and at that moment I’d been given the option of being locked in a room with just all of those things for the rest of my life, I’d 100% snatched that key from the offering hand to never be heard from again! But as no such opportunity or framing of the world was presented as such, I drifted on to become the artsy goth kid who eventually took a job in a Victorian cemetery in my hometown. And the rest is his-story so to say. I became The Cemetery Man of my own design.