For every naysayer who’s repulsed by horror, you’ll find a fan who finds it to be a well of empowerment and strength. Case in point: Anthony Woodle, a YouTuber, theater manager, and aspiring filmmaker who found comfort in the medium before dying of Stage IV esophageal cancer in September. He was 29.
Woodle and his partner, Emilee Stickel, ran a YouTube channel called Deadwood Manor, which chronicled their year-round love of horror. After Woodle’s diagnosis in 2019, he began using the channel as a means of chronicling his battle against cancer in real time. In one especially poignant video, he explains how horror movies and a general love of the macabre have helped him accept death and the darkness of the world.
Although there’s an undeniable sadness in Woodle passing away, his final days were filled with moments of joy. Thanks to Paul Brown—the owner of the historic Terrace Theater where Woodle worked—he was able to see a cut of the upcoming Halloween Kills. While the movie was pushed back to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic, writer/director David Gordon Green, a Charleston resident, got wind of Woodle’s story and arranged a private screening for the couple.
It gets better. Woodle and Stickel’s wedding was officiated by the face of the Halloween franchise, Jamie Lee Curtis. She called in as an unconscious Woodle was surrounded by his family, delivering these words of wisdom:
“Anthony and Emilee, all anyone is promised is this moment. We live and we love in this moment. May the blessings of God rest upon you, may his peace abide with you, may her spirit illuminate your heart now, in this moment. With the power vested in me by the internet, it is my great pleasure to tell you that you are now married people.”
Woodle died roughly 45 minutes later.
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