The following is as heartwarming as it is heartbreaking, the story of a Halloween franchise super fan who became the first member of the general public to watch Halloween Kills and then had Jamie Lee Curtis herself officiate his wedding just before he passed away.
As first reported by The Post and Courier, Anthony Woodle (pictured above) was one of us, someone who loved Halloween – both the holiday and the movie franchise – more than just about anything. He and his fiance Emilee Stickel would decorate their North Charleston, South Carolina home each year to thrill the trick or treaters. He ran a YouTube channel, Deadwood Manor.
Anthony of course loved the Halloween movies, and he was excited when Charleston-based Rough House Pictures shot Blumhouse’s Halloween in the area in 2018.
Together for eight years, Anthony and Emilee had planned to be married on Oct. 31, 2020. He had proposed to her on Halloween 2016. Three years later, on Halloween 2019, Anthony was diagnosed with Stage IV esophageal cancer.
Traditional cancer therapies, and later Anthony enduring targeted radioembolization treatment of his liver once doctors discovered the cancer had spread, were not enough to slow the disease, and by late summer, he was receiving hospice care. It’s then that the couple set Halloween as the date to make their union official.
When Paul Brown, owner of the Terrace Theater where Anthony worked, reached out to Rough House partner and Halloween Kills director David Gordon Green and asked about Anthony getting a chance to see the upcoming sequel early, Green quickly arranged a private screening for Anthony and Emilee.
“That was the most I’ve seen him smile — during and after the movie,” Emilee said.
Later that day, Anthony got a phone call from Jamie Lee Curtis, who wanted to connect with the couple after learning about their story. Upon hearing of their upcoming wedding, Curtis offered her services as an ordained officiant and arrangements were soon set to move the marriage date up to Sept. 13.
Anthony woke up in a panic attack at around 4:30 a.m. on the day of the ceremony, and soon he was mumbling, drifting between consciousness and sleep. Emilee called for a hospice nurse, who arrived at 6:00 a.m.
That night, family gathered around Anthony, lying unconscious in bed with Emilee by his side, and over Zoom, Curtis began the marriage ceremony at around 10:30 p.m.
“Anthony and Emilee, all anyone is promised is this moment,” she said. “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.”
At 11:17 p.m., Anthony Ryan Woodle passed away. He was 29 years old.
In a recent appearance on The Talk, Curtis said of Woodle, “He was the greatest Halloween fan in the world, and I know a lot of them.”
This story has now been shared by numerous outlets and fans throughout the world, as it obviously speaks volumes about the love and passion within the horror community. Anthony was one of us, and though we never knew him, we miss him greatly.
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