A Miami Halloween party to die for
As the founder and CEO of a funeral home, Evans St. Fort is used to seeing a lot of sadness.
What's happening: His company, St. Fort's Funeral Home, is holding a Halloween bash to bring a touch of levity to the business — and to life.
Why it matters: "There's such a stigma on funeral homes and that they're gory and that they're creepy," St. Fort says. He wants Miamians to know, "It's really not that bad."
Catch up quick: St. Fort's father was in the funeral business in Haiti. They founded their business locally 20 years ago.
- St. Fort would hold an end-of-year party around Thanksgiving or Christmas, but four years ago, he got the idea to tie it to Halloween instead.
- He teamed up with the North Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce to host it. It initially got a little pushback, but he says people had such a good time, they requested he repeat it.
- He grew it into an annual event and now invites the wider community.
Zoom in: St. Forts — who might dress up as TV host and actor Steve Harvey this year — wouldn't say whether there will be dead bodies onsite during the party, but warned, "I would say it's definitely not for children. … You're going to walk in there and see something that might scare you."
Of note: St. Fort took over the facility that handled services for late fashion designer Gianni Versace.
- Paparazzi hid in dumpsters to take pictures of the body, he recalls.
- He hasn't seen Versace's ghost.
Yes, but: It's truly scary how funeral costs have risen with inflation, St. Fort says.
- A cemetery plot typically costs more than $10,000 — even without a grave marker.
- Funeral costs can easily top $20,000.
What they're saying: "The reality is: We're all going to go there someday, right? Unfortunately, most people don't want to talk about it," St. Fort says.
- He encourages families to consider life insurance and preplanned funeral services with fixed costs and monthly payments to ease the burden on survivors.
If you go: The party is Thursday night from 6pm to 11pm at St. Fort's Funeral Home, 16480 NE 19th Avenue, North Miami Beach.
- Wear a costume.
- Attendance is free. RSVP to [email protected].
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