Halloween Career Day: The Spookiest Professions

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It may still be September but Halloween is upon us. It’s seems these days the new holiday season starts immediately following the last holiday. Seconds after Labor Day was over, you could see your local Walgreens stocking up their Halloween wares. Which is just fine because Halloween rules. And these days there’s so many more cool Halloween decorations than when I was growing up. Kids today have it good when Halloween rolls around.

But with all the light-up skeletons, talking candy bowls, fake severed hands and so-on, we need a way to pay for those Halloween deals somehow. So today we look at some of the most Halloweenish careers out there today. Trouble is, it’s a year-round gig, not just an October thing so it takes a special type of person to make this their livelihood.

Crime Scene Cleaner: The movie “Sunshine Cleaners” gave this profession some more attention, but it glossed over some of the more gruesome details. If you’re really considering jumping into this line of work, read the book Mop Men, which follows around a crime scene cleaner company with vivid detail. It’ll probably scare you straight.

Ghost Hunter: Another profession popularized by pop culture, notably, “Ghost Hunters,” which is eerie at times, and at other times the evidence is dubious. Whatever your beliefs, it’s not just a TV show; there are ghost hunters all over the world–and it’s a growth market, given the popularity of the TV show. MainStreet recently posted an article about the growing ghost hunting profession in the U.S.

Coroner: What kind of person studies up to be a coroner? You could ask the same thing about a proctologist, but anyway: it’s a strange job when “I see dead people” is what you say about the people you work with. There are different types of coroners: a county coroner will not need the same types of credentials as a forensic pathologist – it depends on the jurisdiction. Some coroners are merely managers who hire pathologists, autopsy specialists, and the like. A full forensic pathologist needs an M.D. and a degree in forensics.

Embalmer: If a coroner needs an M.D. to do the job an embalmer is like the rent-a-cop of the after-death industry. OK, that’s a little unfair, as it does take some artistry to make the dead look presentable–and it’s an enormously important job to relatives of the deceased. But it requires less scientific work than a coroner, who needs to be a criminologist, as well as an M.D. That said, it’s pretty gruesome: draining a body of its fluids, replacing it with embalming fluids, then sewing it up. This job takes a special kind of person.

Gravedigger: This job is not nearly as spooky as it sounds – at least not any more. The stereotype of the creepy old guy wielding a shovel is no more. Really, gravedigging is more like a kind of construction work, using powered excavation equipment.

If it’s true that nothing’s inevitable but death and taxes, working in one of the above professions means you’ll never be short on work. So let us know in the comments: what’s the spookiest or most-gruesome job you’ve ever had?

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