Odessa Cemeteries Are Kept Safe During Halloween

By Sylvia Gonzalez
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - Halloween is a day when people tell scary stories and try to spook each other out, some even daring to go into cemeteries after hours.

Cemetery Director Martha Fierro tells NewsWest 9, in the 14 years she has been in that position, there has never been any vandalism during Halloween or "Day of the Dead," she thinks she knows why.

"We have a gas station for all the county vehicles and the main vehicles that fill up here are the Sheriff Department and Probation Officers. I believe that is part of the deterrent that we don't have as much vandalism as other cemeteries do," Fierro said.

This Friday is "Day of the Dead," a Mexican tradition that has been going on for hundreds of years. Fierro says they expect to see around 600 people visiting their loved ones that have passed away. She expects people to be at local cemeteries from sunrise to sundown.

"They set up umbrellas, they set up canopies, they are out here with their packed lunch, they all have family meals all together, it's something quite interesting," Fierro said.

Fierro says there has never been a problem of any type vandalism during "Day of the Dead" as a matter of fact people try to help each other out by cleaning other's headstones.

"It's a common respect one has with the other, if anything they help one another, usually that's the day they come out here and clean the grave site, polish the headstone," Fierro said.

According to Fierro, she is surprised how the tradition of "Day of the Dead" in Odessa is still going.

"I myself come from a large town (El Paso) and I didn't see that there as much as I have seen it here. It seems to me that if it's a smaller town, the customs are still there," Fierro said.