IT’S the kind of thing you would normally find in a funeral parlour – but horror actors Allin and Pamela Kempthorne thought a coffin was just right for their porch.
It has been scaring off postmen and delivery drivers for the past few years, but it’s now getting its last rites and being sold off at a horror festival this weekend The couple held on to the coffin after using it in the 2009 film the Vampires of Bloody Island, which they wrote and starred in.
While others pop to Ikea for their storage solutions, the couple chose to use the coffin as a cupboard at home, but now they’ve decided to let it go. Mr Kempthorne, from Westcliff, said: “We decided to hold on to the coffin after filming as we had quite a Gothic feel to our house and thought it would be a lovely talking point.
“For ages we kept it in our front porch, but it used to freak out the postman and delivery drivers.
“Our local Chinese takeaway refused to deliver to us after their delivery man saw it standing by the door and nervously asked ‘Why do you have a coffin in your doorway?’.
I answered, somewhat wittily I thought ‘Well I’ve got to keep my mother’s body somewhere!’, but he ran off and we never got our meal that night.”
The couple lived in Barking, east London, at the time but decided to sell the unusual item after moving to Westcliff a few months ago.
Mr Kempthorne said: “It breaks my heart to sell it, but we don’t have the room for it in Westcliff – homes aren’t really designed to keep coffins in, unfortunately.”
In the film, Mrs Kempthorne, the main vampire – who has also appeared in films Shaun of the Dead and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – emerges from inside the coffin at key, scary moments.
Since it has been in their home, the couple have allowed house guests to sleep inside it, but Mr Kempthorne said: “There's not a lot of room in there. It’s more designed for people who don’t move very much.”
Mr Kempthorne added: “I suppose it might go to a horror fan as a coffee table or a cupboard.
“I think that is more realistic than someone using it to bury a loved one as people are awfully squeamish about that kind of thing, but I do hope it goes to another loving owner.”
The coffin is being sold by the couple through their horror merchandise website www.vampireshop.co.uk, and it will also be on their stall at the Horror-on-Sea Film Festival, which is being held from Friday to Sunday at the Park Inn Palace Hotel, in Church Road, Southend.