Rod Serling of ‘The Twilight Zone’ Buried Near Seneca Lake

Rod Serling of ‘The Twilight Zone’ Buried Near Seneca Lake

Yet Another Reason to Visit Seneca Lake

You’re traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind … a journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination—your next stop, the Twilight Zone.
—Rod Serling, The Twilight Zone, introduction
If that sounds familiar, that’s the opening for the old black-and-white TV series called The Twilight Zone, spoken by its creator Rod Serling, known for his weird and creepy science fiction stories.

And if you’re looking for a little back road adventure, his burial place is between Seneca and Cayuga Lakes in a little cemetery called Lakeview in Interlaken, NY.

Rod Serling was born on Christmas day in 1924, and during the 50 years of his life, he was a prolific radio broadcaster, script writer, actor, author and TV personality known. He grew up in Binghamton, and was said to be enthralled with radio programs considered thrillers, fantasy and horror shows. After high school he enlisted in the Army where he became a paratrooper where he witnessed incredible horrors and death, which traumatized him deeply and influenced the dark side of his later writing.

He was quoted as saying:”I was bitter about everything and at loose ends when I got out of the service. I think I turned to writing to get it off my chest.”

After his discharge in 1946, he went to college on the GI Bill and got into radio, and he had a great voice for it. He also married his wife, Carol. Carol’s grandmother had a home on Cayuga Lake in Interlaken, NY, which was their honeymoon destination as well as their family summer house for his entire adult life.

He got into acting and writing, selling his scripts for radio dramas, and then worked his way into television when TV was was still pretty new. People found his stories of ghosts, UFOs, phantoms, monsters, bizarre reality twists and the macabre fascinating. He basically excelled in early sci-fi, suspense and borderline horror vignettes.

Serling began having serious dramas produced in 1950 and is given credit as one of the first to write scripts specifically for television. He’s considered an early pioneer in television drama.

He gained experience and fame in 1950 launching his famous The Twilight Zone on CBS as a black-and-white TV series. From 1959 to 1964, he helped write scripts and narrative five seasons and 156 episodes, broadcast on the CBS network. Each episode was a mini horror movie. He went on to do many other movies and scripts, and even radio rock concerts in 1970s. He also co-wrote the scribe for The Planet of the Apes in 1968. When the Vietnam War took place, he was an avid and outspoken antiwar activist.

He was 5’4” tall and reportedly smoked 3-4 packs of cigarettes a day. In May 1975, he had a series of heart attacks, first hospitalized in Ithaca, NY, then transferred to Rochester’s Strong Memorial, were he died at age 50. He was survived by his wife Carol and two daughters.

If you’re on the east side of Seneca Lake or the west side of Cayuga Lake, maybe your visiting the region’s famous wine trail, take a little detour and go find his gravesite, which is surprisingly ordinary.
Rodman E. Serling, lot 1044, fifth to last row from the back (about 20 feet in between little tree and big tree). GPS signal isn’t great here
People who visit usually leave little tokens of appreciation to memorialize him. His grave is located in the Lot G, Plot 1044,

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