never had any other desire so that one which I have had always, that I might be master at last of a small house and a large Garden.

-A. Cowley, The Garden, 1666

Monday, November 1, 2010

the haunted small house.

I like my halloween decor as imagined through an Edward Gorey illustration. The porch of the small house was decorated in an attempt to lure...ahem, I mean, welcome...prospective trick-or-treaters. I wasn't overly hopeful considering the dearth of children in the population of our "town", but you never know...

First, you must pet our outside cat, Billy. She may look spooky, but she's really a sweety. And she comes in handy as a free source of haunted ambience.

Next, up the stairs past the pumpkins where you may enjoy our window memorial to Poe. Nothing says Halloween like Poe to me.

Happy skull votives (dollar store) sit on piles of books (collections of Poe, an early 20thc biography of Poe, The Poe Shadow, and a collection of Mrs Riddell Ghost stories because I couldn't find any more Poe books...). They also provide precarious perches for a small flock of (okay, two) black feathered ravens.

Then come up to the front door to be welcome by these little ghosties on the wreath by the knocker...if you still dare, knock on the door for your candy (butterfingers this year) or choose from the various glow-in-the dark beasties. (FYI my husband chose both.)

As you leave, you may see a haunted ghost in the side yard...I was inspired by "The Long Black Veil" and by the irresistable fact our side yard is enclosed by a white picket fence and features a willow tree.
The lady is dressed in my elizabethan collared linen smock cinched with a black ribbon and a long black (okay, grey...the dye didn't take properly)silk gauze veil that flutters in even the slightest breeze. The stones and sign are dollar tree. As someone who actually spent a semester in a cemetery doing research for a paper on gravestone iconography, I'm not exactly over-impressed by the dollar stones. Next year I might flip them over and repaint the backs...

Did we get trick-or-treaters? Well, after dark I gave up and just left the plastic pumpkin filled with treats on the porch whilst hubby and I went to the amusement park to scare ourselves silly and ride roller coasters. When we came back, most of the treats were gone. Trick-or-treaters....or something else?


  1. Emily -- I LOVE this!!! Your sad lady is amazing -- I must have enlarged her several times to look at her face. Fantastic.
    And you gave away Butterfingers? My favorites. Love how they get stuck in your teeth ... snacks for later.

    I mentioned you on my blog post today. These Halloween decorations are so creative and moody looking -- just had to share them!

    Can you believe we actually had trick or treaters? We ran out of candy! I am in awe of kids brave enough to climb the old steps and knock on this door.

    Love, Aunt Cassy

  2. Thank you so much for mentioning me! Halloween decorations just happen with morning I get up with a vision and then just use what's laying around!
    The head of the lady is actually an oval I cut out of the box my most recent sewing machine came out of, done up with craft paint and sharpee marker.
    Butterfingers are my favs too, right after Skor which they don't make in a treat size (so Ican't even pretend I bought it for kiddos).

    PS I have my fingers crossed that you get your painting done in time!

  3. I love love love your Poe window. That's cool! I don't know about putting your Elizabethan smock outside though LOL! Do you costume?
    PS I wandered in from your Aunt's blog. She said to tell you hi!

  4. Hi Lydia, thanks for wandering over from Aunt Cassy's! Don't worry bout the was really only outside for about 24 hours and i made sure the weather report was nice! I do costume and hope to really elevate my skills and research in that department...will probably post on it!

  5. Oh please do. I am a costumer myself though I haven't done too much since I bought the house. Costuming and house payments don't always work well together LOL!

  6. I am in love with the Poe window! And the cemetery and the Butterfingers. You are ridiculous with decorations--keep blogging! We can all learn from you and your master craftiness.

  7. Lydia- ohhhhhhhh! that dress is gorgeous! i love those holbein portraits of the tudor court! AND i am SO impressed that you were featured on festive attyre, one of my most beloved sites EVER. maybe you can give me some constructive advice when i post one of my efforts?

  8. kara- i think that is my new sobriquet: Mistress of Craftiness.

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