Halloween is one of the best nights in my neighborhood. Front yards become cemeteries, porches are haunted, witches fly through canopied live oaks on invisible wires. Fog drifts above the streets while Tubular Bells plays in the distance. I’ve seen grown men run down the sidewalk screaming…
One hundred year old houses with old porches and towering trees make for a perfect Halloween neighborhood, but we don’t stop on the outside. Inside we channel The Addams Family. I’m thinking a Haunted Halloween Home Tour would be a big hit…
Things around the house, already used, tarnished, rusty, and broken, appear realistically eerie in dim lighting. I stop polishing silver after Easter, which gives platters and pitchers the perfect patina for Halloween. Throw in some dead flowers, fried from the long hot summer, add a few gnarly sticks, and you have a haunting arrangement for the dining room table. (Ok full disclosure…. I only polish silver at Easter and Christmas.)
Mismatched, unused or oddly colored candlesticks, spray painted flat black, make Pottery Barn-like decorations.
An old doll head is bizarre in the china hutch.
A haphazardly arranged stack of mystery and sic-fi books on the mantle sets the tone.
In the fall as I walk the dogs, I begin dumpster diving, dragging home things for Halloween. Last year I found a mannequin on the side of the street. I carried her home, gave her a coat of paint, and she became an instant hit. The Schnauzers barked at her until November.