Friday, October 25, 2013

Hallowe'en Mantel

"At first cock-crow the ghosts must go
Back to their quiet graves below."
Theodosia Garrison

"Hark 'Tis the night, they say,
When all souls come back from the far away--
The dead, forgotten this many a day!"
Virna Sheard

"First of all, it was October, a rare month for boys."
Ray Bradbury

"The thing under my bed waiting to grab my ankle isn't real.
I know that, and I also know that if I'm careful
to keep my foot under the covers,
it will never be able to grab my ankle."
Stephen King

"Where there is no imagination there is no horror."
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

"Die, my dear?
Why that's the last thing I'll do!"
Groucho Marx

"Hold on, man. We don't go anywhere with 'scary,'
'spooky,' 'haunted,' or 'forbidden'
in the title."
Shaggy in Scooby-Doo

This is about as creepy as Hallowe'en will ever get here at Across the Way, but I couldn't resist putting this together on our old mantel in the office. (And yes, that's a fire extinguisher at the bottom. Oh, well.)

These are pictures of family members from long ago, not ancestors bought on eBay! They came down from an aunt to my mother and she passed them along to me a few years ago. When I found them this summer I knew I had to try this slightly creepy Hallowe'en vignette. (Forgive me, dear relatives?) 

I meant to buy black tulle to drape across the mantel but never got around to it. I used an owl decoy, another china owl from Goodwill, two black and white plates--Copeland-Spode's Sieur de Monts Spring, Bar Harbor, Maine and Grindley's Salisbury Cathedral. There are tarnished silver pieces, old dried hydrangeas, candles and white pumpkins. 

It was kind of fun. I hope you think so too. And I don't know why that 3rd picture looks blue. It was not that way in my file. Spooky, huh? I don't know about you but I'm not going to hang my ankle over the edge of the bed tonight.


  1. I wished I had pictures of our family of long ago, but they were lost years ago. It is funny about pictures. If you had those in another arrangement they would just look like normal pictures of family members, but the way you have decorated the mantle they do look spooky.

  2. Dewena, I love the mantle decor. Those are some scary sayings though and I am with scooby-doo on that, "let me outta here!" Enjoy your weekend. xoxo,Susie

  3. Fun mantle decor . . . great quotes . . . wonderful ancestor photos.

    I need to get out some of my ancestor photos for display.

    Have a lovely weekend.

  4. Shiver me timbers! I love this!

  5. I love anyone who quotes Scooby Doo! We quote him quite often here. Especially "Dog? What Dog?" Love the pics too.

  6. The scariest sight on this ghost story feel of a mantel, for me, is the right eye of that most menacing owl! Look at it, (if you dare!), it's downright creepy! Suspicious of us suddenly stalking his domain, it keeps a close, and rather threatening, watch! 'Zoinks!', as Shaggy would say; let's split this scene!!


  7. So much fun, Dewena! I'm all smiles :) And I loved the quotes that accompanied your pictures :)

  8. it's a beautiful mantle and I love those old photos. I've several of Daddy's family and tons of Dave's family; his family doesn't want them and I don't know what to do with them. They're probably worth a lot of money if only for the frames.

  9. I love this post! And I love all the quotes!

  10. I love that you used these family photos to add to your Halloween mantel. You are so lucky to have these!! They are treasures for sure. Thank you so much for dropping by and leaving such a sweet comment. I love this post and am following along now.

  11. I think this is the perfect Halloween mantel, Dewena. I like the fact that you used your own family photos. Love the black and white décor. Very creative and pleasing to the eye.

  12. OH THE THING UNDER THE BED WAITING TO GRAB MY ANKLE! as a wee child used to have nightmares that Punch and Judy were under there waiting to get me. Go figure....

  13. Oh...I love this! The old photos give it such a creepy feeling. I know they aren't creepy but they do give it that out of "The Shining" Loved all the quotes you included.

  14. What a great use for some of those old photos! The black and white transfer ware is perfect too. Nice! Thanks for sharing.

  15. lovely...beautiful tribute after all the next day is "all souls day, I think!" Anyway I love how your mantle not only captures a a creepy haunted holiday but also a sort of ambiance that isn't creepy or haunting at all!.

  16. Love it. While I don't like horror movies, I loved the old scary stories we used to hear from our aunts and uncles. They were always supposed to be true about olden times. If I remember correctly, you told some really good stories yourself to your sisters,

  17. The vintage photos on the dark mantel is perfect for Halloween! LOVE this!

  18. Gorgeous! LOVE the owls, and your family photos, amazing!

  19. Hi Dewena, Your Halloween décor is wonderful! The transferware plates and family photos are perfect. Thanks so much for visiting and I also love Italian pottery and Fish Majolica. I am on my way to browse your archives and now following your blog.

  20. So glad you found me again. Thank you for your wonderful words. I love your black and white mantel, the black and white is just perfect. Have bootiful Halloween. Alaina

  21. I love the family pictures! Wonderful Halloween mantel, Dewena!

  22. Fun Halloween decor! And what a wonderful old mantel!

  23. Oh this was just terrific! You really got the Halloween spirit down! I have always been afraid to walk into a Cracker Barrel and see some of my relative son the walls! I am stunned how people discard their heritage! Those photos mean so much whether they are in a scary Halloween post or sitting stately on your mantel the rest of the year! I L O V E it! Always a pleasure to see you here my sweet friend! Hugs Anne

  24. Dewena, I love the way you used all the old family photos to make a haunting (forgive the pun) display. The owl is very effective too. You are so creative!