Rats, Bats, and Ravens

We have an infestation at our house of the spookiest kind.  We have rats.  We have bats.  We have ravens.  We even have spiders swarming up our wall.  Our candles are dripping blood, there’s a vase full of skulls, and I found a cat, a jack-o-lantern, and two owls hanging out on our staircase.

I’m excited to tell you the story of how they all got into our house.

I didn’t grow up celebrating Haloween.  There, I said it.  Now you know the truth.  Ours was the house that shut the blinds and turned out all the lights to discourage the knock of trick-or-treaters on our door.  Every once in a while a brave group of kids would knock anyway, just to make sure, but we were all hiding upstairs trying to avoid being seen.  We didn’t dress up.  We just made up lame excuses to explain why we couldn’t.

Timm and I, being the full-throttle holiday types, do celebrate Halloween, and began to do so even more once we had kids.  However, decorating for Halloween has always fallen very low on my heirarchy of holiday decorating.  I never felt inspired to do so.

Two years ago, inspiration hit.

Two years ago, Lillian was but a wee baby around the time of Halloween.  For most of October I would sit on couch during her mid-afternoon feeding and watch my daily episode of the Martha Stewart Show.  For those of you who don’t know, Martha loves her some Halloween.  It’s like the biggest holiday she celebrates.  I watched and realized how much fun Halloween decorations could be.  She made it almost beautiful, but it was a creepy kind of beautiful.  I was entranced.

I took notes of the ideas I like, downloaded templates on to my computer, and began to form a plan.  I knew full well I did not have the time or energy to create a Halloween wonderland while living with a newborn.  But I knew from past experience that newborns grow up, mommies eventually get to sleep through the night, and pockets of time open up for creative ventures.  So I waited patiently for an entire year.

One year later {i.e., last year}, with Rachel’s help, I pulled out all of my notes from the previous year, printed out my templates, and got to work.  We had a ball.  We cut shapes out of black paper for hours.  We glittered the grossest of creatures, we turned the foul into fabulous.  We made our house come alive with Halloween spirit.  In fact, once everything was up I realized what how well-suited our house was to Halloween.  The architecture perfectly enhanced the haunted shadows and images we had lurking everywhere.  At night it was really spooky.  Even from the sidewalk it gave off a ghostly glow.  I was very proud of our Halloween crafting, and I knew Martha would have been proud of us too.

Then, last year without thinking, on November 1 I began to take it all down, carefully storing it for Halloweens to come.

It wasn’t until everything was neatly put away that the horrible truth hit me.  I hadn’t taken one single solitary picture of our amazing creations.  Fail, fail, fail.

Why such a sense of failure?  Why not just take pictures the next year?  Well, we were in the market for a new house and had been looking for quite some time, certain that a move was in the very near future.  I knew there was no way we would still be in the Hurley House long enough to see another Halloween.  No way we would still live here another year.


A year later, here we are, still living in the Hurley House.  Still looking for the right house, and at times a bit frustrated by how long the process is taking.  But I’m secretly thankful for the chance to Halloween up this old house one more time.  And this year I took pictures.  Victory!

Here they are, taken in the light of day so as not to be too scary.

First, the bats.

Large vampire bats with red glitter eyes are flying through the dining room…

…while a fleet of smaller bats covers our entry mirror.

A gang of floating ghostlets hover under one of the thresholds.

They are light as air and have two tiny eyes.

Our candles are dripping with blood.


The swarm of spiders starts near the floor, climbs the wall, and trails up to the ceiling.  Almost too realistic.  Almost.

The living room has become home to a flock of ravens.

They perch everywhere.

Rats have taken over the kitchen.

They crawl above the mouldings…

…trapse along the widow casings…

…and lurk in corners.

This is the view from the living room.  Eeeeeeek!

Our bug problem continues on the entry buffet.

This monster of a spider hangs suspended from our front staircase.  She has woven a lovely web…

…and has trapped some especially beautiful flies with glittered wings.

This is my bowl full of skulls.  Festive.

A jack-o-lantern…

…an angry cat…

…and not one, but two fierce looking owls have taken occupancy on our staircase.

Don’t look directly in their eyes.

One of my favorite crafts from last year, and one that I haven’t yet reproduced this year, was the bean bat jar.  It’s a jar full of white beans with the image of a bat in black beans.  Tricky tricky.

If you like any of these ideas, everything you could ever need to know about Halloween crafting can be found on Martha’s website.  Everything you see here came from her amazing collection of Halloween projects.

Happy Halloween!

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2 Responses to Rats, Bats, and Ravens

  1. Andrea Johnson says:

    These are fantastic! The ravens are my favorite!
    This is Halloween decorating I like!

  2. rachel says:

    i gasped! because i thought you had found that bat bean jar!

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