Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween!


My daily lament is “OMG, where has the year gone?” and I know for a fact that I am not alone in this feeling because I hear it from lots of friends and readers as well. It  seems like  Halloween was only yesterday, yet another year has passed since my 2015 Halloween party in Charleston.


Love this house in Charleston with the huge witches hat on the roof!

It also seems not so very long ago that I was making, along with my mother and grandmother, my Halloween costumes for the elementary school pageant. How I loved planning and preparing “my look“ for the scariest night of the year. As a little girl who adored dress up (and knew at a very early age that she wanted to be a fashion designer) it was heaven for me. I spent hours dreaming of the endless possibilities.


These were the type of “fairy princess” costumes I made for myself -a nd later – for God daughters

While I let the urge to create and make Halloween costumes wane as I grew older, Charleston reignited the idea and the fun.


I am showing you a glimpse of  my last halloween in Charleston where this fun holiday seems to be a big thing. This was evidenced when we estimated that close to 300 kids came to our front door for trick or treat! In all my years of “tricker treaters” I have never experienced anything like it. Not even in the heyday of the 50’s and 60’s when a more innocent era encouraged this type of pastime.


Charleston 2015


Charleston 2015


Celebrating Charleston style


Charleston trick or treaters 2015

There seem to be a plethora of Halloween stores in the south and I have had a ball visiting them, and find myself agog at how times have changed! No more little do it yourself thing where an old sheet with 2 cut outs for eyes became an instant ghost!

My first stop into a “pop up” Halloween mart and I was off and running without all of the major work of the bygone days. I decided to not do “pretty” but “silly and goofy” with rats, snakes, skulls, spiders, skeletons and haunted creatures — it was so much fun.

Fast forward to three weeks ago and the “Grim Reaper” in the guise of Hurricane Matthew blew into town.  I waded into the basement after the deluge and found Halloween and Christmas decorations floating in two feet of water. We saved what we could  but any goblins that moved, talked or breathed smoke were toast.

Taking what was salvaged and adding a bit this year we are back up in business and getting ready for Halloween 2016.


Love all the masks that one can so easily find. I placed a mask at every place setting in case some one had not come in costume – no one escapes!


Masks for the ladies


and masks for the Gents


Masks and hats even for the skeletons


For those who do not know, I do not have a specific dining room in either Weatherstone nor Chisholm House . These rooms are converted upon need. The library in Charleston turns into the dining room, with the library table becoming the dinning table.




I even made my busts of Tommy Jefferson and Ben Franklin wear hats or masks

I mounded the table with all of my halloween paraphernalia, lit everything by candlelight and served a menu I thought fitting for the occasion. I am still working on this year’s menu but have discovered pumpkin cakes by mail, and will have those as well as our homemade  desserts as the finale.





Loved these rodents and skulls (only on Halloween!) – this year I added to the collection with rats and bats that have blinking eyes!

Last year I went as a flapper gal and this year I will be a Chinoiserie figure on the 31st and a good witch (although I shall be in black and hopefully not looking like Margaret Hamilton – the wicked witch) on the 30th. Why celebrate on one day when you can do two—right?


The priest and the nun are saving me from the grasping skeleton!


Friends in gala garb!

img_7386 img_7313

.  Hope you have fun – and Happy Halloween!  – cr

P.S. Just returned to Charleston today and found this on my gate :


Love this town for these kind of things!



26 thoughts on “Happy Halloween

  1. Dear Carolyne,

    So pleased to hear from you. I was worried about you in Charleston and the hurricane.
    Thankfully, you don’t seem to have sustained much damage.
    Halloween is not big in Australia, not sure I am keen on it.

    Hope you are well and happy.


    • Hi Marie, yes we made it through the hurricane in tact, mainly with damage to the garden and the basement – tiresome to clean up, but nothing like many others endured. cr

  2. Hi Carolyne,

    Here in Munich, Germany where I live everything about halloween is still very low key but catching on more and more. It is just so much fun for me to see what you do as I must admit I do miss the decorating. My lady friends here would think I had gone mad. But, I know in time as the custom gets going I will also get going crazy decorating! Much fun to you.

    • Thank you Maria – I’m sure your friends would enjoy it, although nothing wrong with them thinking you’d gone mad! cr

  3. Carolyne, in all the years I have been following your wonderful website, I don’t remember seeing anything Halloween-ish, but the house looks wonderful and very festive. iI bet those kids never saw anything like that, and they looked like they were having a ball. Happy Halloween and BOO!!!! P.S. Loved your and Simon’s costumes!!!

  4. We just attended Jim’s 50th High School Reunion in Kirksville. We drove past your grandparents home in Millard! I have the most fond memories of visiting her Country Gift Shop! It absolutely had an impact on my love for beautiful things and gift wrap! Wishing you a blessed holiday season!
    Jim & Jana Martin

    • Sorry Jana —this comment somehow escaped me —I am happy to know you visited my Grandmother’s shop. I loved that shop and spent hours there with and without my grandmother. She was ahead of time in display and packaging and has been such an important influence in my life. Our interests were identical –I was the little sponge soaking up everything she did. A joyous holiday season to you both —carolyne( jane as I was known as a child)

  5. Happy Halloween Carolyne ? I love Halloween but it’s my close to my birthday so now I don’t look forward to it as much?

  6. What a table setting for Halloween – gloriously creepy !! You really put me in the mood for this holiday that always brings in the fall season with fun. Thanks for sharing your wonderful photos, especially the Trick or Canning note at the end ? Have a Happy Halloween !

    • Thank you Linda – I too loved the note, and such simple gestures can go such a long way.
      Hope you enjoy your own ‘gloriously creepy’ Halloween! cr

  7. Hi Carolyne,

    In the fifth Halloween image (kids on the porch) I can see your lovely balustrade, which I have seen in earlier Charleston house pictures. Does it date to the home’s historical era, is it original to 1830s?

    It must be satisfying to associate it with stone balustrades you’ve encountered in France, you wrote once of taking inspiration from the garden façade at Vaux le Vicomte, which I know through graduate school slide tests. Forgive this mention of older topics but my mind shifts to the balustrade on Fontainebleu’s glorious exterior staircase. I adore that Palace, so thank you for your pictures of the Galerie des Cerfs’ wall-mounted stags’ heads and painted wooden ceiling. And I bow to King Francis for turning his hunting lodge into a sumptuous palace with Italian Renaissance-style architecture. I’m not sure which subsequent king commissioned the grandiose horseshoe shaped staircase, but I’m thrilled he indulged himself.

    In the Forest of Fontainebleu I encountered those giant limestones that are depicted in the Barbizon painters’ landscapes. They are real. The rocks date to a time when the forest was a body of water.

    – Virginia Billeaud Anderson

    • Thank you for all that fascinating information–love learning new things! Also I love that you are is intrigued with all that french beauty as I am. regards carolyne ( sorry for the late response—was going through the blog and just discovered this unanswered comment)

  8. Love the decorations and the house I love how you do everything on such a grand scale. You and Simon look great in your costumes. Happy Halloween. BOO!!!!

  9. Treat! Thank you for this delightful Trick or Treat gift. As always you provide us with such beautiful inspiration. Wishing you and all of Charleston a happy and safe Halloween!

  10. I ttruly love reading your blogs, they are always so beautiful.
    Having been in the table linen business for 30 years, I love to see your table settings.
    I pride myself in doing a beautiful table as well.
    Living in France part time and shopping the flea markets, I have tons of antique table linens which are so beautifully hand embroidered. You can’t get that type of workmanship anymore.
    Love to you and yours,

    • Thank you Audrey….I can only imagine what you come across in those flea markets – sounds like my kind of heaven! cr

  11. Dear Carolyne,

    How was this year’s Halloween party?
    Did you change the table decoration from last year?
    Just curious!

    Marie ?????

    • Hi Marie—I did change it some—because some of the decorations were destroyed by Hurricane Mathew and also adding and twisting things is fun—cannot justify throwing out all each season too expensive but as I invited many of the same guests one does want to have a new twist. Hope all is well with you. warm regards carolyne

  12. It looks like you had a ball and everything looks absolutely gorgeous and ghastly. LOL. Perfect for Halloween, especailly the black rats on the dishes. Perfect touch, as you always do.
    I’m sure Charleston is now richer in it’s love for Halloween and all the holidays now that you are a resident. Love it all.
    God bless,
    Lisa M.Fernandez

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