When I was a little girl, watching television was only a small part of my big day of playing and pretending. In fact, the only show I remember seeing regularly was Captain Kangaroo. Bob Keeshan and his team put together arguably the finest children’s programming ever. Parked in a child-sized wooden rocker with a glass of milk and a graham cracker, I sat mesmerized for an hour while my mother enjoyed a bit of peace. I am sure I laughed at the antics of Bunny Rabbit, Mr. Moose, Dancing Bear, and Mister Greenjeans, but my favorite part of the show was when Captain Kangaroo would read a story. Mike Mulligan and His Steamshovel, Mary Ann; Caps for Sale; Make Way for Ducklings; and A Snowy Day were a few of my favorites, and they are books that I read to my own children years later. One book that the Captain read that I absolutely loved was Georgie, a tale of a sweet and curious ghost. I loved Georgie’s shyness. The line drawings of a quaint New England house and its owners, the Whittakers captivated me, and I loved the simple prose that author Robert Bright used to tell his ghostly tales.When we were in New York this past fall, we spent a delightful rainy Sunday morning browsing through the Corner Bookstore, where I found another favorite ghost story, Ghosts in the House! This charming picture book tells the story of a little girl who buys a house only to discover it is full of ghosts. She makes quick work of catching them, promptly tosses them in the washer, and then stitches them up as curtains and bed linens. It is a delightful book, and I highly recommend you get it for your children or your grandchildren or nieces or nephews or just for yourself, as I did!
So, these were the books I was thinking of when I devised this extremely inexpensive and easy and non-scary way to add some subtle Halloween charm to the T&C house.
Start with white tissue paper, the same kind with which you would line a gift box. You’ll need at least one sheet for each of your front or street side windows. Butcher paper would work well for this project, too.
Next, simply draw out some ghostly shapes, with loose, gentle curves. I tried to leave one corner of each tissue paper intact, to serve as my guide for placement and to prevent the ghosts from looking like blobs! Cut out the shapes with scissors. Here’s our dining room table, covered with a variety of ghost bodies. Next, using a wide-tipped black Sharpie draw simple round eyes and smiles or O-shaped mouths. I made some of each. Be sure to use some newspaper or scrap paper underneath your tissue paper because the Sharpie bleeds through! Finally, place your ghosts in your windows using Magic Scotch tape. It was hard to get a good picture because of the glare, but as you can see there’s a ghost in each window, a few are placed upside down in hopes of giving the appearance of fun-loving spooks whooshing through the house! I found it easiest to put a tiny piece of tape at the top of the ghost’s head to get it into position, and then to tape the body into place. Above is one of the ghosts during the day.
And, here’s the twilight shot.