GALION — Mirror, mirror, on the wall makes for really cool Halloween decorations.
That’s what Alice Matthews of Galion thought earlier this year, so she went right to work some six months ago to create a unique and creative display for the Charles Street home she shares with her husband, John Frazee. Their house is located near Donley Ford.
“She started way back in March and April,” Frazee said. “She goes, ‘I’m getting ready for Halloween.’ I was like (looking at his watch), ‘It’s only March.’ She said, ‘I wanna paint.’ I told her well, paint then. I just kept refilling her coffee cup for her.”
The front of the house is adorned with stylish, framed mirrors, each featuring a different witch or female villain from popular films, television shows, and literature. Some of the characters featured include Morticia from “The Addams Family,” Disney’s Maleficent, the Wicked Witch of the West from “The Wizard of Oz,” the witch from “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” Lillian Munster from “The Munsters” television series, and the Sanderson sisters from the Disney film “Hocus Pocus.”
“I just wanted to do something unique,” Matthews said. “I thought the mirrors with the witches would really be different and unique.”
The small fence along the road in front of the house features paintings of several popular horror film characters: Pennywise from “It,” Michael Myers from “Halloween,” Jason from “Friday the 13th,” and Frankenstein of both literary and film fame.
“(The display) was (John’s) design. I just painted the mirrors,” said Matthews, who is a lifelong artist. “He put them all up. It’s supposed to be witches, all witches (on the mirrors). Then on the fence it’s all slashers. Michael Myers, Jason; I even did the old Frankenstein. I couldn’t resist. I tried to get (the Crypt Keeper) from ‘Tales from the Crypt’ done, but I didn’t have time. It was a real chore finding mirrors, because I didn’t want just plain mirrors.”
They began looking for interesting styles of mirrors all over the place, purchasing most of the mirrors at garage sales to use as the medium for the project, Frazee said.
“We got one of them clear up in Port Clinton,” he said.
“We only paid $3 and $5 for most of them and then we found out some of them were worth about $160 on Etsy,” Matthews added.
While decorating the house for Halloween and other holidays is an annual rite, Matthews said this is “the first and last time” for the mirror project.
“It’s a lot of work,” she said.
The display has been quite the attention-grabber for motorists passing by their house, Matthews said.
“They’ll stop in the yard and some of them will even walk up to the house to see them,” she said. “I’m okay with it. That’s what I did it for. So people can come and look. Everybody loves the witches, though.”
Matthews said she worked on the Halloween project in between fulfilling requests for her pieces that she receives from people on a regular basis. She recently decorated old gas cans for a customer and also painted scenes on chairs for another customer. She also paints signs and makes masks.
“I just painted the Harley Davidson (logo) on a gas can and a guy bought that,” Matthews said. “John says I’ll paint on anything I can get my hands on.”
Matthews also bakes and decorates cakes.
Matthews said she has lupus, which affects her hands, and wanted to undertake one last major decorating project while she was still able to do so.
“My hands are going, so I wanted to go a little crazy painting,” Matthews said.
Matthews said she was inspired to seriously pursue art when she was a student at Galion High School.
“My art teacher was Mr. Alesch. He was great,” Matthews said. “He inspired me a lot to just go crazy. He always said, ‘Paint what you see.’ I never really understood that. But now I paint with my heart. He was right.”