Halloween Tablescape – Ravenous Raven Graveyard Feast

This is another table from my “Fabulous Fall Tablescaping” class through Longview Community College. I wanted the students to really feel the atmosphere, so I went a little overboard. They say, “The devil’s in the details,” and I guess there’s no better time than Halloween to let the devil do his thing!

Watch this short video (shaky a la “Blair Witch Project” and “Paranormal Activity”) if you want to really get a feel for the sights & sounds my students experienced: doors creaking, wind blowing, bones crunching, strobe lights flashing, and spine tingling screams…or as I like to call it, “Just Another Tuesday Night at the Nichols Household!”
(Click on any photo to enhance/enlarge it. Photos and video by Sheri L. Grant.)

It’s cool. Is this not a face you can trust? 🙂 C’mon in!

At the front door to greet students was a behemoth python (Spirit Halloween) with his steroid-enhanced spider minions. I trained an uplight from across the room onto the vignette to lend a spooky effect. Tip: Whenever you want something to look spooky, just uplight it like they do in the movies!

Students were warned not to venture upstairs where I’d be unable to protect them from the evil that lurked beyond the yellow tape. (My unmade bed and several baskets of dirty laundry! ;-))You could almost hear the stealthy footsteps of the (Dollar Tree) rats as they crept along. (One student – I don’t want to put her on blast, but it was wedding planner Precious Whitmore 😉 – almost lost her lunch when she saw this area. She is terrified by rats…even fake ones!!!)

 The foyer table just beneath the stairwell is quietly aglow with an uplit pumpkin on a black urn and a few LED candles. I used LED candles throughout for safety’s sake.

Are you ready to step into the graveyard to be eaten for dinner?

The dining room table is shrouded in a full-length black linen (LinenTablecloth.com) to give the appearance of the items on top just kind of floating in the relative darkness.

Plates depicting a raven perched in graveyard branches were purchased at our local Hy-Vee grocery store. They were the inspiration for the room’s overall theme.

I used plain clear glass stemware from Old Time Pottery. The flatware is Hampton Silversmiths “San Remo” stainless which in this context takes on a sort of Gothic look. The black & white floral napkins (Stein Mart) adopt a decidedly spookier look when rolled and secured with the spiked napkin ring. The Dollar Tree napkin rings are actually those popular slap on bracelets. These would be really fun as a dual purpose napkin ring/favor for guests! Tip: Stretch your dollars by incorporating favors into the decor!

I had fun creating these menus. The backing is sparkly black paper from Michael’s craft store. I secured the printed page onto the backing with a black brad from Hobby Lobby.

A headstone marks the grave place setting of each guest. You might use gray duct tape upon which to write the names of each victim guest and affix it to the headstone to create a place card. (If you want to really personalize your headstone place cards, click HERE for my good friend and floral guru Kelly Acock’s step-by-step instructions.)

The main part of the centerpiece is this gnarly manzanita branch structure from Gordman’s. It’s big but guests can still see one another. Lurking in the branches are vicious snakes and surly ravens, both from Dollar Tree.

This place is just crawling with bugs…literally! (Dollar Tree) Maggots have transformed into flies that crawl upon the mossy earth around the headstones and beneath the trees.

I wanted to use something of a floral nature that would still be kind of dark and morose. This blood red faux boxwood seemed to do the trick in a black glass vase.

A delightful Halloween buffet awaits. Come and get it…if you dare!

Start your meal with an appetizer of assorted finger foods. Move on down the buffet line to a tasty Silence of the Lambs-inspired liver & fava bean salad. You have your pick of entrées including a ghoulishly gastronomical delight of brains with death cap mushrooms picked from our very own yard. Bwahahahahaha! (Entrails and severed body parts all from Dollar Tree.)

These tasty morsels may look like calamari at first glance, but they’re actually shrunken & skeletonized hands freshly plucked from unmarked graves. Notice the lovely tarnish on the silver.

When we say “fresh”, we mean fresh!!! The blood has barely begun to coagulate on another enticing entrée called “Nevermore Hand Hash.” Enjoy the crunchy goodness of bone casserole served with slithering snakes. And for dessert: lovely lady fingers, of course! Once again, take notice of the tarnished silver. (It took incredible restraint to let all of these silver pieces tarnish like this in anticipation of using them for Halloween!!!!!) Tip: The Dollar Tree “blood” is fun to work with, but it WILL STAIN WOOD FINISHES!!!!!!!!!! I found this out the hard way! 😦

A lot of the food is still alive when served, and chasing it down really works up a thirst. Quench that thirst and wash down your meal with one of our mellow libations. (Libation labels from Spirit Halloween.)

I created this spooky Halloween “tree” using a fallen limb from our yard augmented with several curly willow branches tied in with a virtually undetectable dark-colored wired jute. I secured the branches under dark river stones in a black urn that I sat on a box (disguised by a black linen) to lend a bit more height. The votive hangers were hand-fashioned from a medium gauge floral wire. Once again, LED candles are used to be safe around the dry wood. I finished the arrangement off with mounds of Spanish moss.

Beneath the tree in true spooky graveyard fashion are miscellaneous bones, a skull, and runaway eyeballs.

Thick blood pours from lighted skulls on the decorative sconces.

I gave chairs a ghostly look by covering them with oblong table linens. The same effect can be achieved with queen- or king-sized bed sheets.

The top of the china cabinet is decorated with moss- and lichen-covered branches.

As usual, Geoffrey insisted on joining the fun! Masquerading as the Angel of Death, I barely recognized him! 😉

Other Halloween tablescapes on this site:
Serpents & Skullduggery
Hollywood Fright Night
It’s the Great Pumpkin!

I’m joining the following blog parties in the coming week:
♠ The Tablescaper’s “Seasonal Sunday
♠ Cuisine Kathleen’s “Let’s Dish!” (Wednesday after 6:00 p.m. CDT)
♠ The Style Sisters’ “Centerpiece Wednesday” (Wednesday after 9:00 a.m. CDT)
♠ Susan’s “Tablescape Thursday” (Thursday after 9:00 a.m. CDT)
♠ Yvonne’s “Tips, Tidbits & Tutorials” (Thursday after 9:00 a.m. CDT)

62 thoughts on “Halloween Tablescape – Ravenous Raven Graveyard Feast

  1. Pingback: Serpents & Skullduggery « Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One

  2. ooooh.. ooooh. ooooh. wow! double wow. Alycia, you are a ghoulish but loveable creature! If this isn’t the most cleverly done table, I don’t know what is. The video rocks!!! see I’d have lost my lunch with the snakes.. The door wouldn’t have had time to hit my backside on the way out. Those plates remind me of the smaller ones I have, seriously. I used them last halloween. (http://marlisbennett.blogspot.com/2011/10/ravens-tale-ablescape.html) but mine don’t have the crow on them. And you got all that inspiration just from the plates? creepily wonderful. I love the centerpiece another wow. And the corner tree. wow again. Okay and the dishes.. well they just whet my appetite! I can hardly wait to partake. You rock!! and so does this table. xo marlis


  3. Wow, Alycia, you went all out!! I love it!! You literally covered every single detail (and surface) with Halloween creepiness! Where do you get the energy? The food looks fabulous!! LOL!!!


  4. OMG I loved that video! You had way too much fun with this! I love that centerpiece and the tree in the corner! What great effects! Those dishes couldn’t be more perfect either! The finger food (lol!) looks so appetizing! Love the rats and snakes- every bit of it! You ought to charge admission for the kids in the neighborhood and make them work to get their treat!!


  5. OMG

    I think I have my crucifix in hand, trying to navigate this post!

    This is better than Rosanne Barr who is reputedly the Queen of Halloween, or at least she was till Martha Stewart showed her true colors (and competitive nature).

    As a kid I got nightmares from Roy Rogers and Gene Autry fighting the bad guys, so please know that I never have gotten into all the spookiness of Halloween. It is fun to see what those like you who love it like to do, but me? I try to ignore it, pretend it doesn’t exist. I have been known to leave my porch light off and hide.

    Never mind that I met Sweet Husband at a Halloween party.

    This is fantastic! Your attention to detail blows my mind.


  6. Alycia, this is scary as h..e..l..l……!! I’m afraid to come to Halloween dinner if you have one. The idea and creativity is out of this world!


  7. I would have never been able to eat a thing at this table…Everything is so scary, in an absolutely perfect way. You should be staging Broadway plays…you have one of the most creative minds I’ve ever come across. Your students won’t sleep for a month. Cherry Kay


  8. Very scary place. You have really pulled everything together perfectly for this ravenous dinner. I bet your students were terrified. Look what you can create when you have a vivid imagination. The menu looks mighty yummy! LOL Love the tree you created..It’s wonderful with the plates with branches. Sorry you had a problem with the fake blood. Good old Dollar store has so many fun gadgets. Love it!


  9. Okay, this one, as they say, TAKES THE CAKE!!! This is the most detailed, fun, scary table I’ve seen done. It is simply fabulous, Alycia! I just don’t even know where to begin, from the decidely scary and unappealing food (LOL) down to the napkin rings, to the twigs and the wine bottle labels…just inbelievable. So creative!! And your text is perfect…you really brought me into the scene. (Poor wedding planner…I understand her fear.) I hope this makes it far and wide on the internet–it’s awesome!!! 🙂 ~Zuni


  10. Very creepy and stunning, lol.. I love it, I went through it 3X’s!! Such fun tablescape, all the bones there for dinner look fabulous!! I can imagine the faces your students had, hahahaheheheheeeeee………..You and your incredible imagination, like no ther, my friend. I see you picking your pretty face from a little cubby hole, lol You would tyhink there’s a show going on right this minute…like the Adam’s family, or something!! Really cracked me up! I love the dishes and the tree with lights is awesome!! Really FABULOUS dear Alycia!! Thanks for the entertaining too. Big Hugs,


  11. AWESOME ! I love Halloween and it looks like you do too. My husband and I used to host a Halloween party/hayride here in the country. I liked to use dead limbs and hedge apples on the table for decor. A good time was had by all.


  12. Oh My Alycia, I think you have officially outdone yourself! The whole scene is perfectly spooktacular! I’m actually afraid to say that the fingers sticking out of the iced silver bowl is my favorite! Positively Creepy!


  13. Alycia, again you outdid yourself! What elaborate Halloween you have created! I can’t wait to see what Christmas is going to look like. That is, if you survive the gouls and goblins that will be coming to visit. I’m sure everyone of them will be as they will feel right at home there.


  14. OMGoodness Alycia, do you ever sleep?? Your imagination must be going non-stop!!! The food is extra creepy for a frightful Halloween experience. It’s like being in a scary haunted house.


  15. Alycia,
    those are some lucky students to have you for a teacher. Where else would they ever get such an full-on Halloween experience?? You covered every dark detail to perfection. I know they have no idea how much time and energy it took you to pull it all together, but I do and I am amazed. So fun, wish I could have been there. Dianne


  16. Oh Alycia!!! This is so spooky that I don’t think I could even sit at your table let alone eat anything!! I can see I will have to have a trip to the USA in October to see these amazing displays!! Nothing like that here in Australia.


  17. Alycia~ Your students must have been squealing & screaming in horrific delight! What fun you must have had planning and putting this together, and what effort you went to for your class! I love your twisted Halloween votive tree in your urn and your menu is over the top, ghoulishly gruesome 🙂 Love your raven perched plates from the grocery store~ that would make grocery shopping much more fun for me! Happy Haunting!


  18. First of all I ish our grocery store had such fabulous plates! Theyvare perfect! Your attention to EVERY SINGLE DETAIL is amazingly creative! The tree, the FOOD, the settings, everything is wonderful. Those poor students will never be the same:):) XO, Pinky PS, you are adorable.


  19. Hi darling, oh my gosh.. what a party this would be to go to… your attention to detail is incredible.. the fingers in the icebox are a little freaky. Then again I guess they’re suppose to be huh? Each year I plan a table and then get side tracked..I’m on a mission for crows… obsessed with finding them at an affordable price.. you know a CHEAP.. lol… as always I so enjoy your tables. Hope you faired the storm last night ok.. hugs ~lynne~


  20. Alycia, I’m sure you had a lot of fun doing this scary party and I just bet your students were thrilled.This has to be a big hit with all the effects you use and those scary sounds. It’s fun to go overboard sometimes. Great job on the decorating.


  21. You have, indeed, taken this one all the way to the GRAVE girl!! This is fabulous, such thinking, and planning to pull this one off but looks like you were thrifty with your Dollar Tree items. I must get some of the crows! The plates were perfect, love the tree pattern on them. I don’t do well with snakes, so that one would have sent me running and screaming and the finger foods would be hard to swallow. So clever you are my friend! Don’t think your mind is ever at rest, such a given talent you posses.


  22. This is just too much fun, Alycia! I love it all. Especially the table centerpiece of the white trees with the ravens–how Edgar Allen Poe-cool is that? Way cool! Your students must have had a blast at this class. The LED lights and strobe lights were a nice touch–definitely lent to the spooky atmostphere. Brava!


  23. I don’t know how much the participants in your class are paying for your tutelage, but they are getting more than their moneys worth! Your whole setup is really ghoulish, and I can only guess at how much time and effort you put into creating it. The wine labels are great. Wouldn’t they be great for my wine bottle candelabras? I have to tell you though, I’m passing on the finger food!


  24. Okay, so this was so really amazing! I bet your students flipped when they saw this. The food was totally amazingly disgusting — did you have any takers. Loved the plates. This was so way over the top. Thanks for letting us in for a positively creepy experience. You do know how to to do Halloween. Joni


  25. I haven’t even clicked the video yet, and I’m chuckling so hard at this one that my shoulders are bobbing. You totally outdid yourself!! This is all just wonderful and so creative. I giggled at the not going upstairs part and all the crazy food ideas. The table itself was chock full of “steal-ables”. I really love the branches for the centerpiece and well, just everything.

    And I really want some napkins or something with the flying monkey comment. Giggling again.


  26. Not only do you have mad decorating skills, your writing is always great. This is one of my favorites from you and you make me want to get up and create something. High 5 girl!!!!


  27. Love, love, love your spiked napkin rings from a slap bracelet!! Genius!! You continue to amaze me with your creative and original ideas! You certainly mastered the art of creepy!!


  28. LOVE IT! Every creepy bit of it! I love your sense of humor and style Alycia! I heart thos plates too! I haven’t seen the flies at our Dollar Tree but I am going to grab them if I do! My favorite? The tree limb with the votives! Your are the Queen of Halloween friend 🙂


  29. They are sure getting their money’s worth out of you! This is amazing! I can’t believe those great plates are from the supermarket! Is there any marking on the back? Maybe I could hunt them down!
    Love the centerpiece, the napkins, every spooky thing! Great job!
    Thanks so much for linking to Let’s Dish!


  30. Fantastic table, Alycia, it is spooky…the snakes on the branches give me the shivers. I would rather face a rat than a snake. The centerpiece is totally awesome! Thanks for sharing your talent each week, it is such an inspiration to many of us.


  31. Alycia, You are just too funny with that video! Actually it is terrifying but I do love the tree and the dishes. However, I wouldn’t be able to get in to see it all, because there is NO WAY I would be walking in past that legless creature on the pumpkin near the door. And then MORE of them inside!!!! I may be having nightmares tonight–yep I’m that terrified! If you hear screams coming from the direction of Connecticut it’s just me. 🙂 Linda


  32. Oh Lawd! This is quite disturbing to see and hear. LOL! No offense but I hereby dub you the Queen of Creepy! The tree branches are genius because they add such a feeling of cold empty bareness to me. The fingers on ice are a chilling sight as well. But of all your very well thought out creepy elements I have to say the snakes at the table are the best, (or worse! LOL!). That would have done me in instantly! You should open up your doors for Halloween and let your trick or treators take a stroll through the dining room if they dare. Fun stuff! Happy Halloween Queen!


  33. My friend, I just came back to let you know I’m at Tablescape Thursday with a Halloween tablescape…BUT, after looking at yours, it is hardly a spooky anything, lol..Your tablescape is amazing my frined, for someone who doesn’t care for it, hahahaha Did Ramon come back yet? Are you still alone sweetie? Very big hugs to you!


  34. Hi darling, thanks for swinging in, sure glad I didn’t put the candlesticks in a garage sale, sure prevented you from hitting me huh? When you were by did you receive a pop up of any sort? I’m having a terrible time with the blog, searching for answers to the problem… try to stay grounded over there today, it’s going to be a windy one. hugs ~lynne ~


  35. Hi my lovely friend..how you doing?
    LOVE LOVE this creepy Halloween post. Bold, gorgeous and dramatic as always. Cute details here.
    What a talent you got!
    Thanks for sharing.
    Have a great weekend:)


  36. You did a fabulous job. I like all the branches and how you used all your silver pieces. It has made me rethink the table I am working on now. Hmmm.. Thanks for the ideas.


  37. What fun it would be to take your class! I love those plates, and I can’t believe they came from a grocery store. That centerpiece is perfection with the plates. That tree with the candles hanging on it is amazing. Alycia, you do know how to par-tay, including the special sound effects. I bet your students were in awe of your H’ween party. I know I am. laurie


  38. Alycia…I do not think i have ever seen such an unbelievable Halloween display before…the table is so over the top creative…down to the font of the menu…and I must say the food display is pretty creepy…I mean, I am not sure if I could regain my appetite with the “fingers on ice”….you have such a fantastic imagination…those plates are perfect….Your students must have had a “night to remember”….who would of thought that creepy could be beautiful!!!


  39. Alycia, you really got into the Halloween spirit — and outdid yourself to boot! My daughters would love this tablescape and all the “preview” that went with it. Personally, I’m not into all the blood and gore, but that’s okay because I think you enjoyed it enough for both of us! 🙂 So sorry about your blood-stained furniture…


  40. Pingback: Moss & Manzanitas « Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One

  41. Pingback: Most Egg-cellent Fall Breakfast | Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One

  42. Pingback: Hollywood Fright Night | Tablescapes at Table 21

  43. Pingback: The Spider & the Fly | Tablescapes at Table /Twenty-One

  44. Pingback: Eternal Love – A Halloween Anniversary Party | Tablescapes at Table /Twenty-One

Thank you for visiting. If you would care to leave a comment about this post, please do! I appreciate the feedback!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.