Student Elspeth Furey decorates Pearson House for Halloween


Elspeth Furey decorated the Pearson House in an “Alice in Wonderland” theme.

As a kid, Elspeth Furey was not a fan of Halloween. The haunted houses around her neighborhood made Halloween a strictly scary experience.

But as a senior at Webster, she dressed up almost every day during the 13 days leading up to Halloween in intricate, handmade costumes. She also decorated the entirety of Pearson House in an “Alice in Wonderland” theme.

Webster senior Elspeth Furey stands outside of Pearson House in her Mad Hatter costume by the bush where she “painted the roses red.” Furey decorated Pearson House in an “Alice in Wonderland” theme for Halloween and dressed up every day in the 13 days leading up to Halloween. Photo by Charlotte Renner.

“They gave me a small budget to work with and I just went wild,” Furey said.

Although the College of Arts and Sciences helped her financially, Furey made and put up all of the decorations herself. Human-sized flowers are taped to the wall, bread-and-butterflies hang from the ceiling and white roses painted red dot the bushes outside.

Little puff-ball-headed creatures with legs (mome raths) stand on the landing of the stairs. Large playing cards are scattered around on the walls. A tiny paper Alice is trapped in a jar on a table in the foyer.

Furey also incorporated famous quotes from “Alice in Wonderland” into the decorations. The famous line from the Cheshire Cat, “go this way or that way, they’re mad wherever you go,” is what inspired her to decorate Pearson House in this theme.

“As a senior philosophy major, a lot of it is feeling like you’re going down the rabbit hole,” Furey said. “There’s a lot of entering a new space, a new place with new thoughts and new ideas. I feel like [this theme] echoes some of that.”

Furey originally started out at Webster as a costume construction major, later switching to philosophy. This experience in costume design helped her create many costumes for Halloween, including the Mad Hatter. Furey said this is her favorite part of the holiday.

“I love the dressing up portion of [Halloween] and getting to be something you don’t normally get to be,” Furey said.

Webster senior Elspeth Furey dresses up as the Mad Hatter in the Pearson House on October 28, 2021. In the 13 days leading up to this year's Halloween, Furey dressed up almost every day in a different handmade costume. She also decorated the Pearson House for Halloween in an "Alice in Wonderland" theme. Photo by Charlotte Renner.
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