Today's Inspiration: 19th Century Spirit Photography

The leaves are turning and it is getting colder. It is time to start thinking of one of my favorite times of the year. Halloween! In honor of my favorite holiday, I have chosen some of my most inspiring Victorian Spirit Photographs finds, as well as my most own 19th Century inspired haunted illustration.


Anonymous - c1870s spirit photograph of two ghostly figures, one of which is a young nun.

Although, most of this Victorian Spirit photography is known to be the artists trickery. I still love the results. And maybe just for a moment, having a photo where the sitter believed their loved one was still with them was helpful, maybe even healing, I hope anyway.

The Spiritualism Movement still fascinates me, even though I am too much of a skeptic to believe it to be real...But sometimes, especially at this time of year, I allow my mind to wander and let myself believe a bit more.

I mean who doesn't love a good ghost story?


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William Hope, Family Group with Two Spirits, c.1920

From The National Media Museum

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Wylie, Mrs. Bentley and the Spirit of her Deceased Sister, c.1920

National Media Museum

Edward Wyllie Spirit Photograph c. 1900

Edward Wyllie Spirit Photograph c. 1900


William Mumler, Mrs. French with a Child "Ghost", 1868

As promised, here is my illustrated ode to Victorian Spirit Photography. The Ghosts in the photos, were they tricks of the camera or memories of things not to be explained?

This is the sad tale of Mr. And Mrs. Thomas Lewis and their son, Fredrick separated by the cruel curse of Cholera. Their love (and sadness) lingers in the air all around them. One must wonder, will they be reunited on All Souls Eve?

Debra Styer, "And Her Soul Lingers", 2017


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Available here in the shop!

Happy Halloween, Everyone!

New Illustration...Getting a Bit Batty for Halloween!

There is something so great about the ending of summer and upcoming autumn months. The fall is my favorite time of year and I am ready to for the cooler days and the changing color of the leaves. The energy in the air changes, it is time to get back to work and get serious.

That being said I am also mentally getting myself ready for Halloween. I know it is a bit early but I LOVE this time of year and I am creating some new work in honor of the upcoming spooky holiday...and "Everyday is Halloween", right?

So I would like to introduce you all to Herman! He a sweet little brown bat that pays a bit of a homage to all the tiny bats I grew up with that lived around my families barn. I imagine little Herman zooming around the night skies looking for new friends to fill his heart and perhaps a bug or two to fill his tummy.

This cutie is now available in the



I hope you all like him!

Super Creepy & Wonderful Vintage Halloween Masks Ahead.

Halloween is just around the corner. I can't wait! I better get working on my mask. I'm not sure what I'll be. It is an under water theme amongst my friends this year. (They do an haunted house in SF.) I better get thinking...

What do I like in a mask? The creepier the better... no pretty things for me.
I think the best masks are handmade, a little off  and usually pretty old. 

Here's to the lovely, vintage and weird...

Spooky Edwardian 1910 via national geographic

Creepy Skeleton mask from 1938 via Boston Public Library

Dog Masks via Graves and Gouls

The Lovely vintage witches via Always Halloween
too cute to not include...Vintage kitty costume via Maudelynn
A little music with your spooks... via My Heart is a terrorist
Creepy Halloween group of musicians from 1920's via here
The baby scares me more than the mouse.... via My Little Time Machine
When costumes weren't so obvious from 1905 via
Little ghost...via national geographic archives

Sisters/masked cowboys from 1950's via Shorpy
What has been your favorite Halloween costume? I've been going with a semi-victorian theme the last few years, but this year, I wanna do something new.

I hope you got some inspiration from my old masks and costumes. What will you be this year?

New Illustration - Into the Woods

 As many of you may know, I have a deep passion for all things dark. Illustrating fairy tales is a great way to get some of this "Grimm" creativity unleashed. I just love painting a world of darkness. I like strong heroines that will usually survive the harshness that come their way. This is the case with my new illustration, "Into the Woods". The young girl is set out on her own as a punishment and she must face her deepest fears...and all the creepy harmful beings in the woods. Will she survive? Well, I'm creating her as a fighter...but only the next illustration will tell.

"Into the Woods" by Debra Styer is 6x8, painted with Watercolor and Gouache.

A closer look....

What is your favorite Fairy Tale? Do you like your stories spooky or sweet?
Oh yeah...a print of this lovely illustration is available in my shop!

Haunted Places

I thought I share this amazing haunted house I walked by the other day in Alameda, CA. I love when people have such passion for these things. It really made my day. My friend told that the folks behind this amazingness are set designers and, man you really can see that they do this for a living. Great job!

Here is a peek at their transformed house...

Donner Hotel "All You Can Eat Buffet" ha..ha..
Mister Bones
DOA Corral
So fun...I must make it there when it is dark out.