Buffalo Horn Mirror – Horn, Mercury Glass, Brass and Wood – C. 1890

When the sweet old lady allowed me to take this off the wall she insisted that I not remove the black cloth that was draped over the horns and covering the mirror. She chuckled nervously as she told me the tale. Her father had died suddenly in 1933 and her mother, being a good if superstitious wife covered all the mirrors in the house… Except this one which had been hung on the back of the garage door and missed. Family lore said that fleeting glances of the father could be seen in the background of the mirror ever since then. A flash of pale white skin against a dark room or the smudge of black hair against a sunny window fleetingly seen over ones shoulder. When her mother passed she was bidden to always keep the mirror covered lest the angry spirit of her father emerge. And so she did. This mirror had been covered for over 80 years when we bought it. We’ve since spent accumulated hours staring into the mirror, waiting and hopeful. Perhaps the ire of the spirit is reserved for family only. Perhaps he waits still, in the void between life and death, in the depth of the looking glass, lost forever, confused and hopeless haunting the midlands of the afterworld. Perhaps.