Vintage Halloween Cards

DIY Halloween idea - chicken wire in the yard + glow in the dark paint make  ghosts in the front yard.

Chicken wire formed into gowns and sprayed with glow-in-the-dark paint.

These days, it seems Halloween is all about parties and/or seeing how much candy you can accumulate in one night (and it’s corollary – how sick you can be the following morning…if you make it that long). I liked it better when it was still a bit creepier.

I love Vintage Halloween cards. They’re a bit edgier with the superstitions. Some of them would scare the bejeezus out of young children today. A few of them even raise the hair on the back on my neck. Pumpkin Heads seeking salvation! Witches at the window choosing which child to eat! Smelly black elves and devils galore!

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There was a line of Halloween cards that pictured the old wives’ tale that if you look in a mirror on Halloween you’ll see your true beloved and/or future spouse. (I am so glad Mr. Collins is fictional!)

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Men, of course, would never be caught fondly gazing into a mirror. They gazed into the fire, although why a sweetheart in flames would be appealing I’ll never know. Old wives’ tales are like that.

halloween mirror for men

“Look into the flames on hallowe’en Night.

Perhaps the face of an old hag you may see in the Light.

But let love shine in your eyes then surely you will see

The face of your sweetheart and your bride to be.”

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Fortune telling at Halloween seems to have been popular, with messages in reverse so one had to hold the card up to the mirror to read the fortune.

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And I think we may have documentation of the first emoticons:

the first emoticons?

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(News flash: for the first time in many weeks I woke up without any elbow pain. It’s a bit achy again now, but I think the rest and aspirin have the worst part of it done. Still going to baby it for a while longer, then it’s back to sewing. YAY!)

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6 thoughts on “Vintage Halloween Cards

  1. So many great Halloween cards! I’ve never seen such scary Jack-o-lanterns before. Shiver. I love the last card with the emoticons. Darling and ahead of its time.

    I adore the ghostly (chicken wire) dresses. I want to make some! (Won’t happen, but I want. 😉 )

    Hooray for your elbow improvement!

    • I was so surprised to discover how Halloween cards had changed. I’ve gotten so used to seeing “cute” or “comical” that the scarier cards were an eye-opener. The one that gets to me is the field of lost Pumpkin Heads trying to get to heaven….100% bonafide creepy.

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