Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A ViNtaGe HaLLOwEeN ~ Boo!


and my faithful readers!

Yes, yes, I know.  This is suppose to be my shop blog.  But, being a "theme" kind of person, I had to do a Halloween "themed" blog for my shop.  You know my type .... I am the one who insists on hosting Bunco in a holiday month so I could have a theme party (I have November! Yeah!), married on Valentine's Day and on every Independence Day, carry a red, white and blue wicker picnic basket to the beach donning an Old Navy 4th of July t-shirt to watch fireworks. And please, don't even get me started on Christmas ..... Christmas lights necklace, anyone?  

I do have my struggle with Halloween.  Handing out candy has become expensive and fruitless.  The trick-or-treaters dwindle by numbers as each year passes and a teenager showing up on my doorstep with a pillow case for candy and blue hair doesn't constitute a costume.  I can see that get-up about any day of the week in Paia Town.  I also end up eating more candy than what I pass out to all the little princesses, ninja warriors and Freddy Krugers.  There is also the spiritual conflict and moral issues......just take a walk down Front Street in Lahaina when the sun goes down on Halloween.  You'll either run away with your tail between your legs or wake up the next morning with your mind in a fog, one shoe missing and your pants on backwards.

I still like to nibble on candy corn although they are HORRIBLE for you teeth


Halloween for me is more nostalgic and so I thought it would be fitting to reminiscence and look back on Halloween paraphernalia turned "collectables".  Some things you'll remember, others will surprise you. Also, when you are out there hunting for antiques, look for some of these Halloween goodies that can now bring Big Bucks!

Me and my two sisters, Vicki and Danielle .... either I am ready to go trick-or-treating or learning how to walk.  Either way, I look pretty anxious to get the party rolling.

Danielle as a gypsy, brother Steve as a Hobo and me as a Dutch Girl minus the hat.    There was a hat, one of those "Flying Nun" numbers.  That Charlie Brown headed baby is my brother, Jeff.


Children from a bygone era dressed up for Halloween.  Look at the little girl in the center.  Her stance and face scream "ATTITUDE"! 

I never liked wearing a mask.  It was hard to breath in and the smell that ensued became unbearable

Here in America, dressing in costumes for Halloween dates back to the 1900's.  By the 1930's pre-made Halloween costumes hit the store shelves by companies like Ben Cooper Inc. and A.S. Fishbach and other firms.  Mass production made these boxed costumes relatively inexpensive at the time.  But today's price tags on these same, now vintage costumes can run from $75 to $1500.  Look for costumes in their original box with costume and mask intact.  The most desirable costumes are ones depicting cartoon and television characters or politicians (aka ~cartoon characters).  Ben Cooper Inc. was the leading seller of Halloween costumes in the 1940's.  The pumpkin head mask with the skeleton body was their most popular costume.  

Originally sold for $1.99, this costume is now valued at $75!

My mother never bought us store boxed costumes.  She was a clever lady and took pride in her sewing skills.  We always had home-made costumes and in later years, we created our own costumes....being a"hippie" was an easy costume in the 1970's.

Vintage Mc Call's and Simplicity Patterns

Visit for a plethora of vintage costume patterns .... or any vintage pattern you may be looking for...or for brief stroll down memory lane.


Look for Beistle Company and Dennison Manufacturing Halloween products.  Both are well known suppliers of die-cut Halloween decorations and are still in business today.   Beistle is desired by collectors because of their quality paper and die-cut decorations, centerpieces, paper plates and cups.

Scary Cats and Pumpkins

A 1920's Beistle Co. Witch Decoration


Bugle Toys were the leading manufacturers of Halloween noisemakers from rattles, ratchets, clangers and tambourines.  The earlier noisemakers are constructed of  tin bodies with sculpted wooden handles.  Later versions had plastic handles.

Little hand held drums 

 Noisemakers were primarily made for parties in the 1920's and 1930's.  Although thousands were sold few survived intact. 

This German made noisemaker is valued at $275

Wooden Handle Noisemakers (@Heartland Vintage Shop on

Paper Ephemera

Spooky placecards and invitations from the early 20th century command serious prices. A complete set of World War I– era die-cut invites by a paper purveyor like Dennison of Massachusetts can cost $200 to $300 if never addressed. This one card, a trifold jack-o’-lantern invite was made by Beistle in 1918. (From Oct. 2010 Country Living Magazine

Vintage invitations
A tally card for a Halloween Game ( )

Another Vintage Halloween Invitation (


An inexpensive Halloween collectable ~ postcards~ offer lots in color, detail and vintage fun. Use them for party decorations, crafting or for scrapbook memories.

A pumpkin in a Oriental robe?

Hiding behind a Jack O'Lantern 

Halloween Innocence 

              OtHeR cOlLeCtAbLeS 

Treat Sacks ~ Once sold for pennies can now fetch up to $30.

Halloween Figurines ~ Made in Germany, small in scale, these plaster composition vintage figurines of pumpkin heads, witches and black cats can sell for as much as $200.

Halloween Games ~ Beistle Company also made Halloween games.  A 11" Fortune Wheel in excellent condition can value at $215.

Even though I am not BIG on Halloween, I do love pumpkins, carving them, saving the seeds and roasting them in the oven with butter and salt. I then eat them when my sweet tooth has gone haywire and I need something salty to counteract the sugar.  This is my pumpkin from last year.  I found this stencil at Better Homes and Gardens ~ ~ where the stencil can be downloaded for free.  There are also many other designs to select from.  I chose this one after seeing jet black ravens perched wearily upon steep pitched roof tops in the tiny seaside village of Mendocino, California.

horizontal spaceOnce upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
`'Tis some visitor,' I muttered, `tapping at my chamber door -
Only this, and nothing more.'
 ~ The Raven
Edgar Allan Poe

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