VINTAGE HALLOWEEN CARDS
In the early 1900s, hundreds of
beautiful Halloween postcards were produced by various companies. Eerie,
bizarre, and often humorous, the cards are a neat look at the beginning of 20th
century culture, and how America embraced Halloween before it became over
commercialized with cartoon characters and insane amounts of candy. I'm
working on The retroCRUSH BIG BOOK OF HALLOWEEN and hope to feature a ton of
these throughout, but here's a big batch of them to tide you over in the
meantime, sorted into special categories.
BOBBING 4 APPLES
If these cards are any
indication, Bobbing for Apples was mighty popular. Though the exact origin
of this custom is unknown, it has outlived less popular variants of the game
like Bobbing for Jicama, Bobbing for Cactus, and Bobbing for Mercy. I
never liked the idea of this game, as people slobbering around in a tub of
water, half biting apples until they finally snare one with their choppers.
They might as well call it Bobbing for Inflenza.
Ahh, "The Joys of Halloween",
indeed! I'll never forget that Halloween from years ago when I would chew
apples hanging on a string with the neighborhood cutie. Well, actually it
was with Mr. Johnson, the crazy Nam Vet down the street and that was supposed to
be "our little secret". And it wasn't an apple. And he was really
dead. And I hated dressing up like a poodle! OK, I'm telling too
much here, sorry!
Black cats have long been a
Halloween symbol. Much has been made of the increased instances of abuse
and even ritual sacrifice of black cats around Halloween time, but thanks to
advances in animal rights laws, Calico, Siamese, and Tabby cats are now
sacrificed equally as often.
LOVE and ROMANCE
These cards show off one of the
more bizarre Halloween customs I've ever heard of. Apparently single women
were encouraged to pray to a flame, either from a candle or a Jack O'Lantern,
then look in the mirror to see their future husband. If they were lucky,
an overly neat foppish gent would appear, but if not, a grinning pumpkin would
be there instead. This odd practice didn't last for long, but it gave way
to the time honored tradition of men looking at the mirror on their shoe to see
what their future brides would look like.
This card spells out the recipe
for catching a man. "With a goose wishbone and four pumpkin seeds marked
with letters love, On Halloween place over door...and he who first passes under,
your future husband is to be - if he don't blunder." Many people don't
realize that this is how Melanie Griffith was able to overcome her fading beauty
and snare Antonio Banderas.
CUTE LI'L KIDS
Here's just some nice cards with
sweet kids enjoying Halloween. I don't know what they say about the early
1900s in particular, but it seems obvious that parents used to carve Jack
O'Lantern baby sitters to watch their children when they went out.
THE HORROR OF PUMPKIN CANNIBALISM!
One of the most endearing images
of Halloween is the Jack O'Lantern. Here's a giant collection of
brilliantly done cars featuring all sorts of pumpkin craziness.
I love this card. It shows
a nice romantic moment between a pumpkin-headed beauty and her watermelon-headed
suitor, but over to the left, her jilted pumpkin-headed father is none too happy
about her interracial dating habits! WATCH OUT! HE'S GOT A GREEN BEAN!
What better way to wish someone a
Happy Halloween than by sending them a card with french-kissing pumpkins?
Decency standards forbid me from showing you the even more disturbing flip side,
that features 2 potatoes going at it with a strap on zucchini.
This card is just twisted! Happy Halloween!
I hope you don't wake up in the middle of the night and find a pumpkin-headed
prowler in your house!
Pumpkins weren't always the
vegetable of choice for Halloween. In fact, the earliest story of the Jack
O'Lantern featured a carved out turnip. During this harvest time of year,
many vegetables were celebrated prominently including onions, cabbage, and
several people from Southern Maryland.
In olden days, poor people in
Scotland used Jack O'Cabbages and Jack O'Filberts instead of pumpkins. In
Ireland, cabbage was a traditional element in a Halloween Meal, until the Great
Cabbage Famine of 1844 made the nation turn to their plentiful supply of
You gotta love how the mom and daughter (and even cat) are
scared shitless at the witch's shadow outside, while the dad is just yukking it up.
The weird part is that they know it's not a real witch, but a Jehovah's Witness
with the latest issue of Awake!
JUST PLAIN WEIRD and SCARY
Here's the ultimate, "What the Hell Is Going on
In This Card?" award goes to this crazy scene that features a blindfolded woman
with 3 bowls of water in front of a fireplace, while some pumpkin headed dude
yells at her and intrigued adults look on. If you can explain this one,
I'll put you in a drawing to win a free DVD boxed set of HBO's DREAM ON!
Even Ku Klux Kids like to enjoy
I have no clue what's going on here, but I think
when the clock strikes 12, Miss Jenkins is going to throw little Billy into the
fire, and then feed him to the box of hungry ghosts waiting below.