Celebrating Halloween with Vintage Paper and Ephemera

With this week being our dedicated week to Vintage Paper and Ephemera – what better way to display some of the best ephemera than to explore it Halloween style?!  The month of October its as though everything begins to turn spooky as the month goes on. The weather cools and the leaves turn, it gets darker earlier than it has in months, and there’s a chilly wind in the air. By the time October 31 rolls around – it’s a spooky evening to say the least!

Halloween is one of the most celebrated “holidays” in the world. The market for Halloween products grows bigger and better every year. Because it has been celebrated for so long, there’s lots of history to look at. We will look at just a few rare vintage paper and ephemera products that deal with the prized holiday which is Halloween.

There has always been a pretty large second hand market for vintage postcards. There was nothing different about the postcard industry when Halloween rolled around over 100 years ago! Some of the spookiest graphics were on display through the 3 x 5 post cards that went out or may have been exchanged between school children or neighbors. Here’s a look at a few examples of some Halloween postcards dated from 1890’s during the Victorian period:

halloweenrarepostcard halloweenvintagepostcard1 halloweenvintagepostcard2

There were plenty of spooky activities for people to attend as well during the month of October leading up to the hallowing Halloween. Things like haunted houses or the especially popular Magic Show. They would advertise these types of events using old posters or “lithographs”. The old process of making signs and posters was done in such a way that they would print on a piece of metal or even stone – this style of art is called lithography and it produces lithographs such as these vintage ones, which are exceptional:

A fine lithograph dating from the 1890s. This type of vintage poster would indeed intrigue and make people curious enough to attend this once semi-famous magician’s show where he says he performs levitation.
Dated from 1892, this creepy lithograph features a magician pulling roses from a top hat surrounded by spirits. The use of the skull and vampire-type cape brings this spooky lithograph to life.

Even far past the Victorian period into the Roaring 1920’s and Post War – the subject of Halloween continued to be printed about. Here’s a glance at two additional intriguing pieces of vintage paper and ephemera that was focused around this unique holiday. The first one is a look at an old ad from a shopper’s catalog looking at paper mache’ buckets and the second is from the infamous magazine The New Yorker which depicts a spooky treat or trick scene on its October 1945 cover.


We at Got Vintage? are wishing you all a very safe and fun Halloween this month! It is approaching quickly…what spooks you the most? Do you have a favorite piece of vintage ephemera to share with us? Please feel free to make a comment on ANY of our blog posts!

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Stay Tuned for more vintage information from vintage clothing to collectibles, glass and linens and much more. Please make sure to share our posts along with your followers!


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