Trick or Treat!


In honor of the spooky festivities this week, I searched for really good examples of early Halloween illustrations and ended up stumbling upon some gems. The image above is from Morticia’s Morgue, a gallery of antique Halloween postcards from the author’s personal collection. Another site by Richard Anderson offers e-cards of a whole different collection of vintage Halloween ephemerata.

From Project Gutenberg, three books about Halloween festivities from the 1800s –

Games for Hallow-e’en by Mary E. Blain

“Hallow-e’en or Hallow-Even is the last night of October, being the eve
or vigil of All-Hallow’s or All Saint’s Day, and no holiday in all the
year is so informal or so marked by fun both for grown-ups as well as
children as this one. On this night there should be nothing but
laughter, fun and mystery. It is the night when Fairies dance, Ghosts,
Witches, Devils and mischief-making Elves wander around. It is the
night when all sorts of charms and spells are invoked for prying into
the future by all young folks and sometimes by folks who are not

The Book of Hallowe’en by Ruth Edna Kelley

“This book is intended to give the reader an account of the origin and history of Hallowe’en, how it absorbed some customs belonging to other days in the year,â??such as May Day, Midsummer, and Christmas. The context is illustrated by selections from ancient and modern poetry and prose, related to Hallowe’en ideas.”


Hallowe’en at Merryvale by Alice Hale Burnett

“What’s Hallowe’en mean, Father?” asked Thomas Brown as the family was seated at breakfast one morning late in October.

“It means the evening before All Saints Day,” answered Father Brown.

“Do you remember what fun we had last year, Chuck?” remarked Toad, for Thomas was called “Toad” by his friends, and Charley was known as “Chuck.”

“I should say I do,” he answered.


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Posted by admin on 10/30/07 under the art of living
1 Comment

  • Kate Hamilton

    Super uber hella way cool. I’m in love with your entire post. Can I marry it?

    I so love old book illustrations, and I also love the english language as written centuries ago.

    One of my favorite books as a kid was an anthology of Halloween poems that was illustrated in pen and ink, if my memory serves me well. It wasn’t so old, probably circa 1980 and a Scholastic book that you ordered from one of those flimsy newsprint catalogs in school. :D

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