Friday, October 31, 2014

Spooky Tales

Some spooky (and not so spooky) books I've picked up over the past year.

Carnival of Treats

My wife made this brownie diorama with cake toppers I've found over the years.  It's another tribute to Ray Bradbury.  This time it's "Dark's Pandemonium Carnival" from "Something Wicked This Way Comes".

Fun and Games

Milton Bradley's Which Witch? (1970) was my favorite game when I was a kid.  It was destroyed and thrown away years ago.  I found this one at a garage sale a while back for 75 cents.

Halloween Will Soon Be Leaving

Nobody likes raking leaves (unless you get to jump in them, but then you have to rake them up again!).  But at least these bags make them look fun.

I don't think they're old at all, but I liked the graphics.  Picked up for 10 cents at a garage sale a couple weeks ago.

Looking at the Past through Gauze Filters

I found these masks in a grocery bag among other Halloween masks and items at an estate sale this past year.  I believe the whole bag cost $5 and I was surprised to find 1920's/30's vintage paper and gauze masks inside.  But not as surprised as I was by one of the masks I found among them.  I admit I struggled with my decision to blog about it.

Normally, I like to keep this blog lighthearted.  If anyone is guilty of glamorizing the past and looking past its shortcomings and sometimes outright horrors, it's me, but I've also never been one to ignore or censure these things.  I'm neither praising nor bashing the past here.  I think there are a lot of good things about the past years that we've lost.  But the years gone by are just like any others -- there were good times and there were bad; and there were good aspects and there were bad.  But let's get to the masks and hopefully my babbling will eventually make some sense.

The first mask is made of paper.  It's hand-painted and was made in Czechoslavakia. 

Halloween Life 1960

I found this issue of Life magazine at the library a couple years ago. They were having a big periodicals clearance and I couldn't pass up this Halloween issue from 1960.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Spook the Halls with Bowels of Ghoulies

Due to overwhelming demand (okay, one person asked), I present this year's haunt at my house.

Jack and Jill, October 1978

Yet another children's magazine (are you getting tired of these?)  From October 1978, another Halloween issue of Jack and Jill.

Pumpkin Surprise

A number of companies were making blown-mold plastic decorations in the 1960's including Bayshore Plastics, Empire Plastics, Union Plastics and General Foam Plastics.  Sometimes it's hard to find information on who made what and in many cases, the same forms were used by multiple companies.  Below are a few of my examples found at garage sales over the years.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

What was on TV October 28th through November 3rd, 1978

And finally, the long-awaited Halloween week issue of TV Guide.  I'll admit, I've already blogged this issue, but I took more scans this time and interjected with fresh (no guaranties) humor from friend John.  This time, it's 1978 with a cover that frankly just makes me sad.

The Holiday Cookbook -- Halloween Recipes

I'm a sucker for old cookbooks and the horrors held within their pages.  Throw in a Holiday theme and I'm sold.  But alas, no horrors for you tonight, despite the season.  I've presented the Halloween page of the "The Holiday Cookbook".  Some of these don't look half bad and who doesn't like popcorn balls?  Maybe you can use some for your Halloween party.  I'd love to hear from anyone who actually makes one of these recipes.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

On The Dead

I bought this postcard at an estate sale a couple years back and just came across it again.

This may not be a Halloween postcard, but it has a creepy skeleton jockey racing on a skeletal horse, so good enough for me.

I'm not sure what the expression refers to, probably one of those sayings whose meaning has been lost to time.  It might refer to the expression "Working on a Dead Horse" which means work that has been paid for before it's performed.  Likewise, I couldn't find any information on the artist, "Peyton". There are a few other examples of his artwork on the internet, most are similar to this.  I believe that says "05" next to his name which may refer to the year 1905. The 1-cent postage on the back would support that.

More Beistle Die Cuts

I've already posted most of these previously, but they're worth another look and there are a couple I don't believe I've posted before.  Some of these are marked "Beistle", some are marked "H.E. Luhrs".  Don't be fooled.  They're the same company. H.E. Luhrs was the founder's son-in-law and eventually president of the Beistle company.  These probably date from the 1940's or 50's.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Happy Times, October 1972

Another children's magazine from the same lot as before.  Happy Times from October of 1972 has little actual Halloween content.

Oh, the fun you can have with a carrot and a cherry tomato.  Remember, kids, vegetables don't have to be boring.  Eat up! (but don't forget to remove the pin holding the tomato in place).

The sole Halloween related picture in the magazine.  They're really pushing the boundaries of Connect the Dots. "Connect the dots and you will see a Halloween ghost with a monstrous appetite."  Um, I can kind of already see it.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Wee Wisdom October 1962

I found this issue of "Wee Wisdom" among the same lot of children's magazines where I found the Jack and Jill issue.  I believe I paid $1 for the entire lot.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Costume Clearance

We're reaching the bottom of my Halloween bag for this year.  Below are some other masks and costumes I found in the past year.  I'm not sure of the manufacturer of these.  I was unable to find them on the internet.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Baring the Mantel of Halloween

It's time to unveil this year's fireplace mantel decorations.  I took two sets of photos, one with a flash and one without. It looks better without the flash, but it's difficult to see the details, so I'm giving you both.

Kaluta Monster Mash Cover

There's nothing particularly special about this album, other than the cover.   I mean, we all love
"Monster Mash", but it's readily available and played every Halloween on the radio.  There are  some other tracks on the album that aren't usually played, but they're mostly rehashes of the titular song.

However, I love this cover by comic book artist Mike Kaluta.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

The 1980 television (loose) adaption of Washington Irving's "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" was actually pretty good, even though it wandered far from the original.

Starring Jeff Goldblum as Ichabod Crane, Meg Foster (she of the bewitching eyes) as Katrina Van Tassel, Dick Butkus(!) as Brom Bones and John Silvester White (Mr. Woodman from Welcome Back Kotter), the original broadcast was hosted by Steve Allen and Gary "Watchoo talkin' 'bout, Willis" Coleman.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Halloween -- It's My Bag, Baby Part 3

Given the warnings and "Treat America Beautiful" printed on the bag , I would guess today's offering dates from the mid 1970's to early 1980's. 

"Call on People You Know", "Carry a Light", "Enjoy Yourself" -- all sound advice for a young Trick or Treater.  

I'm not sure why "Compliments" is quoted.  It kind of implies there were strings attached to this "free" bag.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Disney's The Haunted Mansion 33 1/3

I'm always on the lookout for Halloween records at sales and came across this one for the first time in  all my garage saling years.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Jack and Jill Halloween Mobile

I've posted this once previously, but it's worth posting again.  From Jack and Jill magazine, October 1955.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Saturday Evening Ghost

These are a repost...of some Halloween related ads from the October 11th, 1947 edition of the Saturday Evening Post I previously blogged about here.

Super Pumpkin

I found this page inside a drawer of the cupboard I posted here.  I have no idea of the era of the photo, but it's apparently an ad for Burpee pumpkin seeds.

Doing some Googling on the names mentioned in the ad, Ted Torrey is still with Burpee as "Director of Vegetable Research".  There are quite a few Patrick Lonergan's, so no luck identifying this little Superman.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Halloween Cake Topper

I found this at the estate sale of a former baker.  There were lots of cake decorations and supplies in the sale.  I was surprised to find this for the low price of 50 cents.  Usually, anything Halloween related is priced fairly high at estate sales.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Melted Plastic Popcorn Ghost

I found this ghost decoration at a garage sale for 50 cents.  He reminded me of Casper.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Sliding Closer to Halloween

Time for some more vintage slides of Halloween past.  These date from the late 1960's and were found among a huge lot of family slides which I've previously posted here, here, and here.

Back row left is a Bland Charnas Witch 9 costume.  I've never heard of the Bland Charnas company and there's little information on the internet about them.  I was able to identify it from  Bottom row left is a Ben Cooper Space Ghost costume.  The costume on the bottom right appears to say "Frankenstein", but doesn't look like any Frankenstein monster I've seen nor could I find the costume anywhere.  Maybe one of our readers will recognize it.

And I'm not sure what this assortment is supposed to be, but enjoy nonetheless.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

What was on TV October 13th through 19th, 1979

After a bit of dry spell, TV Guide returns for the week of October 13th, 1979.  For new readers (and you know who you are) who might question what old TV Guides have to do with garage sales, I came into possession of a large archive of vintage TV Guides via the local Freecycle group here in St. Louis.  Not exactly a garage sale find, but free so here we are.  Plus, they're so dang fun.  

Waxing Nostalgic for Halloween

I found this set of 3 smiling wax Jack O' Lanterns at an estate sale a couple weeks ago.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Hairy & Scary

Welcome to my 13th post on the Countdown to Halloween!  On this Monday the 13th (cue lightning and wolf howls) I present a couple masks I found at the Mendel Riley estate sale.  They're from the Ben Cooper "Hairy & Scary" line.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Angry Beistle Pumpkin

Another estate sale find, this pumpkin is unmarked, but recognizable as a Beistle and can be found among others with differing expressions in Mark Ledenbach's latest fantastically illustrated 3rd edition of "Vintage Halloween Collectibles". Check out his site at

And while I'm plugging sites, how about clicking on the Creature from the Black Lagoon in the upper right corner and visit some of the other great Cryptkeeper's sites participating in the Countdown to Halloween.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Your Goose is Cooked!

This isn't really Halloween related, but Mother Goose kind of looks like a witch on this album of nursery rhymes published by Romper Room and Peter Pan records.

Come to think of it, given witches have a penchant for eating little children, wouldn't this be the perfect disguise?

Friday, October 10, 2014

Halloween -- It's My Bag, Baby Part 2

Vintage Halloween collectibles are soaring in price every year, so I consider myself fortunate whenever I manage to find one.

This Flavour Candy Co. candy bag/puppet was a find from this past summer.  It was inside a bag of other random holiday decorations.  He kind of has a T-Rex thing going with his arms.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Cherry Pink, Apple Blossom White and Gill-man Green

Technically, today's post isn't Halloween related.  I picked this up with a bunch of other vintage sheet music at a tailgate sale a few years ago.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Sliding into Halloween

I featured these slides in a previous post shown among other various slides, but I think they deserve a post of their own.  These date from the early 1970's when it was perfectly normal to photograph other people's children when they came Trick or Treating.

Collegeville Skeleton costume

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Mad About Halloween

This came in a lot of Mad magazines I bought a few years ago.  From September of 1964, the cover parodies the monster sensation that was sweeping America's youth.

The cover is by Norman Mingo who helped formalize the look of Alfred E. "What Me Worry?" Newman.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Spooky Magic

When I was a kid, I believed magicians could actually perform magic – what they exhibited  weren’t tricks, but legitimate supernatural powers, and I longed to know their secrets.  Houdini was one of my heroes, almost mythical.  And when Scholastic Books would occasionally offer a privileged peek into the world of Magic, I would jump at the chance every time.  Sadly, I was  always disappointed in what they revealed.  These were simple tricks for simple minds – slight of hand and  misdirection.  They were holding out on me, or they themselves just didn’t know the *real* secrets.  Of course, I eventually I realized people like David Copperfield and Doug Henning really were just frauds, talented frauds, but shysters nonetheless, to use a term my German grandmother favored.  They weren’t cutting anyone in half.  They weren’t levitating.  And the only thing they ever made disappear was my wonder in magic.  Doug Henning’s “Spirits of Illusion” and “Wonder Whims” can get bent.

But I digress.  What was I talking about again?  Oh yeah.  Scholastic Books on Magic.  I found this TAB book at a garage sale last weekend.  TAB was Scholastic’s “Teenage Age Book” club.  From 1955, it’s “Spooky Magic” and a selection of their better tricks.  Maybe you can use them at your Halloween party.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Fluorescent Beistle Decorations

I had completely forgotten about these Beistle die cuts I found some time in the past year.  I think they were mixed in with a bag of newer Halloween decorations.  The rule for new vs. old Halloween die cuts generally is the cuter they are, the newer they are.  

I love the bright, fluorescent color of these.  I bet they'd look great under blacklight.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Disney's The Haunted Mansion 45

Haunted house attractions were a favorite of mine from an early age, but I didn't have much opportunity to go to them aside from school carnivals.  I had heard of Disney's Haunted Mansion and longed to go through it, but that wouldn't happen until I was 10.

I used to the check out the book version of it from the school library over and over.  It didn't have the record, but I would read it repeatedly.  I found a copy with the record this past summer.

Click below to hear the record and read along.  Enjoy!

Friday, October 3, 2014


I found this smashed in the bottom of a box in the basement at the same estate sale where I found "Tom's Book".

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Honeycomb's Big -- and Scary

I found 2 of these Honeycomb cereal cut-out records at an estate sale a few months ago.  These were printed on the back of boxes of Honeycomb cereal in the late 1970's.  Cut them out and play on your phonograph at 33 1/3.  I've ripped the tracks below.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Halloween -- It's My Bag, Baby

For several years, I've followed other blogs as they covered the great "Countdown to Halloween", watching from afar, always an outsider.  I thought, "I'm not worthy to belong to their exclusive club." But this year, I decided, darn it, I *AM* worthy!  I like Halloween as much as the next guy, in fact, I'd wager I like it a bit more than most.  So without hesitation, I boldly made my case with the blogmaster at,  demonstrating how I can contribute significantly to this splendid annual event.  Okay, actually all I had to do was send an email to him with my blog address.  All right, maybe it's not *that* exclusive.

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