Saturday, October 31, 2020

Waxy Witchie

Welcome to Day 31, or as we call it in the business, "The Big Dance".  Nah, nobody calls it that.  It's Halloween!!  Or Hallowe'en or even All Hallows Eve if you like to get all olde tymey.

Today's offering is possibly the smallest I've posted this season, but to me, it encapsulates the embodiment of Halloween memories in a wax shell.  In this case a wax witch.  I found this lonely witch among a miscellaneous lot of Halloween decorations at an estate sale this past summer.

Friday, October 30, 2020

Halloween Dynamite

This issue of Dynamite is a find from a while back. Amazingly, it's one I didn't have from my childhood days of reading Dynamite.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Great Giant Jigglin' Skeletons!

"Great Giant Jigglin' Skeletons" may be my new phrase of astonishment and it's what I said when I saw this set of twin jiggling rubber bones at a recent sale.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020


One of the challenges in collecting vintage holiday decorations is establishing the manufacturer and production year.  If you don't have the original box and there are no markings on the item, it's that much more challenging.  Of course, this information isn't necessary to enjoy them for what they are, but as a collector, it enhances my enjoyment of them and furthers my understanding of the progression of Halloween decorations through the years.  I can't say I have a very structured or scholastic approach to determining the source and age of the items I collect. I generally do a lot of searching on the internet and through shear volume of data gathering, I'm able to stumble upon an answer.  Such was the case with this small blow mold skull. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Stairway to the Halloween Stars

I found this in the basement of an estate sale quite a few years ago.  I've always called it a "moon shelf".  It looked homemade from plywood, and as it turns out, it was.  My daughter hung it in her room and put knick-knacks on it.  She's recently (and quickly) grown up.  A whole 13 years old and wants to distance herself from the things of her childhood. Sigh.

Monday, October 26, 2020

What was on TV October 24th through 30th, 1981

This is a repost from October 30th, 2015, but it's a fun one. Plus I've fixed the invalid Youtube links. Enjoy!

I don't have a lot of commentary on this issue simply because I wanted to get it out quickly.  Halloween is fast approaching and I'm hopping busy.  This issue has some great Halloween show ads including "Disney's Halloween", "Bugs Bunny's Howl-oween", "Dark Night of the Scarecrow" (still a favorite), the network debut of "John Carpenter's Halloween" and of course "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown."  The network shows were running behind this year, so there are also lots of season premiers of your favorite shows from yesteryear.  Enjoy!

Electric Halloween Candle Sticks

I found a bag of these electric candle sticks at a garage sale a number of years ago.  They probably date from the late 1980's to early 1990's.  They're a fun spin on the more traditional white Christmas candle sticks.


Sunday, October 25, 2020

A Shocking Find

 This porcelain Jack O' Lantern lamp dates from 1980. It was a recent find (just last week).  While it's not terribly vintage, I liked its look.  It stands 8" tall.

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Halloween Ads -- Leftovers

Today will be the final installment of my Halloween advertising slicks (collective sigh heard throughout all blogdom).  Today, I'll focus on some of the full pages with some closeups and a general house clearing of the leftovers. Enjoy!

Friday, October 23, 2020

Timmy the Copyright Infringing Ghost

Capitalizing (if not downright infringing) upon the popularity of "Casper the Friendly Ghost", Charlton Comics introduced "Timmy the Timid Ghost" in 1956.  Casper had been in Paramount cartoons since 1945 and Harvey comics since 1952; 4 years before Charlton decided to throw its sheet into the ring.  This November 1970 issue was nearly at the end of Timmy's afterlife; the comic was cancelled in 1971, though it made a brief 3-issue reprint reappearance in 1985.  

Despite sporting an upswept curl and a bold red "T" on his chest to dispel any confusion with his rival, the similarities far outweighed the differences.  Timmy even had a  bowler-derby-wearing "Spooky"-clone friend named "Max".

I'm not sure what Timmy had to worry about here.  He could fly, so he wouldn't fall in the lake, plus he was already dead.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Scholastic Horrors

When I was a kid, we had a couple books laying around in our "book box" (we didn't have any book cases) that both intrigued and frightened me.  They were both Scolastic/Arrow books of ghost stories.  It wasn't the content of the books that scared me, it was the covers themselves.  Those books were lost over the years, but I was able to find them at various sales.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Ghostly Rehab

Following up yesterday's Witch candle, we're going to take a look at another classic Gurley candle.  This one is a popular design of a shrouded ghost holding a Jack O' Lantern.  I thought I'd talk a little about candle maintenance as well.

I found this candle at a garage sale over the summer.  Candles have a tendency to collect dust and dirt and this one was no exception.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Oooooo ooo, Witchy Woman

 This witch has seen better days, but she was unique and not like other candles I've seen.

Monday, October 19, 2020

Palace of Poison

In 1947, a local St. Louis, Missouri entrepreneur named Arthur Wild opened a hamburger stand with a twist in Lemay, a community in south St. Louis County.  With a passion for the weird and unusual, he named his restaurant "Wild's Palace of Poison".  Situated at 1500 Lemay Ferry, one of the main thoroughfare's in South St. Louis County, it became a popular hangout for teens of the 1950's.

A few weeks ago, I attended the estate sale of Art's widow (Art having passed away about a decade ago).  There were few mementos left of the restaurant, but I did pick up this facsimile of an original menu.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

And They Used Bon Ami

I'll admit this is another post with a tenuous connection to Halloween, but ask yourself this: How much are you paying for this?

"The Ghost and Mr. Chicken", Don Knotts' first movie foray post "The Andy Griffith Show", is a favorite of mine. I've watched almost annually since I was a kid back when one of our local stations would broadcast it once a year, normally on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon.  If you're not familiar with the movie, it concerns a wannabe newspaper reporter who is given his big chance for a front-page newspaper article by spending the night in a haunted "murder house". One of the main props in the movie is an organ that was said to have been played by the murderer whose blood stained hands left permanent prints on the keys.  Efforts to clean the keys were useless -- and they even used...

I will admit, this was the sole reason I bought this at an estate sale.  An inside joke only a select group would get.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Halloween Ads - Vignettes

 You didn't think I was out of ads, did you?  Today we look at some of the standalone Halloween vignettes you could add to your ad.

Friday, October 16, 2020

Witch Jack O' Lantern Blow Mold

A couple weekends ago I headed out garage saling by myself for the first time in a long time.  Normally, my wife and any number of my kids will go along, but they were all busy that particular morning.  I took one of my old routes I hadn't visited this summer and it paid off. I found a lot of vintage items which I plan to blog about after the Countdown is over, but one of the items was Halloween related.

This pumpkin blow mold sporting a jauntily worn witch's hat is smaller than my other jack o' lantern blow molds.  It measures 8" tall and only about 6" across.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Jack and Jill October 1961

I'm going to take it easy today and just post this October 1961 issue of Jack and Jill with little commentary. I hope you don't mind.  I'm posting mainly the Halloween related pages of the magazine, although I did include the interview with Jerry Mathers since it's on the cover and because "Leave it to Beaver" is one of my favorite shows.  Answers to the puzzles at the end.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Uncanny Finds -- Red Devil Lighter Fluid

I came across this little can of Red Devil lighter fluid in the garage of a recent sale.  Looks like old Scratch is a bit of a fire bug. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Blinky Skull

This Blinky Glow Lite blow mold skull was a find from last year.  Apparently, I never got around to posting it, so good news, now I can.


Monday, October 12, 2020

The Monsters Go Disco

 I often lament to my kids as we stroll down the cereal aisle how the magic of cereal is gone. Time was every box in the aisle touted prizes and mail-in orders. They were full of sugar and hope and we loved them for it.

This flexi disc was found on the back of the various General Mills Monster cereals back in 1979.  We know it's 1979 not only because of their design, but because they are going to the Disco.

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Halloween Slicks -- Banners

Continuing from yesterday's theme, today I bring you more vintage advertising slicks. These templates allowed customers to choose a themed layout for their store's advertising.

Today we look at banners.  Those eye-catching headline grabbers that get you to look at the full ad.

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Halloween Slicks -- Witches Edition

I'll be honest, the subject of today's post hasn't seemed to be as big of a hit on the blog as I thought they would be.  I think they're pretty neat, but I'm a sucker for vintage advertising.  I've posted other examples of these in the past year. This time, it's Halloween ads.

These are from what I now know are known as advertising "slicks" (thanks, FrankO).  These were magazines of advertising templates from which potential customers could choose for newspaper ads. Place holders like "Shop Name's" would be replaced with your business details.

These ads date from the early 1970's. I'm going to spread them out this season as I have quite a few and I don't want to bore overwhelm you all at once. Today, we'll focus on witches. Enjoy!

Friday, October 9, 2020

Doorways to Public Domain Horror

I picked up this "Doorways to Horror" game way back in the 90's.  I've been doing this garage saling thing for a long time.  I remember seeing the commercial for it in the 80's and really wanting it, but never did get it until I found it for $2 at a sale.

"No two games ever the same!" But they all suck.

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Invaders from Mars! or at least my Neighbor's House...

I'm afraid I'll need to stretch my inclusion of not-necessarily-Halloween-related items again today.  But hey, aliens are scary, right?  And these are supposed to be aliens, I think...or maybe they're just supposed to be our own astronauts, who technically are aliens when they land on other planets.  Oh, heck, let's just get on with it.

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Monday, October 5, 2020

Uncanny Finds - Hall-Owl-een Edition

 As I mentioned in a previous post, it's been a lean year for sales, so I have to stretch the definition of "Halloween" a little.  But I've always associated owls with Halloween, so hopefully I'm not stretching too much.

I picked up this can of Red Owl Ground Cloves at a garage sale a few weeks ago.  They had an odd assortment for a private sale, mostly tools and utilitarian items, and the last thing I expected to find was a vintage can.  This one dates from 1948.

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Two Heads are Better than...Five?

This purple two-headed dragon from Imperial toys reminded of Tiamat from Dungeons & Dragons, minus a few heads, maybe. Yes, I'm a nerd.

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Spook House -- Digging through a Load of Sheet...Music

Sheet music is something I sometimes find myself thumbing through at estate sales.  If there's a piano or organ in the home, you can guarantee there's a huge stack of sheet music gathering dust (or mold) somewhere.

I say "sometimes I find myself thumbing through" because usually the stack is so daunting, I pass on it. But occasionally I will look to see if there are any interesting covers.  

While this piece isn't quite a thrilling as last year's "Carbarlick Acid Rag", it's a fun cover with cute lyrics.  From 1977, it's "Spook House".

Things are dark and hard to see, stumbling all around.

Creepy, crawly things are here lying on the ground.

Spider webs and icky stuff hanging in the air.

I sure hope that I don't get any in my hair!

Spooky goblins, ghosts and things making shrieks and moans.

Skeletons and monsters peer up from piles of bones.

Friday, October 2, 2020

Miss Match -- A Horror Story

Today's Garage Sale Find may be on the extreme periphery of Halloween, but all dolls are haunted, right?

This 1970's "Miss Match" comes from the fine folks at Uneeda.


She's soft, cuddly and floppy.  Like a line torn from a Dolly Parton song, Miss Match wears her coat of many colors proudly.

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Halloween 2020 -- It's My Bag, Baby, and Nothing's Gonna Stop Me!

That's right, it's that time of year again. And despite what 2020 has thrown at us, Halloween WILL go on.

And that means that the Countdown to Halloween will happen once more.

For the seventh year in a row, I've joined this jolly band of bloggers to focus all of our blogging powers toward Halloween.  Together, we can win this and #SAVEHALLOWEEN!

And as is the norm (AND NOT THE NEW NORM!), my first offering this season is a bag.  Specifically, this Duro brand Trick or Treat bag (model PLTT-74A).  "PLTT" stands by "Plastic Trick or Treat". I'm assuming the 74-A is the year (1974).

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