Saturday, September 27, 2008

Some of my own favorites...

I started decorating for Halloween weeks ago! Here are some of my favorite items that I have out and about. ^_^

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Prettiest Lil' Diecut Witch Ever.

Was I joshing? No sir-ee! I simply love this lil' witchy-poo! ^_^

Another lil' cutie ^_^

Couldn't resist posting this lil' punkin. Vintage and so freakin' cute. This gentleman has THE best vintage Hallow E'en collectibles ever. Take a gander for yourself...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Hallow E'en & the Bat.

Bats have long been associated with Halloween, but the connection is by far less ominous than some would suspect. In Halloween's ancient origins, people would gather together around giant bonfires to ward off evil spirits. Attracted to the warmth and bright light of these fires were many small flying insects, natural food for hungry bats. People saw the bats flickering in and out of the firelight during the festivals and they became a feature of Halloween lore.
The link between the bat and Halloween became strengthened with the discovery of the Vampire Bat in the 17th century. Tales of bats that drank blood had circulated throughout Europe for centuries before, but it wasn't until the Spanish exploration of Central and South America that there was physical proof. It was a natural association for a dark holiday, a creature that lapse the life blood of it's prey in the dark of night. ^_^

Candy Corn footwear.

That's what these look like to me! ^_^

A Betty & Veronica Hallow E'en.

Me loved Betty & Veronica back in the day! Nice to see they're still around & with a Halloween issue to boot??? Veddy cool! ^_^

Hallow E'en Hoopla!

Just stumbled upon this. Looks like a nifty book to add to your Hallow E'en collection. ^_^

The Hallow E'en Moon.

The moon is seen in some Halloween images today, but it usually lacks personality and is only a backdrop for more menacing silhouettes. The moon was more likely to be a starring Halloween character 40 years ago...just like this one here! ^_^

Monday, September 22, 2008

Lil' cutie.

Me loves this owl. ^_^

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Dennison’s Hallow E'en Bogie Books

For the uninitiated, the Dennison Manufacturing Company is just about synonymous with Halloween. Right at the start of the 1900s, Dennison was on board with the burgeoning popularity of the October holiday. It manufactured Halloween greeting cards and decorations that were used at Halloween parties that were held with increasing frequency across the United States. Then in 1909, to help promote sales and teach customers how to display their decorations and maximize their spooky fun, Dennison published its first Bogie Book ("bogie" was a name for mischevious Halloween spirits).
The Bogie Book was a hit from the start, and (excepting for a gap of three years, when it resurfaced in 1912) was pubished annually from then on, with a few interruptions, right through the mid-1930s. After that date, the title and size changed (it was renamed, variously, "The Party Book," "Parties," "Hallowe'en Suggestions," "The Halloween Book," and "Hallowe'en Parties"), but mostly everything else stayed the same.

What's wonderful about the Bogie Books is they provide a historic record that not only helps to date antique and vintage Halloween ephemera, but they illustrate how these decorations were to be used. And if one scopes the photographic record for Halloween party images (which are rather scarce if you're scoping near the beginning of the 20th century), one can clearly see that celebrants eagerly adopted Dennison's suggestions. Many photos are exact or near-exact representations of the display suggestions Dennison offered for table settings, nut cups, chandelier and ceiling festooning, and costumes (which were not infrequently made out of crepe paper).

These slim volumes now serve as guides for collectors of antique and vintage Halloween decorations, but they have also become highly sought-after collector's items themselves. A 1920s edition in good conditon can run between $100-$200, and copies from the teens (or the extremely rare 1909 edition) can blow a hole in your wallet the size of cannonfire. If owning an original is not of interest, but the images and information are, some folks have reproduced them. They pop up on various Web sites and on eBay, from time to time.

What's interesting when one looks at the costume offerings from the first quarter of the 20th century is that the bulk seem to be festive or, at most, have only the most distant shadows of spookiness. There's an absolute dearth of gore and terror, or even eerieness. Many of the costume suggestions for females mimic the hemlines and silhouettes of the era, so around 1915 a female party-goer inherits the lampshade skirt and in the 1920s female costumes get more long, lean and columnar. Looking at the costume illustrations in the Bogie Books one is amazed that many of these orange-and-black confections were composed of crepe paper.

Most early costumes seem to be more like fashion dresses adapted for Halloween. A spider at the hip, in place of a rhinestone ornament. A bat at the bustline, instead of a foliate design. Jack o' Lanterns at the hemline, instead of some beaded pattern. Some costumes were a bit more allegorical, with the party-goer adorned with appropriate details. For example, a "spider girl" might have her skirt decorated with a web pattern and a "cat girl" might have hers swagged with the arching curves of spooked black cats. There were some "person" costumes, here and there. The witch was a perennial favorite, as was the Perriot.

From a vintage clothing perspective, Bogie Books are also valuable. Most early Halloween costume examples have not survived, because paper costumes were not likely to make it to another season, and throughout the decades, most people have thrown surviving examples in the trash. Lastly, of the examples that do survive, many are in delicate condition, because crepe paper is so friable. So for those who have an interest in early Halloween costumes, these Dennison Bogie Books provide wonderful, plentiful examples.

The Dennison Company (born in Framingham, Massachussetts) still survives today, as does its American rival, Beistle. Thanks to them, vintage clothing collectors have a terrific view into spooky times past. ^_^

Crepe Hallow E'en Aprons...never heard of 'em.

I was just browsing the internet when I came across these super cool Hallow E'en Aprons! I never knew such things existed...

~Hallow E'en Crepe Aprons from the 1910s to the 1920s~
Crepe Aprons are rare Hallow E'en collectibles. The companies that made crepe paper, such as Dennison and American Tissue Mills, found that they could, using the same crepe paper, create costume accessories at very little additional cost. The aprons were made from the crepe rolls. The crepe was actually sewn. The maker would sew a crepe boarder around the edge, adding a cloth or crepe ribbon at the top. With Dennison's products, you can often find the name of the design in their Bogie Books. The apron is about 22 inches tall. A few of the simpler designs are slightly smaller. ^_^

These are sooo neat! To see more, go to...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

What's a toad got to do with anything?

Toads have just as long of a history with witches and play just as an important role in the history of witchcraft as cats do. Here's a lil' interesting info I stumbled upon. I've always wondered what the significance of a toad was to a witch...

*Many of us are familiar with the age old belief that witches were comonly thought to have warts because they handled toads. Of course we know that toads do not cause warts to appear. To have a wart was once a sure mark of a witch. Toads play many roles in witchcraft as do cats, serving as familiars as well as components to spells and minions of the devil.

*Toads were perfect as familiars. Thanks to the two tiny horns borne on his forehead, a toad was recognizable as a demon, and witches took infinite care of him. They baptized their toads, dressed them in black velvet, put little bells on their paws, and made them dance.

*The breath of toads, and sometimes even being glanced upon by a toad, was also considered dangerous. The breath of a toad was believed to infect a person wherever it touched. Another common superstition existed stating those whom a toad regarded fixedly would be sized by spasms, palpitations, swoons, and convulsions.

*Toads secrete a thick, white, hallucinogenic substance from skin glands when they are injured or provoked. The secretion acts like digitalis in biological action, and was believed to have been used by witches for various nefarious purposes. Toad excrement was theoretically used as an ingredient in flying poitions by Basque witches. In Artois, a flying potion made from toads was created when the witch put consecrated bread and wine into a pot full of toads. When the toads had devoured the sacrament, they were killed and burned. Then the ashes of the toads were mixed with the powdered bones of dead Christians, the blood of children, herbs, and the recipe was completed with ‘other things'. Mmmm...scrumptious. Unfortunate toads could be decapitated, skinned, and thrown into cauldrons along with other strange ingredients. A lotion of sow-thistle sap and toads spittle was believed to make a witch invisible, and brandy embued with burned toad ashes was believed to be an effective cure for drunkenness. If a toad was baptized with an enemy’s name then tortured to death, the victim supposedly suffered the same fate. Nice.

*Sometimes the Devil would appear to witches as a toad. In these instances, witches would kiss the toad’s mouth in an act of homage. Satan was believed to have presided at Sabbats in the form of a he-goat, a black cat, a raven or crow, or a feathered toad. In their worship of the Devil, witches were said to have mangled, torn apart, and bitten toads. By stamping his foot, the Devil could send all toads into the earth. Yipee-yi-yo-ki-yay.

Now all my questions have been answered. ^_^

Monday, September 8, 2008

Green skin?

Sometimes, witches are depicted with green skin or red hair. Both green and red are colors associated in Celtic tradition with fairies. There has always been a connection between fairies and witches, both being thought of as being not quite of this world. An old description in Britain for a fairy or a human being who was thought to have psychic abilities was "greensleeve" or "green jacket". The association of green with the otherworld was so strong that at one time it was considered unlucky to wear green because it might incur the wrath of the fairies who considered it their own color. A person with red hair was also thought to have special otherworldly abilities. An old Celtic tradition that has come to Appalachia is that it is lucky to rub the head of a red headed child. ^_^
*Witch image found on the web. I'm sorry, I don't know who the talented artist is of this creation.* :(

Thursday, September 4, 2008

How to spot a witch...

How to spot a witch...
1.) Look for diseased crops, cattle & people. This means a witch is lurking about...
2.) She has c
ats or toads as companions or familiars.
3.) She squints. (This is due to her having the "evil eye ".)
4.) She floats when you tie her up and throw her in the river.
This made me cackle...I mean, laugh! ^_^

Witches & their bad rap...

"Evil Witches", according to the early Christian church, never existed. But by the 15th century, the church had changed its mind. They taught that Witches did exist, that they sold their souls to Satan, flew through the air on broomsticks, were capable of shifting their shapes to resemble animals, and that they dedicated their entire life to harming and killing their victims. This fictional belief was used as justification for the church's subsequent burning at the stake of hundreds of thousands of religious heretics of all types. In reality, few if any evil Witches existed in the 15th century; they do not exist today either, in any significant numbers. Some individuals portray themselves as Witches for monetary gain and offer to cast evil or healing spells at a price. But they are rare and should not be confused with Wiccans. Such "witches" are not bounded by the Wiccan Rede or Threefold Law. so, they feel quite free to cast evil, manipulative spells and curses. ^_^

What do you think of when you think of Salem?

Why is Salem so often associated with Witchcraft? Salem and Witchcraft have been synonymous for over three-hundred years. This is because, in 1692, 20 innocent people were put to death under the charge of worshiping the Christian devil, a practice which at the time was mistakenly called Witchcraft. This event is one of the darker chapters of our nation's history and a timeless lesson on the dangers of intolerance that can be applied to any era. Salem draws more than a million visitors each year, who hope to understand the events that took place there. They also come to experience the growing community of modern witches who live there, hence the other association between Witchcraft and Salem. Beginning in the early 1970's, a substantial number of Witches have flocked to the city in hopes of a place where they can practice their ways in safety. Today, there are several thousand Witches of various traditions who help to make Salem one of the most visitied cities in America. ^_^

Witches & the color black...

Why do Witches wear black? Witches are often associated with the color black. Some would argue that both are evil, and represent the powers of darkness. Witches know that this is not the case. Witches aren't evil and neither is the color black. Black is a powerful color in religious symbolism, worn by spiritual representatives of many faiths, such as priests, nuns, and Hasidic rabbis. Few people would accuse their local nunnery of Satanic worship even though so many of them are found in flowing black robes. Whether they know it or not, religious leaders wear black because the practice carries with it an ancient psychic truth that has always been a part of Witchcraft. The color black is like a solar battery, drawing in energy and light which allows Witches to tap into the universal wisdom. ^_^