TWIN BROOKS ANTIQUES AND COLLECTIBLES SCARY STUFF! - HALLOWEEN AND ITS MEMORABILIA

Scary Stuff! - Halloween And Its Memorabilia

by Judith Katz-Schwartz

Dateline:10/12/99

So, when did a lovely Celtic harvest festical cum Christian homage to the dearly departed become the rollicking excuse for the wild party we call Halloween today? And when did the accoutrements of the most fun you can have pretending to be dead become so collectible?

It seems the turning point was the 1890s, when the holiday caught on in America. Scores of pint-sized vandals hiding behind masks took to the streets, wreaking havoc on homes, shops and innocent bystanders alike.

Get it? Those were the tricks. Storekeepers and residents began bribing the little devils with candy, or "treats", and a new tradition was born.

By the 1930s, the commercialization of Halloween was well established in American culture, and the rest is Halloween memorabilia history.

Collectors look for just about anything associated with Halloween, the older the better (and more expensive). This includes postcards , which enjoyed their golden age around 1910; German candy containers; even such party amusements as fortune telling games, noisemakers and cake toppers. For traditionalists, there are various forms of Jack O' Lanterns and vintage Halloween costumes. Paper Halloween items are also very popular with collectors, and items ranging from decorations to placecards and bridge tallies realize healthy prices.

For those whose interests don't lie with antiques, many vendors specialize in newer or even custom made items.

In addition to collecting the scary stuff, many enthusiasts regularly visit "fright" pages, just for fun or for planning the simulated demise of the whole family.

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