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The Nostalgic Attic: Halloween - Vintage Holiday Graphics by Taschen

17 October 2014

Halloween - Vintage Holiday Graphics by Taschen


For those who don't know, the ideology behind Halloween (or Hallowe'en, if you want to be particular about it) is about the one night of the year when the souls of the dead can wander among us, and by dressing up as something ghoulish it would keep them from bothering you, as they believed you were one of them. Ok, I'm not sure if the last part was added in later, but it's an old pagan tradition that is still well loved and cherished in places like Ireland, bonfires and all (even if the old beliefs are no longer followed), and has largely become a fun festival around the world that most people enjoy these days.




I sometimes do get nostalgic for the thrill of it all when I was a kid. I always enjoyed dressing up as something scary, as opposed to say, a pirate or cowboy (hey, we did that on a regular basis anyway, so there was nothing special about it), and the same went for girls. It saddens me to see how it has become 'sexy' for women at Halloween at this point; what's wrong with a gal looking her evilest or scariest? If you feel the same way, and yearn for the days of ghosts, goblins, witches and black cats, then this book is for you. It's absolutely stuffed to the gills with great images from the vintage American holiday season. It has everything from old coke and sweet adverts in magazines through to some decidely creepy photographs of children and adults alike dressed up and ready to put the shivers in the walking dead themselves. It's a great place to start if you are looking for something different or retro for your seasonal decorations or costume ideas, and a book that belongs on the shelf of any Halloween nutter.



Now this is how you do Halloween fancy dress.

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4 Comments:

At 18 October 2014 at 21:44 , Blogger Craig Edwards said...

I love stuff like this - and in fact will be doing one of my recurring "Random Stew" posts this month featuring some old Halloween themed ads. I will have to see if I can track this book down...

 
At 20 October 2014 at 01:03 , Blogger Wes M said...

John, what a great find, I must grab a copy of this right away ! I love the pic of the sorority girls and their pumpkin procession – fantastic stuff ! Hallowe’en has become hugely over commercialized as has every other holiday-event but I do enjoy reflecting on the country’s old pagan traditions, something I’ve become more and more interested in in recent years - the Samhain wiki page and its various tributaries makes for fascinating reading… Hallowe’en night was a fun time when I was a kid, going from door to door collecting sweets, although later on it became a night of mischief when you went out armed with a supply of eggs to decorate the neighbourhood (and unsuspecting passers-by). I dunno if you guys in Dublin had bonfires at Hallowe’en - in Cork, bonfire night traditionally takes place late June – and an altogether more raucous night, so Hallowe’en here is generally speaking a far more quiet affair. I love that special time late in the night - when the door-knocking has finally stopped, the kids have retreated back to their homes with their collections, the teenagers have exhausted their stockpile of bangers and poppers – when all the business of Hallowe’en is completed, and the night settles down to an eerie stillness…

 
At 21 October 2014 at 06:37 , Blogger JP Mulvanetti said...

Craig, looking forward to any posts that feature old themed ads, I love that stuff!

 
At 21 October 2014 at 06:43 , Blogger JP Mulvanetti said...

Thanks Wes, I grabbed this book for a few quid years ago, no doubt there are plenty of copies knocking around. It's small but perfect for the coffee table this time of year!

Sounds like you were much wilder in your teens than I was (and they call us scum up in Dublin, eh?), as I tended to stay in with friends (after going to the local bonfire - yep, we had them) and watched horror films 'til we all passed out.

I wasn't aware of the bonfire tradition you had down there in June - was it for a particular reason? These days the Gardai tend to dismantle most bonfires (not surprised, really, it has gotten a bit out of control) but there used to be a great vibe driving around as the sun went down and seeing what were usually suburban areas awash in flames... quite eerie, actually, like a glimpse of a future hell...

Fully agreed there on when the noise dies down, the world seems so much deader after it all... a great time of night to go for a creepy walk...

 

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