A couple nights ago I attended (the last 30 minutes of) a Twin Cities Bungalow Club event called, “Halloween in a Bungalow” with presenter, Janelle Henry. The talk covered the history of Halloween celebrations in the United States, with a particular focus on Bungalow era.
One detail I found fascinating was that eighty years ago Halloween was as much a holiday for adults as for kids. Who knew my trick-or-treating in college was so historically appropriate! Excessive mischief by turn-of-the-twentieth-century trick-or-treaters (of all ages) had caused most towns to crack down on “beggars night” door-to-door activities in favor of civic events and house parties. It wasn’t until the baby boom that trick-or-treating and the emphasis on children returned for good.
Antique Halloween decorations from Ms. Henry’s collection and that of Bungalow Club president, Tim Counts, showed the whimsy of the holiday. I’m amazed many of these things survived because they mostly seemed to be made from paper or pressed cardboard and often held candles. Here are a few of the antiques shown at the event:
If you would like to add a little vintage spooky to your Halloween, Janelle Henry also provided a list of links to helpful places to look for items:
- Halloween on eBay
- Janelle Henry’s replacement inserts for antique lanterns
- German Halloween items by Marolin
- Jenny Tarrant Halloween items
- Halloween items at Victorian Trading
The antiques and Ms. Henry’s talk were enlightening, but at my bungalow we haven’t done much Halloween decorating, vintage or otherwise. With design assistance from our four-year-old, however, we carved a couple jack-o-lanterns which we’ve been saving from the squirrels to put out for the trick-or-treaters tonight. Have a fun and safe Halloween!