Fun Fact: After being first turned down by a publisher friend, Poe sold the Raven poem to The American Review for $9. Subsequent publishings followed and even made Poe famous, but the man received little financial success.
**This was the planned post for Throwback Thursday, but real life problems kept me away from computer. Sincerest apologies.**
Let’s visit the amazing yesteryears of Vintage Halloween advertising.
Jell-O has been around for a long time and was big into promoting its brand during the holidays. This is one of my favorites because it includes this awesome Hallowe’en poem.
Another favorite from Colgate because of the Hallowe’en poem. Note the use of the old spelling of Hallowe’en, which dropped the apostrophe over the years.
“No amusement of modern times equals it.” If makers only knew how successful their product would be. Phonographs were instrumental in helping Halloween become one of the biggest holidays in American history,, if for no more reason than their popularity at parties.
These ads reflect the dark orange and black style, which was popular back in the 1930-1940s.
Curtiss Candy Company owned Baby Ruth and Butterfinger among many others, when it was bought out by Standard in 1964, who later merged with Nabisco in 1981. Nabisco then sold off Curtiss brands to Nestlé in the 1990.
Brach’s has been making candy since 1904. They’re most famous for Candy Corn, but once upon a time, Brach’s was the go-to candy store for Halloween goodies. Their ads were simply amazingly drool-worthy, appealing to both adults and kids. Look at all that candy!
Speaking of adults, with Halloween parties all the rage well into the 1950s, beer makers made some nifty ads for Halloween.
During the 1950s, some ads featured lots of graphics and were quite wordy. What some may consider serious advertising fails today, make for some awesome vintage Halloween ads.
7-Minit was owned by 6 O’Clock Foods, Inc. and that’s about the only history we know about either.
More random vintage Halloween candy ads circa 1940s-1960s
It’s always been fashionable to make punch bowls outta pumpkins!
Back in the day, people could trust drinking and eating right there on the front porch.
Okay, I’ll admit, I only love this ad because of the Headless Horseman. Is this too scary for advertising? Some might think so. People don’t like reminders of violence and disembodied heads is about as gruesome as it gets. Absolutely my favorite! BWAHAHAHAHA….
Halloween is a celebration of life! By….warding…off…the dead….anyhoo, whether you like the old vintage style, cute and spooky, spine-tingling chills and thrills, or super gory to the max, Halloweentime is a magical season filled with creativity, community spirit, fun, and wonder. Every year, Halloween Haiku celebrates all month long, and while it’s gonna be challenging, this year we’re doing it again!
Our theme in October is Halloween Icons…ya know, bats, black cats, ghosts, pumpkins, etc., all those things that are known to represent Halloween. Now, I’ve come up with a bunch, but I can’t wait to hear what icons you think Halloween just wouldn’t be the same without.
This Halloween season, I’m changing up the traditional 31 days format and I plan to use social media a bit more, so please, join in the fun, and follow me @Halloweenhaiku9 on Instagram and Twitter
Here’s what’s in store for October:
3rd Annual Halloween Haiku Contest Sharpen those pencils! I want to see your most original Halloween Icons themed haiku. I’m giving away a Grand Prize Pack worth over $50! I might even have some small prizes for runner-ups.
More details about the haiku contest will be announced on October 1st.
Halloween Icons Photo Countdown (Instagram only) October photo countdown to Halloween. No contest, just something to do for fun Oct. 1-31st. Let’s see those pictures! Use #halloweeniconsphotochallenge
31 Days of Halloween Schedule:
Monday Macabre (website and social media)
Mondays are always dedicated to Haiku, but every Monday in October we’ll celebrate Halloween icons.
Tiny Terror Tuesdays (social media)
Sometimes little things pack a big punch. Every Tuesday, I’ll be sharing scenes from my haunted dioramas and miniatures.
Wicked Art Wednesdays (social media)
Every Wednesday, I’ll share some spooktacular Halloween art. I might even post some my own original Halloween pencil stencil art.
Throwback Thursdays (website)
Every Thursday, let’s travel back to the golden age of Vintage Halloween advertising. Some ads were amusing, and some, were downright cringeworthy. Let’s debate!
Friday Fright Nightcaps (website and social media)
Witches aren’t the only ones who drink brews! Check-in every Friday evening to see what wild Halloween season-inspired cocktail I pull outta the cauldron.
Sinister Saturdays (website and social media)
Every Saturday, I’ll rotate between sharing one savory and one sweet recipe, all guaranteed to have you screaming for more! I may even try to make some of these myself. Now, that’s scary!
Poe Sundays (website and social media)
Just like we do every year, we’ll celebrate the gothic genius of Edgar Allan Poe, master of macabre.
Back in Celtic times, it was believed that evil spirits take advantage of the thinning veil between our two worlds to pass through and terrorize humans, thus began the practice of holding huge bonfires, where the light warded off evil spirits. The Celts also started the tradition of wearing scary masks and costumes, done to trick evil spirits into thinking they were fellow demons, which brings us to Halloween 2020. The way this year is going, I suspect there’ll be whole lotta spirits crossing over to make mischief on Halloween night!
This is why it’s more important than ever to uphold our Halloween traditions by decorating our homes, wearing costumes, and carving pumpkins. Silly superstition, you say? Do you really want to take that chance? We can’t even keep toilet paper stocked and you think we can fight the living dead?! Trust me, if everyone does those three things, we will stave off the zombie apocalypse for another year.
If you’re looking for Covid-safe, fun activities for Halloween season, check out my post Halloween at Home: Fun Alternatives to Going Out and be sure to come back here every day this October for spooky fun and a chance to win some cool prizes.
This Halloween season, remember to reach out to loved ones and friends to wish them a Happy Halloween and be safe. If you do go out to haunts, parties, or trick-or-treating, please, please be safe, wear your masks, and practice good social distancing.
The Coronavirus pandemic has certainly challenged Halloween 2020. In many parts of the USA, events have been canceled or scaled back, which means, no trick-or-treating, no public haunts or mazes, no festivals or parades, and no big parties.
Now, I’m not telling anyone how to spend their time nor how to celebrate the holiday. I’m simply saying that Halloween at Home can be a fun and safe alternative to going out during the Covid-19 epidemic. So, if you’re looking for ideas to make your Halloween night in more fun, please keep reading.
Halloween Camp-Out (Family)
This Halloween night, we’ll be able to bask under the blue moon like werewolves do! Now, whether you go camping in the woods or camp out in your own backyard is up to you. Just be sure to watch out for the creepy critters, flying witches, vampire bats, and Sasquatch.
Build a ghost fort outside (tent, tarp, cardboard, ghost clothing, you decide)
Play card games
Make shadows puppets
Read/Tell spooky ghost stories
Don’t forget to look up and howl at the full moon
Halloween Pinata (Family)
If your little ones are disappointed there’ll be no trick-or-treating in your neighborhood, try getting them a Halloween themed pinata. They can beat the pulp outta it and get their frustrations out. Kidding! Big kids should get their own pinata. No, kids love collecting and finding candy! It’s just as simple as that. Once that pinata bursts, they’ll be so happy to fill their bags with the sweet stuff, they’ll forget all about trick-or-treating.
Halloween candy, trinkets, and toys to fill the pinata (Try spider rings as a trick)
A baseball bat or something to hit the pinata
Halloween Jigsaw Puzzle Party (Family)
Jigsaw puzzles are the perfect indoor/rainy day activity. They’re super fun, and a great way to destress. In fact, puzzles help us cope with anxiety, depression, and stimulate cognitive activity. So, if you didn’t jump on the bandwagon when the lockdowns started happening back in March, now is your chance.
Any puzzle will do, but since it’s Halloween, why not get a Halloween themed puzzle? Check the links below for suggested retailers.
Another fun perfect way to spend the evening with family. Again, any board games will do, but Halloween/monster-themed games are best. You could also try spooky versions of old favorites.
What you’ll need:
(Halloween) Board Games
Suggestions: Clue: Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, It, Scooby-Doo, Supernatural, etc. Monopoly: It, Nightmare Before Christmas, Scooby-Doo, Stranger Things, The Walking Dead, etc. Scooby-Doo: Betrayal at Mystery Mansion Trivial Pursuit Horror Edition (for Adults) Villainous (Disney) The Walking Dead Board Game
Halloween Relay Games (Family)
The internet is filled with ideas for indoor/outdoor relay games and races. Below are some of my favorites. Don’t forget the Halloween prizes or ribbons for winners and participants.
Mini Pumpkin Races
Not all mini pumpkins are cut from the same gourd. Some are much faster than others. Use masking tape to make a relay track with start and finish line. From the start line, roll your pumpkin. The first pumpkin to reach the finish line, wins!
What you’ll need:
Eyeball Spoon Race
Just like a traditional egg and spoon race, kids balance the eyeball on the spoon and try to get to the finish line first. Use music as a greenlight/redlight for more ghoulish fun.
What you’ll need:
Bobbing for Donuts
Now, this one can get messy, so make sure you lay down some covering or have your broom or vacuum handy. Hang donuts from a string/twine. Try different heights for added fun. The first to finish eating their donut wins! Works best with cold or firm donuts.
What you’ll need:
Tape if don’t have a way to tie the string
Halloween Scavenger Hunt
Why should the Easter Bunny get all the fun? Hide mini-pumpkins or various objects around the home or yard, then sit back, and sip Halloween margaritas, while the kids hunt for their candy. Easy peasy.
What you’ll need:
List of items for each player to find (optional)
Halloween candy, mini-pumpkins, trinkets, and toys to hide
Good hiding places
Host a Themed Movie Marathon in the Dark (Teen/Adult/Family)
Choose a theme you want to explore (Halloween family, paranormal, zombies, Universal monsters, etc.) and pick out 4-6 of your favorites or never seen before movies to watch alone or with friends for a watch party. Check out my picks for scariest movies to watch on Halloween night
There is nothing scarier than reading a scary book on Halloween night, in a dimly lit room, with atmospheric music in the background. Don’t believe me? Try one of the best horror books on Refinery 29’s spooky reading list and tell me how it goes.
Halloween Dress-up/Dance Party (Teen/Adult)
All dressed up and nowhere to go? Well, that’s why the world wide web was invented! Seeing as most people will be stuck at home this year, I suspect there will be no shortage of online costume contests, virtual dance parties, and ‘show us your costume’ requests on social media. Beware of pervs and internet demons.
Between wishing complete strangers a Happy Halloween, changing costumes, showing off your smart phone’s Halloween filters, and blasting your Halloween playlist loud enough to wake the dead, that should pretty much take up the whole night.
Lights-out Dinner Party* (Adult/Family)
Ever seen those Dining in the Dark events that are supposed to introduce you to the dark, sensory experience? Well, this is basically a mini home version of that. Same experience, without the hefty bill. For home servers, I think the trick is to set the food on the table so you know where everything is before sitting down eat, but there are several methods. Go check out Delishably’s great article with suggestions on how to enhance your dark dining experience.
What you’ll need:
Halloween themed Food/Drinks
Plate covers or tin foil to cover plates of food
Disposable/Plastic dinnerware (Let’s be honest, things could get messy.)
Patience and a sense of humor
Hallo-wine Party* (Adult)
The boo’s are the best part of Halloween! Oh, were you thinking ghosts, cuz I was talking ’bout the vino!
Set up wine stations in different areas of the room/home and rotate periodically, ensuring each person has a chance to taste wines. Try to pick new wines or wines you haven’t drunk before. Then, dim the lights, put on a spooky playlist, and have fun!
Remember to wear a mask when not eating/drinking, and social distance as much as possible.
What you’ll need:
Wine – If everyone brings a bottle, that’s at least six different wines to taste.
Cheese, crackers, fruit, bite-size desserts, other Halloween snacks
Mini pencils/slips of paper (tasting slips) for people to rate wines
Halloween jar or bowl for the tasting slips
Halloween décor & lights
Halloween Playlist or Halloween background videos, movies, 3D Effects, etc.
Halloween Drive-up Experiences (Adult/Family)
Covid-19 isn’t scaring some folks. There are a number of Haunters across the USA that plan to host a drive-up experience throughout the month of October. Below are some links to events in SoCal. Check your local listings for such events in your area.
I think we can all agree that Covid-19 pandemic has really upended our lives and changed how we socially interact with one another. I think that’s what makes the BER months so special is that it gives people the opportunity to celebrate the meaningful things in life. September has always been about the return to traditions and renewed hope in putting aside differences, coming together, and celebrating the community.
That feeling of camaraderie and goodwill only increases as the BER months continue. So, while it may be easy to get lost in despair over the current state of affairs of the nation, the easiest way to make the world a better place is to concentrate on bringing peace and love into our own lives and neighborhoods.
The Halloween 2020 season was always meant to be an auspicious event. Coronavirus threatens our community, dampens our spirits, and aims to spoil our fun, so it’s more important than ever to honor our dead and celebrate our holiday traditions. While it’s true that there will be scaled back public activities, Halloween is still very much on! That’s why this year, Halloween Haiku will be promoting Halloween at Home, a spooky night of fun and revelry from your very own couch.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, I encourage everyone to wear masks while out in public and practice a safe and social-distanced Halloween. All throughout the month of September, I’ll be sharing tips and suggestions on how to have a fun and safe Halloween, in lieu of trick-or-treating and big parties.
Later this month, I’m going to reveal details on the 2nd Annual Halloween Haiku Challenge, and the schedule for 31 Days of Halloween, the yearly celebration of the haunting season, which happens every October.