Why, you might wonder? Most of us have fond Halloween memories from our younger years we would like to hold on to!!
The photo above features vintage Halloween items I have purchased and saved from auctions, garage sales, and estate sales. The mid-century table napkins and paper plates can sell for $40 each-depending on desired Halloween graphics; Halloween die-cuts (cardboard wall decor), molded plastic novelty candy holders, and paper- maché lanterns can sell for over $500. Other valuable vintage Halloween-themed objects include-noisemakers, games, postcards, and those iconic Ben Cooper costumes.
(Anyone born before the 1990’s surely remembered Ben Cooper’s masquerade costumes; they featured flimsy, plastic character masks with eye cutouts to unable the user to see, and ventilated nostril holes to be able to breathe through. In the ’60s, during Halloween trick-or-treating. I would remove the mask until we knocked on someone’s door-then it was placed back over my face again. For whatever reason, I believed wearing my mask would mean more candy?)
Let’s talk about a few of those Halloween-related objects.
Vintage Halloween Paper-mache Lanterns
From the 1920’s-1950’s, Pulp (paper-mache)- jack o’ lanterns (JOL’s), cat, devil, and skeleton heads, and witch figures were created for Halloween parties. Candles or electric lighting, could be placed inside of them and lit up. Menacing, paper- facial features were printed and placed behind the eyes, nose, and mouth of the lantern, to achieve an eerie glow when lit.
These vintage paper-mache lanterns can sell for over $400 based on rarity and condition. Unfortunately, you might find one of these vintage paper-mache lanterns, but without the thin paper facial insets.