Did you know that Halloween originated with the Celts? (I should have known my ancestors would have something to do with it.)
Besides being a celebration of the harvest, especially if there was one, it was also considered a prime time for communicating with the dead. I’m not overly into chatting with things that are dead but I have to admit this particular aspect of the occasion has led to some interesting imagery over the years. For one day of the year tradition gives us the opportunity to express ourselves in whatever silly, macabre, or tasteless way we can come up with. This, of course, gives everyone else the opportunity to witness the particular brand of insanity lurking within each of us.
Not to let it go by without a nod, Greetings from Other Worlds digs through its graveyard of spooks, oddities, and other disturbing delights in order to put together a seasonal line of cards that will help you get into the spirit. Or help the spirits get into you. Behold:
Judging from those little feet sticking out from the bottom of this rather effective fur suit, I’d say this little monster probably got a lot of help from his older brothers.
If you’re planning a bash to celebrate your own madness or that of your friends, you must have the appropriate invitations. We are here to serve.
Jose Guadalupe Posada was a Mexican engraver and graphic artist that many consider the founder of Mexican art. His skeletons were mostly intended to be social and political commentaries but eventually became cultural icons, which were particularly expressive of an aspect of the Mexican psyche. Most of us in the north have probably seen his skeletal creations many times but haven’t realized just how important a body of work they really were. Here’s another.
In Mexico, the day after Halloween, All Saints Day, is known as The Day of the Dead and Posada’s images and influence abound.
The black cat and skeleton were all we needed to declare this a valid Halloween image. The young lady and the French horn put it over the top!
(Remember: Clicking on an image will bring you to an order page. The prices for five and ten cards or more are hugely discounted!)
OK, here’s the situation: your five-year-old is having his or her friends over for a Halloween party and wants a clown. You have the bright idea of hiring Jim and Geo.
Child Protection Services is now looking for you.
Yes, take the masks off. We dare you!
I suppose there were times when a swimming mask made sense but it just seems to me there must have been a significant drawback or two.
Now these women understand Halloween!
I wish I could tell you something about this fellow, but I’d actually prefer to move right along and not linger. I suggest you do the same.
More ideas for that Halloween costume you’ve been dreaming of:
Henry was an interesting character. He was the 5th Marquess of Anglesey and is best known for the squandering away of his inherited fortune on an outrageous social life. Dressing like this these days might turn a few admiring heads but can you imagine the scandal in Victorian England? That venerable guide to English royalty, The Complete Peerage, had this to say about him:
he “seems only to have existed for the purpose of giving a melancholy and unneeded illustration of the truth that a man with the finest prospects, may, by the wildest folly and extravagance, as Sir Thomas Browne says, ‘foully miscarry in the advantage of humanity, play away an uniterable life, and have lived in vain.'”
Ahem. “Toppy” (his nickname) just lived to the age of 30, having died in 1905, but he still managed to leave his sartorial mark with this photo. The least we can do is remember him on Halloween. Perhaps his life will not have been in total vain if one wealthy and privileged child is turned from a similar course. (Oh, the woe of an uniterable life!)
I think Toppy may have gotten on well with this “lady”:
This image is from an illustration from “Die Racher Eine Frau” (The Wrath of a Woman) by Baron Hans Henning Voigt, more commonly known as “Alistair”. Let this be a warning, guys.
I don’t know what your kids are into but the above images are probably a little more than you would want for their use. As much as they themselves may think they’re “cool”, I suspect you would get more heat than cool from the parents of the recipients if you chose them. Therefore, because Halloween is, after all, one of the great kid holidays, let’s crank it down a bit and harken back to the imagery of more simple times:
As you can now testify, Greetings form Other Worlds has an ample selection of Halloween cards from which to choose. Even if you don’t plan on throwing a frightfully horrific party, you absolutely must consider entertaining a few friends with these cards. They’ll wonder about you forever!
Now for a Halloween treat: