From the AT Staff: The treats of trick-or-treat time

Driving around the neighborhood, seeing all the inflatable figures on front lawns, lighted trees and other decorations, a person knows a major holiday is just around the corner. But the trees aren’t green and red. They are orange, black and purple. Those aren’t snowmen and Santas I’m seeing. They are ghosts, goblins and jack-o’-lanterns.

Yup, it appears Halloween is becoming just as big as Christmas. But some of you collectors and dealers already knew that, didn’t you?

Be sure to take time to read Mark Roeder’s “spooky delights” feature on Halloween collectibles in this issue. You’ll learn what collectibles to look for, where to find them and what to do with them.

You’ll also find yourself thinking back in time to when you celebrated Halloween as a child. I know I did.

The first thoughts that come to mind are Halloween parties. This was back in the day when we could just call them “Halloween” parties and political correctness hadn’t’ been invented yet.

My parents occasionally threw a party, inviting friends, neighbors and relatives. My creative mother always managed to throw some sort of homemade costume together — even if it was just an ensemble of items found in our “play box.” (See photo.) I think the box of clothes — complete with plastic wigs and “mink stoves” (stoles) — eventually was just called our “Halloween box.” Some pretty interesting costumes were created over the years, that’s for sure.

I also enjoyed our grade-school parties, where we had pumpkin-carving and costume contests, where we’d bob for apples, walk through the then-scary haunted house, and win yummy prizes in the cakewalk — usually cakes, cookies and cupcakes decorated with frosting and candy corn. M-m-m. Those were the days. 

At an even younger age, I recall putting together a Halloween puzzle at my grandparents’ house. The wooden blocks formed the picture of a little witch girl, stirring her brew in a pumpkin-shaped pot with little black kittens running around.

I know that if I flipped the blocks, they would form other pictures, but I don’t recall any of those. For some reason, I was enamored with that Halloween picture. I put that puzzle together countless times on each visit. I wonder what my grandma ever did with it.

Antique Trader would like to hear from readers who collect Halloween antique and vintage items (or other spooky delights), or have a favorite Halloween memory to share. Were they tricks? Or treats?

E-mail robyn.austin@fwpubs.com and let us know.

Click here to discuss this story and more in the AntiqueTrader.com message boards.

More Images:

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At 2 years old, my twin sister Raylene ("man" at right) and I made the perfect couple at this home Halloween party. I don't know if I should be relieved I got to be the "woman" or embarrassed I was already stuffing my shirt with socks as a toddler.

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