Halloween Highlights: Vintage Vampires

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There are few monsters more closely associated with Halloween than the Vampire.  Vampires have been haunting our nightmares even before Bram Stoker unleashed Dracula upon the world in 1897.  Since the first printing of the famous vampire novel, Dracula has been haunting our nightmares for over a century.  Most famously portrayed by Bela Lugosi in the 1931 screen adaptation, Dracula is the quintessential creature of the night.  Featured today are two vintage Halloween decorations featuring the undead count.

First is a vintage Halloween cutout of Bela Lugosi in his most famous role.  This Halloween decoration was released by the C.A. Reed Company in the early 1980s.

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Bela Lugosi Dracula Cardboard Cutout

 

Next up is a large, jointed Dracula from Eureka, originally marketed as “The Count – 55″ Jointed Halloween Decoration.”  This cutout was released in the late 1970s.

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Eureka “The Count” Jointed Cutout

 

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Halloween Cardboard Die-Cut Gallery: Creatures of the Night

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The Big Scare is proud to announce the final installment of this year’s Halloween Cardboard Die-Cut Gallery.  We hope you have enjoyed all of the frightening images you have seen here.  We will be back with even more images next year.  Until then, take in the terror-ific sights of these Halloween frights.  We’ll be back in two days with another post.

 

Halloween Cardboard Die-Cut Gallery: Jack-O’-Lanterns

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Greetings, Boils and Ghouls!  Today we continue our series on The Big Scare featuring images that will bring the Halloweens of Yesteryear to electric life!  Today, we highlight the magic of the Jack-O’-Lantern.  Enjoy these boo-tiful creations.

Halloween Cardboard Die-Cut Gallery: Witches

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They call it the season of the witch, so what better Halloween character to feature in today’s gallery than that of the Wicked Witch!

Evil Green Witch

Today’s gallery features depictions of the craftiest old crones in the history of Halloween.  The images seen here were produced from the early 20th century through the 1980s by a variety of manufacturers.  There are certain traits that most of the witches share.  Green complexions, long noses, warts, and capes appear on several of the witches in the gallery, and nearly all of them are seen riding brooms.  (The association between witches and brooms stretches back the Dark Ages where the first images of witches riding brooms were depicted on elaborately illustrated manuscripts.)  And while the broom is but one of a series of similarities, there’s really only one thing that all of the images truly have in common: the tall, pointy hat.  That conical hat was first associated with witches in the early 18th century; it became popular in Victorian storybooks, was donned by the Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz, and, as such, has remained a staple of the witch’s wardrobe ever since.

Now that you have been educated on the origins of these witches’ outfits, feel free to delight in the devilment of the delightful die-cut art!

Halloween Cardboard Die-Cut Gallery: Bats and Ghosts

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Welcome back, foolish mortals, to our haunted mansion of the macabre!  Today we continue with our series on vintage Halloween decorations!  Our ghastly line-up today features die-cut images of bats and ghosts!

 

Halloween cardboard cutouts reached peak popularity in the second half of the 20th century.  There are a few companies that were quite well-known for manufacturing these paper masterpieces.  The most renowned of these is The Beistle Company.  Beistle was founded in 1900 and, since then, has produced some of the most iconic images of the Halloween season.  Beistle is still in business today, and remains a giant in the party products industry, but the company’s current output pails in comparison to what was produced in the last century.  That being said, they offer a limited line of vintage reproduction products called “Vintage Beistle”.  The line-up is rather small and doesn’t delve too deeply into the massive catalog of products released from the 1920s through the 1980s.

Another manufacturer of macabre images is Eureka!  Eureka created dozens of die-cuts that defined October in the 1970s and 1980s.  Enjoy today’s images, many of which are of Beistle and Eureka products, and stay tuned for more devilishly delightful die-cut art!

Halloween Cardboard Die-Cut Gallery: Black Cats

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Greetings, Boils and Ghouls!  Today we begin a new series on The Big Scare featuring images that will bring the Halloweens of Yesteryear to electric life!

Beistle Jointed Black Cat

We have created several galleries of vintage Halloween cardboard die cut decorations for your booing pleasure.  In the 20th century, these paper cutouts adorned windows and walls in homes and schools during the month of October.  The earliest ones started appearing in the 1920s.  By the 1950s, they were staples of the season.  Nowadays, there aren’t that many being produced, and the ones that are being created are nearly all computer-generated.  Fortunately, we have nearly 100 years of cardboard die-cuts to draw from for our galleries.  What’s more, every die-cut that will be featured in our galleries is hand-illustrated, designed by an artist or team of artists who captured the spirit of the season with old-fashioned ink and paint.

We launch our Halloween die-cut gallery series with images of one of Halloween’s foremost icons: the black cat!  Enjoy!  And come back in two days for more devilishly delightful die-cut art!

Halloween Home Entertainment Preview: House of Dark Shadows, Night of Dark Shadows

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Editor’s Note:  1/10/12 This post has been updated with a note about the image.

Today is our final installment of our Halloween Home Entertainment Preview.  Be sure to check out our previous updates for all of the great deals on disc this Halloween season!

The News:

House of Dark Shadows starring Jonathan Frid, Grayson Hall, Kathryn Leigh Scott and Joan Bennett will be released on October 30.  Night of Dark Shadows starring David Selby, Lara Parker and Kate Jackson will debut on the same date.

The Views:

Many of you have probably heard that the original films based on the popular supernatural TV series, Dark Shadows, will be coming to DVD and Blu-Ray disc for the first time on October 30.  And while this is great news in and of itself, it isn’t as wonderful as it seems.  While House of Dark Shadows, the more popular of the two movies, is a must-have release for your collection, the release of its sequel, Night of Dark Shadows, is rather disappointing — not because Night is a bad film, but because Warner Bros. has decided not to release it in its fully-restored state.

Night of Dark Shadows was originally a rather lengthy picture, but MGM, the studio that originally released it, had it cut down significantly right before its debut.  What is left of the movie may seem garbled or confusing to many.  But fans still enjoy it for what it is.

For years now, one Darren Gross has been working on intensive restoration efforts for both Dark Shadows films.  And he managed to recover a good amount of lost footage from Night of Dark Shadows in the hopes that it could eventually be released in a form closer to the original vision of Dan Curtis.  For reasons which have not been disclosed, Warner Bros. turned down the project and we are left with the standard release, which, to many is rather confusing and incoherent.  Regardless, it is good to see the film make its disc debut, along with House of Dark Shadows, but it’s upsetting that we won’t get to see all of the hard work put into the restoration.

*Note: The “Ad” image in this post is fan-created.