Mark B. Ledenbach's vintage Halloween collectibles blog.


Beistle produced this colorful lantern during the late 1920s. You’ll sometimes find these identical lanterns marked in such a way that you know they were produced in Germany - an artifact of a little understood arrangement that Beistle had with German manufacturers during the 1920s. This example has its oft-missing bottom, enabling the lantern to stay open and actually function as a lantern. It seems to be in beautiful condition.

VINTAGE 1930's Gibson HALLOWEEN flying OWLS, BLACK CAT Flowers Party Tally Card

It’s great to see this colorful tally produced by Gibson during the 1920s listed on eBay - especially by such a fine seller. I recently posted the matching nut cup and place card to this design on my Acquisitions section of the site. The major holiday paper manufacturers typically issued their designs in four pieces: invitation, tally, place card and nut cup.

04/02 Update: This great tally sold for $39.88.

WOW! Antique Made In Germany Halloween Paper Mache Candlestick Candy Container

I’m not sure what this is, but it wasn’t made in Germany. The seller describes it as being in “overall great condition.” Hmmm…. It looks like it has been through quite some torment. The candle portion of this thing has all the hallmarks of Japanese paper design - namely cheap, lifeless and forgettable. What shocks is that the item has been already bid up to $160.50 with over 6 days left. I’m not sure why. If you want to see the actual and elegant German design, turn to page 132.

04/02 Update: This atrocity actually brought $318.88.


This is a jumble of parts to arguably the very best interlocking centerpiece that Whitney ever produced. Each piece is quite a bit larger than pieces comprising other interlocking centerpieces. Some of these pieces measure up to 9.5” high. The lot on offer is missing a side while having duplicates of two others. Sadly, all look to be in regrettable condition. Look on page 274 to see the one ghost side missing. This may very well have been one of the few Whitney paper masterpieces they produced before shutting their doors in 1942.

04/02 Update: This jumble sold for $135.50.


This pennant banner is one of the first - if not the first - such design Beistle produced. (Finding banners hard to display, I haven’t made an effort to collect many of them.) The value I derive from this auction listing is to see what basic designs Beistle initially produced. Some were quickly ditched (spider web, stand-alone broom, corn shock and ears of corn), while others clung on through the early 1930s. Many of the images here were also in Beistle’s earliest enveloped party sets.

Halloween Die Cut Owl Moon Spooky Vintage

This is one of six “rocker favors” that Beistle produced from 1930-31. They were sold as an enveloped set with a stock number of 760R. Each can be flared at the bottom enabling the rocker to stand. These Beistle rockers haven’t surfaced much over the last 2-3 years.

03/28 Update: This sold for a reasonable $45.


These are remnants from the Pick-A-Pumpkin game that was printed in both Germany and the USA around 1920. You can see the complete game on page 125. As remnants, these would have decorative value only.

03/26 Update: These remnants sold for $52.49.

2 - Vintage Halloween Paper Diecut 5” Skulls

Even if these two were in perfect condition, I feel the ending price isn’t sustainable. Of course, the condition of these diecuts is poor overall given that one is missing a chunk and the other has significant general soiling. These skull diecuts were produced by Gibson during the early 1930s. They also made them in white. See page 169.

Rare Vintage Dennison Halloween "Eats" Party Sign with Witch - 1930's

Here’s another rare and wonderful item from the same great seller referenced below auctioning the witch falling into cauldron decoration. This is one of my favorite Dennison diecuts for several reasons: the colors are arresting, the design is clever for a relatively compact wall hanging and it nicely demonstrates just how ephemeral such decorations were meant to be at the time of their production. I mean, who would have thought to keep a sign so clearly meant for a party showing the way to the best part of any gathering? This was sold with the odd stock number of H667 1/2. Condition is fine as the diecut is whole with bright colors and minimal creasing.

03/14 Update: This sold for an eye-popping $667.

1930's Vintage Halloween Witch in Cauldron Die Cut - Rare Glow in Dark

This seller comes up with the most wonderful items! It’s nice to see some interesting items popping up on eBay, as there has been too much junk of late. As stated in the listing, this witch falling into a cauldron glow-in-the-dark decoration is a companion piece to the Jitterbug Jones decoration shown on page 293. I don’t know which firm produced this innovative item. I thought I had a photo of the placard that would have been attached to this originally, but I can’t find it. This is the best one (of the three) that I’ve seen for sale. I’ve never seen one in-person - they are that rare. It’ll be fun to see what this fetches. Its RSIN would definitely be a 1.

03/11 Update: Thanks to a fellow collector who may have the only compete example extant, I can relay what is printed on the placard that should be attached to this diecut: “Turn off the light And ghostly bright A grinning skull Glows thru the night.”

03/14 Update: This sold for an eye-popping $960! It wasn’t even complete. Irrational exuberance?