Mark B. Ledenbach's vintage Halloween collectibles blog.

Vintage Halloween Dance Program Card Witch Black Cat Bat

This Beistle novelty card was issued for a single season. It is the very first time I’ve seen one “in the wild.” Lavin states this was released in 1932. The conundrum here is that the day and date of the party written on the inside limits the years this would have been used. The nearest years with October 16th being a Saturday around 1932 are either 1926 or 1937. Perhaps Marilyn Smathers’ family was frugal and kept this Dance Program card for 5 years, using it as an invitation. The Great Depression was gripping the country tightly at that time, so that may be a possible explanation. Another is the release date cited by Lavin is incorrect. Who knows? What I do know is that this is exceedingly rare. I pondered for some time as to whether I’d be satisfied having this for the price it would take to acquire it, given its condition - slight tear at the top, edge chipping and marred by writing. I’ve decided against trying to acquire it. It’ll be informative to see what this rare item fetches. As of this writing it has been bid up to $565.77.

10/28 Update: This brought $752.44. A close friend acquired this, so I’ll have a chance to see on what I chose not to bid!