Mark B. Ledenbach's vintage Halloween collectibles blog.


I haven’t seen one of these being offered for some time. Beistle produced two variants of this item’s sibling that were both marketed as Witch’s Mystery Answer Games. The much rarer one of these was produced in 1931 and has a white background. (I have yet to find one to add to the collection.) The more common version was produced beginning in 1933 and has an orange background. (Except for a very slight size difference, these two are otherwise identical.) As an interim item, this noticeably smaller Mystery Answer Board was produced only in 1932. They are rare. The condition of the one offered for auction seems to be quite good, although I wish the seller would have included a full picture of the item’s reverse. This is such an eye-catching and desirable item that I expect bidding to be fierce. If you don’t have this and collect Beistle, this is a “must have” item.


Any of the House of Fate cards are desirable and very rarely surface. It was exciting to see this listing. This card comes from a series manufactured by Whitney in the early 1930s that they called The House of Fate. The cards are superbly designed with pull-away roofs containing the printed fortune. I believe that nine constitute the complete set, although that is just a guess. At first glance, the differing base designs look similar. However, when you closely examine the cards, there are always very minute differences present. I'm puzzled as to why Whitney would have introduced these subtle differences. It doesn’t seem cost effective. Perhaps we'll never know. Whitney went out of business in 1942. (Check out the eight examples on page 278.) This card is in stellar condition and is being offered by a stellar seller.

10/04 Update: This sold for an unbelievable $550, deep into bubble territory. If someone wants to buy the eight shown on page 278 in my book, they can be yours for $4400. Shipping would be free.

Vintage Halloween 1920's Rocker Stand Up Fortune Place Card Skeleton, Cat, Owls+

Unusual small paper has been on fire over the last year. This result far exceeds what I would have expected. The tombstone and graveyard motif is underused in vintage Halloween design, and that may have contributed to this eyebrow raising result. You can't go wrong with this seller - truly a gem in our fun field. I wish this piece was marked. It is definitely not Dennison nor Beistle. It doesn't strike me as a Gibson item. Whitney? 


The seller is offering this not uncommon Beistle game for $149.95. SGV is $60, so I don't feel anyone will be interested at that price. The seller is offering a "make offer" option, so I would advise $45-55 is the right price given its condition. Beistle secured a copyright for this game in 1935, but didn't actually produce for distribution until 1938. Production continued for many seasons thereafter. 

Vintage Halloween Witch Fortune Telling Card

These fortune place cards rarely come up for sale, especially when unused and complete. Made by Whitney in the 1920s, it would be fair to say that the market currently values these in the $65-70 price range, given that the seller offered five individually and ending within a short time of each other. This somewhat precise valuation for items that rarely appear seldom happens. 

Halloween Decoration Witch on Envelope w/Fortune verses USA Whitney Co 1920's

Whitney seemed to approach their Halloween merchandise outside of their many postcard designs with indifference. This is a great example. As I write on page 273, "The contents are simply four sheets with six fortunes per sheet. The value for this item is due almost solely to the envelope." Although I have assigned a RSIN of 2 to this 1920s item, and am glad to have one in the collection, it is rather dully executed. The tag line of "Just What You Are Looking For" is particularly uninspired. 

Vintage Halloween Fortune Teller Spinner Game

It's great to see such an exceedingly rare item surface on Ebay, especially one in this condition. This Here's Your Fate game was made by Whitney in the 1920s. (Please turn to page 24 to see the game in my third edition.) Measuring 10" h x 7.75" w, this game has been assigned a "1" on my Relative Scarcity Index, which means you may never see another one of these surface for sale. Prior to purchasing the one in the collection about 18 months ago, I had never known this densely detailed game existed. Don't let this item escape your grasp!

07/28 Update: I was pleasantly surprised to see that this superb game fetched well over book value, bringing $318. Congrats!