Did you know, vintage Halloween-themed paraphernalia merchandise can be worth over $1,000 each?!
Why, you might wonder? Most of us have fond Halloween memories from our younger years we would like to hold on to!!
The photo above features vintage Halloween items I have purchased and saved from auctions, garage sales, and estate sales. The mid-century table napkins and paper plates can sell for $40 each-depending on desired Halloween graphics; Halloween diecuts (cardboard wall decor), molded plastic novelty candy holders, and paper- maché lanterns can sell for over $500. Other valuable vintage Halloween-themed objects include-noisemakers, games, post cards, and those iconic Ben Cooper costumes.
(Anyone born before the 1990’s surely remembers Ben Cooper’s masquerade costumes; they featured flimsy, plastic character masks with eye cutouts to unable the user to see, and ventilated nostril holes to be able to breath through. In the ’60s, during Halloween trick-or-treating. I would remove the mask until we knocked on someone’s door-then it was placed back over my face again. For whatever reason, I believed wearing my mask would mean more candy?)
Let’s talk about a few of those Halloween-related objects.
Vintage Halloween Paper-mache Lanterns
From the 1920’s-1950’s, Pulp (paper-mache)- jack o’ lanterns (JOL’s), cat, devil, and skeleton heads, and witch figures were created for Halloween parties. Candles or electric lighting, could be placed inside of them and lit up. Menacing, paper- facial features were printed and placed behind the eyes, nose and mouth of the lantern, to achieve an eerie glow when lit.
These vintage paper-mache lanterns can sell for over $400 based on rarity and condition. Unfortunately, you might find one of these vintage paper-mache lanterns, but without the thin paper facial insets.
**If you can’t find an original vintage paper maché lantern, and would like to make one for a Halloween gathering; there are instructions for making a paper maché JOL lantern online.
Halloween Candy Molded-Plastic Candy Containers
Ghosts, goblins and witches….Oh my!
Vintage ’50s-’60s molded, hard plastic candy containers produced by the E. Rosen Company, Rosbro Plastics and by the Kokomo Mfg Company-especially the Halloween containers- can be quite collectible. After WWII whimsical novelties were mass-produced to sell during the holidays. Consumers could find them at the local “five-and-dime” stores (e.g., Woolworth’s, Woolco, Ben Franklin). Halloween candy containers were shaped in the traditional scary characters: witches, JOL’s, cats, ghosts, scarecrows and cats.
Unbelievably, a Halloween candy container you originally paid 50 cents; could now to worth more than $400!
(I remember getting these cellophane-wrapped, candy-filled containers as gifts from my Dad and Mom, or from relatives during the holidays.)
Some years ago, I was conducting a clean-out of a hoarders house and discovered a, E. Rosen Halloween witch candy-filled container with the candy still inside the ribbon tied cellophane. Undoubtedly, the candy wasn’t considered edible. I sold it online for $175.)
The Halloween noisemakers, miscellaneous games, paper napkins; crepe, paper plates, and ephemera selling range can vary.
Early 1930’s tin litho metal noisemakers can sell in the hundreds range. The tin-litho companies of T. Cohn, J. Chein and U.S. Mfg Company-to mention a few; manufactured tin-litho party flavours and toys in the early and mid- 1900s.
Tin-litho loud noise makers and party goods, such as tambourines, rattlers, horns, frying pan types, bells, whistles and other clinging and clacking ratchet and canister types, were mass-produced. During the 1930’s, someone probably paid 3 cents to own one of these, but today, they can sell for over $150.
**Always kept in mind: Condition and rarity rule to determine values to vintage items. Additionally, watch out for reproductions made in the 1990’s.**
The values of vintage Halloween diecuts, will be discussed in my next article.
To get you in the good old Halloween spirit; here are some eerie sounds from a vintage 1960’s Walt Disney Halloween “Chilling Thrilling Sound of the Haunted House” album-it will take you back…..Wayyyyy back.