Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Victorian Halloween

There's an indescribable magic about the Victorian era and I've often wished I lived in those mysterious times. As my favorite holiday is fast approaching I thought I'd share some of my inspirations for this years festivities...

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There's nothing more representative of creepy and mysterious than a haunted house. Creaking floors, hidden passageways and numerous generations walking the halls. Victorian homes have a rich history that I'm fairly sure if the walls really could talk we'd be running out the door!

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According to the Newark News, candied apples were first invented by William W. Kolb in the early 1900's. I have also read that Carmel or candied fruit dates back into the early 18th century so who's to say for sure. No matter what, this modern/rustic take on the vintage treat sure looks spooky!  

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Cameos are most amazing and to me a bit mysterious. Who is that woman depicted in all her beauty? Dating back to the Victorian era, cameos have stood the test of time and can be worn every day or as a strong statement piece.

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Ghostly images are common place in the Victorian era. At the peak of the western world's spirituality movement, psychics, mediums and other ghost whisperers made strong claims of having spoken to and photographed encounters with the living dead.

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Crows have been around for centuries and in most cases have had a bad wrap for representing death and evil. I was intrigued to learn otherwise! Last year my daughter and I witnessed hundreds if not thousands of crows flying & perched in a small area of Vancouver. After learning just how amazing these birds are I realized that what we experienced was the ritual of a funeral. Yes these highly intelligent, very social birds come from far and wide to pay their last respects to the dead. Creepy but so cool!

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Read more about the Quija baord here

I had no idea but yes the Quija board dates back to the Victorian era. Elijah Bond was granted a Canadian patent (No. 36,092) for the Ouija board on March 10th 1891. I've also read there were other forms of the classic Quija used many decades prior to Elijah's version.

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Halloween in the Victorian era really wasn't as we know it today. I have read so many conflicting stories as to where the name came from, most agree it was based on the Scottish variant for the celebration that happened on November 1st. It was followed by a celebration of Souls on the 2nd. As for the modern October 31st, best I can tell it was in the late 1800's when the practice of children dressing in costumes and going door to door begging for food and treats began. It was known as Guising. The first recorded Guising happened in Scotland 1895, followed by the children of Kingston Ontario in 1911. The small town of Blackie Alberta was recorded in 1927 as having changed the phrase to 'trick or treat'. Wikipedia has pages and pages on the history of Halloween so I offer you the first page I referenced to read at your leisure here.

I must admit I love the magic of modern day Halloween, always have and always will. But... if I lived in the Victorian era where my home was lit with candle light and the only sounds I heard were creaking floors and crackling fires, I wouldn't venture far for a sweet treat from a neighbour especially in the midst of the  paranormal enlightenment era!  

Have a most spooktacular Halloween my dears!
xoxo
Dawna
Creative Curator

1 comment:

  1. Interesting post, Dawna. I must say though...those dolls are freaking me out! LOL!

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