When Black Cats Prowl, and Pumpkins Gleam

The new style celebration of Hallowe’en is something I don’t quite understand. In my time it sort of happened on the day and then went away.

Big Hallowe’en fans might enjoy this little collection of cards from a hundred years ago. They come from a post card album that belonged to my uncle Harry (who died of appendicitis at about that time).

Is bobbing for apples something anyone really did? Black cats and pumpkins are enduring.

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Now the apple bobbing gets a little stranger.  Why is the young woman reflected in a mirror? How is the water illuminated? And what clan do that cat and pumpkins belong to? Luck would be good.

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This card may may give a clue to what the mirror is all about. You don’t need an art history degree to interpret the narrative – there is a lot going on.

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One wonders what sort of pranks the lad can perform in that getup. I believe those are his real clothes, not a costume.

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This is a great women and witch affirming image. Just reading some books with a couple of symbolic apples when the witch and black cat flew by. I particularly like witches in red dresses.

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And another witch in red with some sickly-looking elves emerging from a pumpkin. I think that her costume would be very desirable today. This card is dated 1912.

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Post Script

A couple of years ago I grew a pumpkin but never got around to carving it. One evening early in November I realized there was activity on the back deck and discovered our local raccoon crew hard at work doing my job. In the morning I realized they had carved a tidy hole and reached in to remove all the seeds. The little scamps.

November 201257

About the author

Stephen Archibald

It’s Stephen Archibald doing the noticing. I’m a huge fan of Nova Scotia’s material culture and cultural landscapes. Twitter (@Cove17 ) made me realize I could share what attracted my attention (perfect for my very short attention) and I’m gratified when folks enjoy my content. Pleased to meet you on the internet.