Tips and Online Resources for Collecting Vintage Halloween Items

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Becoming a Vintage Halloween Collector

Whether you are an experienced collector looking for a new niche or a novice just beginning a fascinating hobby, vintage Halloween items of all kinds represent a great collecting opportunity.

You can start small with a tiny investment and broaden your collection as you go.More importantly, you can choose from hundreds of different kinds of items from masks and postcards to noisemakers, costumes, jewelry,decorations, statuettes, table decor, paintings, books, and much more.

You might want to consider collecting vintage Halloween costumes from the '70's and '80's or you might want to limit yourself to certain kinds of costumes,i.e. costumes for babies, or toddlers or pets-- or perhaps witch costumes or clown costumes or some other category of Halloween costume..... narrowing the nice can double the fun. There is so much to choose from, you are bound to find something that piques the collector in you,

The best thing to do is to learn by doing. Seek out and buy a few Halloween goodies. You will soon discover what appeals to you. Read books, talk to dealers and established collectors. Read up online and soon you will be immersed in the fun of Halloween all year round.

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I see you Halloween bracelet
I see you Halloween bracelet | Source

Halloween has been celebrated both in North America and the British Isles for centuries. You can read more about the history here. The holiday really became commercialized and popular in America in the 19th century. It is easy to find old postcards, posters, noisemakers and costumes and decorations from this era on to the present day. A collection is simple,inexpensive and fun to start.

As with most collecting, rarity and condition set the price. Thus the older the item, the more likely it is to be rare, and the more pristine the condition of the item( whether old or new) the more it is worth in dollars and cents. Start by checking out your own attic and garage. You never know what you will find there-- possibly you already own the basis for a great collection.

Check out yard sales, rummage sales, and at local flea markets too.You can learn a lot about Halloween history and the history of Halloween collectibles in general while you are putting together your own targeted collection. Later you can go on to rarer and more expensive items.Talk to dealers-- they love to chat and pick up any books you find on the subject that might help you. An obvious tip is to look for Halloween items both online and off long before October. You'll get the best prices on Halloween items through the Spring and Summer, thought as the holiday nears, you are apt to find a bigger selection. The bottom line is; keep your eyes open all year round.

Whatever you choose to collect, remember that condition and rarity are the biggest factors in determining price. It is easy to be fooled by restorations and duplications so be careful. I've included a list of online resources. Feel free to add any of your favorites in the comments section below. Happy collecting and Happy Halloween.

Vintage Halloween Online Resources

An obvious place to start is e-bay.com . You can learn a lot by browsing both current and completed listings for " Halloween collectibles." By the way, if you find some Halloween goodies in your attic or garage, you can easily check their value by looking them up on E-bay to see what similar things are selling for there. But, E=bay is far from the only game in town. Here are a few more sites that I would also recommend, especially for the neophyte collector.

Old Postcards. com is a wonderful place to find vintage Halloween postcards. It is also an excellent place to check prices-- the prices here are always fair and the descriptions and photos up to snuff. You can buy here with confidence.

Etsy is a fabulous place to look for vintage Halloween jewelry and even recent handmade items that will one day qualify as vintage. Original costumes for children, adults or even pets abound here and can be great additions to your collection.

Vintage Halloween is another useful site for collectors. It has a shop where you can buy all sorts of vintage items plus a fabulous blog. It's a great place to browse.

The Halloween Collector This is a serious site for the serious collector of Halloween memorabilia. It is full of terrific information and also offers some items for sale-- mostly at the higher end. It is definitely a site to spend some time on. Take a look at the very informative blog as well.

While you can start your collection without much of an investment, you should know that rare and desirable items, such as late nineteenth century candy dishes, costumes, and statuary can command hefty prices. At an auction a few years ago, a vintage Halloween lantern in the shape of a human foot which was expected to bring two or three thousand dollars, sold for $10,350-- not exactly chickenfeed. The more you learn, the more fun you will have and the more lucrative your collection may potentially be. There is a certain pleasure is knowing that your collection is growing in value, but the real joy is not in how many dollars your Vintage Halloween collection is worth. The real joy comes from the fun of collecting itself. So Happy Halloween, and if vintage Halloween memorabilia is your thing-- happy collecting all year round.

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Comments 16 comments

Uninvited Writer profile image

Uninvited Writer 5 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

Great hub. I like to look at vintage Halloween decorations. So much better than the cheap plastic crap that is everywhere today.


robie2 profile image

robie2 5 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

I find the vintage stuff a kind of sentimental journey, but have to admit that some of the old stuff is also cheap plastic crap-- or was-- now it isn't so cheap anymore LOL


dkrainwater profile image

dkrainwater 5 years ago from Sheridan, Wyoming

I think the best place to find these items are in the back closet of a retired teacher. Great hub.


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 5 years ago from Central Oklahoma

Great hub, robie, but as a lapsed Wiccan, I feel obligated to remind everyone that Samhain (aka Halloween) is one of the most (if not THE most) sacred holidays for Wiccans and pagans, on a par with Easter for Christians or Ramadan for Muslims. It's a night to honor the dead, not go gaga over severed body parts (or be involved in severing them). ;D


robie2 profile image

robie2 5 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

tee hee dkrainwater, you are probably right about the teacher's closet-- might be a tidy bit of cash for the teacher who decides to sell them too.

Hi there Jama-- your admonition is timely and note is taken. No slight on Wiccans intended.


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 5 years ago from Bend, Oregon

We LOVE Halloween at my house (oldest son celebrates his birthday on 10/31). I'm with Uninvited Writer that these vintage finds are sooo much cooler than the cheap plastic stuff you find everywhere these days!

Awesome hub and rated thumbs up!


robie2 profile image

robie2 5 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Thanks Steph. I live in a town that does Halloween in a big big way-- in fact I should write a hub about that-- We all sit out on our porches and the kids come from miles around to trick or treat. It is so old fashioned and soooo much fun. Happy Birthday to your son:-)


Frieda Babbley profile image

Frieda Babbley 5 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

Oh this I just have to share all over the place. Great hub. Gives me loads of ideas. What a great video find! Perfect music background in that one, spooky =) Fabulous Vintage Halloween idea here robie2. Just love it.


G-Ma Johnson profile image

G-Ma Johnson 5 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

Great Hub..we have come such a long way haven't we...just look at the Jacquie Lawson cards these days...love them...life is good...:O) Hugs G-Ma


robie2 profile image

robie2 5 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Thanks Frieda and G-Ma-- I love the old vintage cards and yes G-Ma we have come a long way from them to the wonderful electronic greetings from Jacquie Lawson. Thanks to you both for stopping by


amy jane profile image

amy jane 5 years ago from Connecticut

Fun hub! I'll have to keep a look out for little treasures like these around here. There is a certain charm to vintage halloween items. :)


robie2 profile image

robie2 5 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Totally agree, amy-- vintage is always so much fun. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment:-)


desert blondie profile image

desert blondie 5 years ago from Palm trees, swimming pools, lots of sand, lots of sunscreen

As an almost-obsessed collector of vintage this and thats, somehow vintage Halloween was never on my radar ... but it is now! Nice column!


robie2 profile image

robie2 5 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Glad you liked it blondie and nice to see you. It has been too long:-) Happy Halloween


swedal profile image

swedal 5 years ago from Colorado

I need to keep my wife away from this hub, she loves Halloween and decorations. ;)


robie2 profile image

robie2 5 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Hi Swedal--well, ok I promise not to let your wife read this hub:-) but thank you for stopping by, reading, and commenting.

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