Vintage Halloween Postcards: A Popular Halloween Ephemera Collectible


As the days get shorter and you feel the chill in the air, it’s not hard to notice that all around you the leaves begin to turn red and gold.  All these changes, usually signals that the fall season and all its wonderful holidays are quickly approaching and will soon be upon us.  And who can forget Halloween as you begin to prepare for all the treats you’ll be giving out to the ghouls and ghosts that will be appearing at your door!

This is the best time to get out those Halloween collectibles and that doesn’t mean that your vintage collecting can’t display your mix of vintage finds with your modern tastes.  However,  this type of  collecting is especially a challenge, when you are looking for vintage Halloween collectibles which is as rare a find as seeing the proverbial ghost!

But don’t despair one of the most accessible Halloween collectible that is available on Ebay and other auctions sites are vintage Halloween postcards or greeting cards and at reasonable prices.


Since the late 1800s, the year that marked the “golden age” of postcards there have been a variety of Halloween themed postcards that were sent to family and friends.  However, what makes them difficult to find is that the holiday was not celebrated to the extent it is today and many housewives’ threw out their Halloween decorations along with holiday greetings.

Around the turn of the century, postcards were a popular way of sending greetings to friends and family. It was a popular way of communicating with loved ones in the “snail mail”, pre-internet days. The most beautiful and most collected Halloween postcards were published by John O. Winsch of New York between the years of 1911 and 1915.  Winsch used rich inks and embossing on his cards, and sent them to Germany to be printed.  At the time, Winsch sold his postcards two for a nickel, while postcards in America were charging one cent.

Popular Vintage Postcard Designers

The most popular designers for postcards at the time were:

Ellen H. Clapsaddle – She was one America’s well known and  most prolific designer who created her designs  for Raphael Tuck and Sons, International Art Publishing Company, and Wolf Publishing Company, a subsidiary of Inter-Art that Clapsaddle launched herself.

H.B. Griggs – Griggs, using the signature H.B.G., published almost exclusively for Leubrie and Elkus of New York. So little is known about the identity of the designer, that it’s not even know if the designer was a man or a woman.

Gracie Debbie Drayton – She designed or made Halloween cards for Raphael Tuck and Sons showing the similar big-eyed chubby-cheeked kids , that she created for Campbell’s Kids branding.


Image Credit: Flickr – Creative Commons