THE BASEMENT BOOK SHELF: “Vintage Hallowe’en” by Robert S. Pandis and Heidi Pandis

The surprise book of the year for me came about on a recent visit to Salem, Massachusetts. While there we visited The Halloween Museum and their wonderful gift shop. This book was prominently displayed and though pricey, I soon realized how worth it it is!

This book is actually not a new release, coming out on January 1, 2019. I am actually surprised that I didn’t find it before the Halloween season of 2020. First off, this book is large and the quality is phenomenal. It is a deluxe hardback, with 200 full-color thick 200 weight art paper pages with hand-applied white thread binding stitching. It is full-color (expensive offset printing) and features a crepe paper texture and spot gloss metallic finish pumpkin lantern custom hardback cover.

Essentially this coffee table book is an art book, featuring all kinds of photos and artwork from Halloweens long past. I particularly enjoyed looking at how Halloween costumes changed over time from homemade to store bought (and some of the homemade costumes were pretty scary).

This truly is a history book on the greatest of holidays. Though it may have been celebrated in the past differently from now, decorating and costumes seemed to have always been a major part of it. They cover everything from Dennison’s Bogey Books (books from the 1920s and 1930s on how to decorate for Halloween) to the history of the holiday and how things have progressed up until the 1950s and 1960s.

The history of Halloween decorations is also fun to look at. I was actually surprised to see so many great decorations, from so long ago. I actually didn’t think Halloween was as popular back then. Many of the decorations, by a company called Beistle, are now being re-released in modern times as vintage decorations and they look fantastic!

Most of the artwork is absolutely amazing! I also loved the “Halloween Pledge,” signed by children saying that they will not be destructive during the night when the veil between the living and dead is at its thinnest.

Though there is a deluxe version available, I don’t feel like it is really necessary, at least for me. From what I can see it’s the same book, only in a box. Perhaps if it was autographed, or featured more pages, I would’ve gone with this one instead. Either way, this is a must-have book. It is definitely one you will put out each season as you decorate for you and your guests to enjoy.

Don’t forget to read the other blogs in my BASEMENT BLU-RAY REVIEW series. To order your own copy of this book, just click on the image below.

~David Albaugh

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