Researching Halloween in the 1930s convinced me of one thing: I’m glad that I’m not celebrating Halloween in the 1930s. You’ll notice I don’t have any pictures here of 1930’s trick-or-treaters; that’s because all the photos I came across were way too creepy. We can complain about the Disneyfication of America all we want, but in some cases, maybe it’s for the best.
Of course, even Disney could be a little creepy back in the day (Hello, Mickey!):
Trick-or-treating wasn’t really a thing until the late 1920s and didn’t truly take off until after WWII. Up until the ’20s, Halloween was a night for parades, pranks, and mischief and, increasingly, vandalism and violence. In fact, some cultural historians theorize that the custom trick-or-treating was encouraged in hopes keeping kids in their neighborhoods would reduce rowdy downtown gatherings.
1930s Halloween decorations featured a plethora of witches and owls, and the orange-black-green color motif is very much in play. Again, there is a creepiness factor that has largely been erased from our friendlier, contemporary decor.
So what about quilts? Well, I looked around and only found one 1930s Halloween-themed quilt, a whole cloth quilt made from, yes, creepy fabric. Sorry for the poor quality of the photo:
The quilt below–one of my finishes from Summer 2018–isn’t a Halloween quilt, but it’s based on a pattern (Melon Patch) that was popular in the 1930s and it’s black and orange, and that will have to do. Happy Halloween, everyone!