Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween from Special Collections and from our spooky friends! First, this very cheerful cloaked skeleton who hopes they’re invited to your Halloween party:

Evans, Henry Ridgely. The spirit world unmasked: illustrated investigations into the phenomena of spiritualism. Chicago: Laird & Lee, 1897.

Next, from the characters in “Little Wee Pumpkin’s Thanksgiving,” none of whom are at all unsettling:

Bigham, Madge. Stories of Mother Goose Village. Chicago & New York: Rand McNally & Company, 1903.

Don’t stress, this anthropomorphized pumpkin with leafy toupee and a skin-colored cravat just wants to make somebody very happy! Is it you? Is it this bossy queen standing in a pumpkin patch?

The stockinged gentleman accompanying the queen here is, I should note, Peter Pumpkineater, the keeper of the pumpkin patch. I don’t know about you, but if I were a pumpkin being tended by someone with the surname Pumpkineater, I wouldn’t be looking quite so placid…

Finally, we bring you copious Halloween greetings from Jack Pumpkinhead, the very aptly named character from The Land of Oz:

Baum, L. Frank. The land of Oz. Chicago: The Reilly & Lee Company, 1904.

Do you love Jack Pumpkinhead? I love Jack Pumpkinhead. I love his clearly-articulated joints, his perfectly spherical head, and his obvious propensity for adventure. I also, as those who know me will attest, just LOVE pumpkins. This is a picture of me during all of the autumnal months:

Jack Pumpkinhead exhibits a surprising range of emotion given his fixed facial features. Here he is looking sweetly bashful!

As always, get in touch if you’d like to set up a time to see any of these books in person, and until then, may you enjoy this time of year with its crunchy leaves, golden light, copious pumpkins, and spooky nights.

From Stories of Mother Goose Village.

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