Monday, October 22, 2012

Halloween Treat: Haunted Air (Ossian Brown, 2011)

If I were a rich man, instead of handing out Tootsie Roll Pops and Jolly Ranchers to trick-or-treaters on Halloween, I'd hand out ridiculously awesome goodies like copies of this book, Haunted Air, A Collection of Anonymous Hallowe'en Photographs, America c.1875-1955.

From the collection of musician Ossian Brown (no, I am not familiar with his work...), Haunted Air is a 200+ page album of vintage black and white photographs of children in Halloween costumes. The photos are presented without commentary, and no attempt is made to date or identify them (although sometimes you might find a hand-scribbled date on the photograph itself.)

Oh yea, there's a short written introduction by director David Lynch, and a historical note tracing the cultural origins of Halloween, but the real draw is the photographs. Some of my favorites are posted below.

Be advised the book seems to cycle in and out of availability. You can nab a copy for under $30 when its in stock, but prices can climb four times that when it cycles out of stock again. Buy it here.


Brian Barnes said...

Comicon cosplay was terrible in 1890!

I know a lot of people are creeped out by these photos (and it seems that was the point of the collection), but I find them fascinating in the somewhat DIY aspect of a lot of the costumes. I suspect a lot of these people -- especially in the early shots -- didn't have a lot of stuff laying around to make costumes with.

Some are obviously store bought, and honestly, that many old man masks? Was it that popular? Or is the bad resolution making me see old man/old lady all the time?

Travesti Best said...

this is a nice and interesting blog.

Dustin Petersen said...

Some of these older masks are much creepier than anything available today. I'm not sure if it's the vintage photo or the mask itself, but these could really add to the creep factor for a modern horror movie.