Hundred-Year-Old Halloween Bogeyman Craft

18-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:

Tuesday, October 28, 1913:  Working away as usual.


Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Hmm. . . Grandma wasn’t exactly doing her usual work. She and her sister Ruth were preparing to host a Halloween party. The previous day they sent invitations to friends.

Were they making any Halloween decorations? . . . Maybe the carrot and apple head bogeyman shown in the October, 1913 issue of Ladies Home Journal?

Source: Ladies Home Journal (October, 1913)
Source: Ladies Home Journal (October, 1913)

I’m a bit foggy about why the magazine caption calls the bogeyman a candle holder since I don’t seen any candles in the picture.

The magazine didn’t provide directions for making the bogeyman, and instead said that if you wanted directions for making the “novelties” shown that you should send a stamped self-addressed envelope to the Entertainment Editor.

Here’s how I interpreted the picture when I made the bogeyman:

I bought some old-fashioned fat carrots (and some apples) at the farmer’s market.

I carved a jack-o-lantern face on the apple and then cut a round hole about 1-inch in diameter and 1-inch deep in the bottom of the apple.  I dipped the carved face in lemon juice so that it wouldn’t turn brown.

I peeled the carrot and cut the bottom off so that it would sit flat. I then cut away part of the top of the carrot to create narrower piece that could be inserted into the bottom of the apple.  I also cut notches on each side of the carrot for the twig arms.

I then assembled the bogeyman. The “buttons” on the front of the carrot are raisins that I attached using pins.

Hundred-Year-Old Halloween Party Invitiations

18-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Monday, October 27, 1913:  At last and for the first time Ruth is going to pay back some of the entertaining she owes. She is going to give a Halloween Masquerade party. I suggested it over a month ago. I almost gave the thing up last week, but now the invitations are out and I’m fixing things up to beat the kill.


“Invitations written on post cards decorated with button-face freaks Iike those shown will be unique.”

Ladies Home Journal (October, 1913)

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

What fun! Grandma and her sister Ruth were going to have a Halloween party.

The October, 1913 issue of both Ladies Home Journal and McCall’s Magazine included directions for Halloween parties.  As Grandma and Ruth prepare for their party over the next few days, I’ll share what the magazines said.

Today, I’m sharing the instructions for making invitations. The direction in Ladies Home Journal are above. Here are the directions in McCalls:

Buy a ten-cent package of black-witch silhouettes, or cut them out yourself, and paste it in the lower corner of the invitation.  Across the top write the following:

Attend, attend, attend:

Lend an ear!

The witches are back,

They’re all come here!

They buried them deep,

But they won’t be still

On All Saints’ Eve,

When the winds blow chill.

They’ll meet you here.

At the hour of eight

Come, see queer things

And learn your fate.

On the reverse side of the card the address is written.

Incidentally, the poem from which the above verses are parodies is entitled “The Broomstick Train” by Oliver Wendell Holmes.

McCall’s Magazine (October, 1913)


Old Halloween Costumes

18-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:

Saturday, October 4, 1913:  Still working for wages.

DSC06562.cropResplendent in a flowing costume of gauzy marquisette studded with stars is the “Queen of the Night.” The dress is the empire design, with a tulle ruffle at the low neck and a drapery of transparent material falling from the shoulders in the back. Paper stars may be bought in various sizes.

Ladies Home Journal (July, 1912)

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Grandma was still helping with the corn harvest. As she worked,maybe she dreamed of making an awesome Halloween costume.

Here are some costumes that appeared in the July, 1912 issues of Ladies Home Journal. (The pictures showed patterns that the magazine sold—and they apparently wanted to give people plenty of time to sew the costumes.)

pink.witch.costume.1912Divested of the traditional black garments of the traditional witch, the rosy-hued costume envelopes the make-believe witch in a gown that has the power to charm that may prove irresistible. Black cats cut from black crepe paper are used to ornament a simple shirtwaist dress and a peaked cap with strips of paper or ribbon on the dress.

cowgirl.costume.1912A dashing broncho girl is picturesquely costumed and armed with a deadly weapon and cartridge belt, and holding a lariat with which to bring into submission all potential victims.


DSC06563.crop.2The brilliant colorings suggestive of the aboriginal American’s war dress are strikingly developed in the Indian girl costume. The dress is a one-piece princess design and may be made of russet-brown satin, the conventional trim being either hand-painted or developed with white and colored muslin patches.

Whew, some of these costumes (and the descriptions of them) won’t be considered appropriate today. But  some things never change–it’s interesting how the description of almost every costume indicates that the woman wearing it will be attractive or charming.

Note: I included two of these pictures in my October 31, 2012 post—but they are so good I just had to share them again this year.


Fireworks Dangerous According to State Fire Chief

18-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Friday, July 4, 1913: Wasn’t much celebrating done at this house today. I saw a balloon go up or rather I saw it after it had gone up. Saw a few fireworks this evening, but that was at a distance.

Source: Milton Evening Standard (July 2, 1913(
Source: Milton Evening Standard (July 2, 1913)


Says Care Should Be Taken to Safeguard Life and Property on the Fourth

The department of the state fire marshal at Harrisburg has issued the following Fourth of July proclamation:

The Fourth of July, which is and should be a day of patriotic rejoicing has become a day of apprehension and terror to all persons who have any concern for the safety of life and property. It is a day when fire departments in all cities and towns are generally kept on the run. The people have not yet learned the significance of the day in its highest and best sense. They have not yet learned the noise is not patriotism. Other countries show their patriotism in a more quiet manner with considerably less loss of life and property and this country in the earlier days celebrated the Fourth of July by the unfurling of the stars and stripes, a salute of guns, ringing of church bells and patriotic songs and speeches. . .

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Sounds like Grandma had a pleasant and safe 4th.

A hundred years ago many leaders thought that electric light displays could be a modern replacement for fireworks. You might enjoy reading this post I did last year:

Are Fireworks  Old-Fashioned?

Memorial Day, 1913

18-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Friday, May 30, 1913:  Went up to McEwensville this morning as I planned to do some time ago. There wasn’t any band and not so many people. Wanted to go to Watsontown this afternoon to see the cemetery, but didn’t have anyone to go with. After thinking it over I decided to go as I believed I would feel miserable if I staid at home. The slippers I had on made me awful tired and began to wonder how I would get myself home. The problem was solved when I got a chance to ride where-upon I considered myself quite fortunate.

Was the McEwensville event held at the cemetery or at the Community Center?

The brick building in the background once houses McEwensville School.


Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

A hundred years ago Memorial Day was always on May 30. In the 1910s it was an important holiday with lots of parades and celebrations honoring aging Civil War veterans.

It sounds like the day got off to a rocky start, but ended nicely. Did Grandma wear the new dress that her mother made? Who brought her home from Watsontown? . .. . anyone interesting?

At the Watsontown Cemetery, did Grandma put the wreath she made the previous day on the grave of her paternal grandparents?  Her grandfather, S.K. Muffly, died when she was very young; but her grandmother, Charlotte Muffly, died in 1905 when Grandma was 10. What were Grandma’s memories of her grandmother? . . . Did she miss her?




Or maybe Grandma put the wreath on the grave of her aunt, Mary (Muffly) Fienour, who died the previous summer. (In the obituary Mary’s last name is spelled Feinour.) Mary is buried next to her mother (Charlotte).


Mary Feinour Obituary. Source: Milton Evening Standard (July 19, 1912). Click to enlarge for easier reading.
Mary Feinour Obituary. Source: Milton Evening Standard (July 19, 1912). Click to enlarge for easier reading.

(The fourth gravestone in the group, is the stone of Grandma’s uncle, Samuel Muffly. That stone won’t have been there in 1913–he didn’t die until 1930.)

Mother’s Day Celebrated a Hundred Years Ago

18-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Sunday, May 11, 1913:  Mother’s Day. Went to Sunday School this morning. Managed to while away the time for I didn’t go any place, because I didn’t.

Source: Milton Evening Standard (May 15, 1911)

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

According to Wikipedia, Anna Jarvis organized the first modern Mother’s Day celebration in 1908 in Grafton, West Virginia to honor mothers and motherhood. Ms. Jarvis promoted the holiday, and it soon spread to other places. It became an official US holiday in 1914.

It’s surprising how quickly Mother’s Day caught on throughout the country. Grandma considered it important enough to mention in the diary in 1913—only 6 years after the first celebration of Mothers Day.  And, the local newspaper, The Milton Evening Standard, had an article about it two years earlier.

No Valentines

17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Friday, February 14, 1913:  Cupid didn’t send me any valentines. Didn’t feel very well this morning.

My dearest sister was going to a box social, and then didn’t go because no one came for her. I’m glad I wasn’t going for then I would have been disappointed.

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Grandma didn't get any, but here is an example of a nice 1912 valentine postcard.
Hundred-year-old Valentine Postcard

I bet Grandma wished that a special guy had sent her a valentine like this one.

February must be the month for box socials. Grandma and her sister Ruth went to one the previous week-end.

Poor Ruth—it’s hard to be stood up. (Maybe I should be looking at this from Grandma’s perspective and feel happy—but I can’t help feeling bad for Ruth.)


Grandma’s matured a lot. In 1911 and 1912 she was really into sending ugly valentines–sometimes called vinegar valentines–to people who annoyed her; but in 1913 she never mentioned them. You might enjoy these posts  from previous years:

Anonymous Comic Valentines

Valentines: The Good, the Bad, and the Horrid

Bought Some Vinegar Valentines

Sending Ugly Valentines