Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Horrifying ephemeral images that will haunt you this Halloween

Last October, we had a lot of fun with the Halloween Countdown of the most horrifying ephemera I could find in my collection. We had the live mystery egg, an elongated neck, clowns, disgusting recipes, zits, a "rupture-easer," absurd fashion statements and much more.

This year, on the eve of our scariest holiday, here are a few more pieces of ephemera to make your skin crawl.

Ways to ruin nice meat, Part I

This is the cover of a 1971 hardcover titled "The Meats Cookbook," which was part of the Southern Living Cookbook Library.

I believe the correct reaction to this is WHY?!?

Why would you tarnish a perfectly nice pot roast by filling it with olives, like some horrible alien seeds waiting to burst from the center?

The recipe is called Deviled Pot Roast (seems appropriate) and you are supposed to cut slits into the uncooked meat and push olives inside before roasting it.

It's bad enough that this recipe exists, but why on earth would someone think it made sense to use it as the cover shot of a cookbook?

Terrors from Aunt Lydia1

These three knitted items are described in Star Book No. 207 — "Make It With Aunt Lydia's Heavy Rug Yarn."2

First up, we have the Clown Tissue Topper.3

Then there's this scary-ass doll. Those eyes would give a kid nightmares.

And finally, for knitters who love insects, we have "Cynthia Centipede."

I'm not making this up.

Ways to ruin nice meat, Part II

A recurring theme on this blog has been the common-sense idea that you do not put other foods in Jell-O/gelatin.


And yet here we are with another violation of that rule. And not only is the rule broken, but it's broken with one of the greatest foods on the planet — shrimp.

Why would you ruin the wonderful taste of shrimp by immersing them into a gelatin mold???

This shrimp, egg and gelatin recipe, from a 1945 booklet titled "The State of Maine's Best Seafood Recipes," is so heinous that I dare not repeat it here.

Like the text of the Necronomicon, it must never be shared or read aloud.

1. Another Aunt Lydia booklet was featured in the very first Halloween Countdown post — nightmare toilets.
2. Do you think it's better to make it with Aunt Lydia's heavy rug yarn, or to make it with Aunt Lydia? Discuss.
3. The clown tissue topper, however, is not nearly as creepy as these Doll Head Tissue Boxes that were uncovered by The Kitsch Bitsch, whose collection of uncomfortable vintage ephemera images is absolutely unrivaled.



  1. Ahhhhh, this is why Joan wouldn't go for the Doll Head tissue boxes ... she's been secretly making a "Cynthia Centipede" for you :)

  2. Yeah...they don't even look appetizing. Shrimp "followed by" Jello, not "found in" Jello, people.