This dandy modern postcard, featuring creepy toys gathering in the forest, is an advertisement for a place called the Castle Halloween Museum. When the card was printed, the museum was located in Benwood, West Virginia, a tiny city in the northern prong of that state.
But, as I started to do some research, I discovered that the museum moved and is now located in central (slightly west-central) Pennsylvania — Altoona, to be exact. Here are some images from the museum's website, which is simply www.castlehalloween.com.
The most important thing to know, if you want to make a spook-tastic field trip to Altoona on this Halloween weekend (or any other time) is that admission to the museum is by appointment only. Specifically, the website states:
AND MUST BE BOOKED IN ADVANCE
So call the museum at (814) 940-1031 before you solidify your Pennsylvania haunted road-trip travel plans.
The trip would be more than worth. Here's a rundown of some of the museum's contents:
- over 35,000 Halloween-related artifacts "from Arcade Machines to Zany Day of the Dead displays"
- Southern pottery face jugs, from Meaders to Rogers (over 200 examples)
- Voodoo flags and paintings
- figural folk art by artists like Jack Roads, Alan Cunningham, Linda Wolf, Debbee Thibault and Tubby Brown
- "learn about Mother Shipton, Dennison & the Bogie Book"
- candy and ice cream molds
- "vintage Jack O lanterns, advertising, toys, candy containers and decorations"
- "Original art, sheet music, magazines, Salem Witch, bats, spiders, fortune telling, games ... and Harry Potter"
And you might even come away with an awesome collectible. According to the website: "The antique shop here is where you will find most of our duplicate items and that is one of the ways we try and pay the heating and electric bills and restore the building."
The museum owners and curators are Pamela Apkarian-Russell and Chris Russell. Pamela Apkarian-Russell is an author, lecturer and curator of all things Halloween. Some of her books include Collectible Halloween, More Halloween Collectibles: Anthropomorphic Vegetables and Fruits of Halloween, A Collector's Guide to Salem Witchcraft and Souvenirs and Halloween Collectible Decorations and Games.
If you've been to the museum or go at a future date, let us know what it's like in the comments section.