Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Vintage Jack O' Lantern

When I was a little girl, we lived in a very historic neighborhood called "Ghent" in Norfolk, Virginia. The homes around one particular area, called "The Hague," date back to 1890. Most of the homes were built between 1892 and 1907. The architecture of the homes, in my old neighborhood, consists primarily of late 19th century Dutch Queen Anne, Shingle style, and Colonial Revival interpretations, with their large pillared porches and brick stature. They are old homes; but they each have a very unique, fun feeling essence to them. {Only if you think haunted houses are fun, of course.}

Growing up in this historic neighborhood had its' moments, both good and bad. You see, I always felt weird telling my friends that I lived in a haunted house. First, I knew they never believed me when I told them this fact. And second, it was quite annoying and often times terrifying to know that there was a ghost living in our home. He would do things to torment us, like flicking on and off the lights in our closets and re-arranging the furniture in my dollhouse. My Mom and Dad have shared more stories with us as we have gotten older; but I do remember this home vividly and when ever we go back to visit, I often find myself driving by, wondering if HE still haunts the house on Greydon Avenue?

But when we did {finally} decide to move, finding a home to move into, in historic Ghent, proved to be quite troublesome for my parents; because they became "sensitive" and every home they were shown ended up being haunted, as well. The only thing left to do was to build a home from the ground up, and that is exactly what we ended up doing for this very reason.

The historic "Ghent district" was the most fun in October, when all of the homes decorated for Halloween! Every one of the homes, with their big, creeky porches, went all out for Halloween! Some of them even opened up their foyers for a interactive, Halloween activity. It was magical and spooky! The vibe throughout the neighborhood was alive with the spirit{s} of Halloween! I have never experienced anything else quite like trick or treating in "Old Ghent."

And that is where my profound love for Halloween was born! I love the decorations, the costumes, and especially, the Jack O' Lanterns!!!

Tonya's Jack O' Lantern
Jack O' Lanterns date all the way back to the early 1660s. It wasn't until the early 1800s, that Irish immigrants brought the folktale tradition to America, "home of the pumpkin." {In Ireland, they carve turnips and potatoes into jack o' lanterns.} Today, Jack O' Lanterns are the symbol and face of Halloween.

When my amazingly talented friend and bohemian mama, Tonya, decided to get crafty this holiday season, she was inspired by the vintage paper mache Jack O' Lanterns, and created a collection of handmade Jack O' Lanterns. They are so beautiful and incredibly unique! Each one is a hand painted folk art piece that represents a timeless tradition.

When she posted these pictures of them on Facebook, I immediately emailed her to ask if she would make one for our home? Of course, she said Yes! I can't wait to receive my Jack O' Lantern and will keep it on display all year round! A friendly reminder of the spirit of Halloween!

If you, too, would love one of Tonya's amazing Jack O' Lanterns, you can email her HERE. The small sizes are $45, the large are $65, and the double-sided faces are $75.



  1. I LOVE this post-my mom has always told us stories about the ghosts of her past, and I'm sure we scared ours away when my parents remodeled!


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