Halloween 1870s Style

Post by Doris McCraw


First, I’ll get my new story/promotion out of the way. I have a story in the anthology “One Yuletide Knight” that is now up for pre-order and will be available as an ebook on November 2, 2017 with the print version available shortly after. You can purchase it at: One Yuletide Knight

With October 31, Halloween, approaching, I thought it might be fun to look at how people perceived that date in the 1870s in what most would call the West. Below are some actual pieces from papers of that time.

Here we have almost an advertisement for the evening from the Atchison Globe from Friday October 31, 1879 issue in Atchison, Kansas


And this warning from the Lawrence, Kansas, Lawrence Republican Daily Journal of October 24, 1878. Seems mischief has been around for longer than we may have thought.


For the history of the day we can thank the Sedalia, Missouri, Sedalia Daily Democrat of Saturday, November 2, 1878. 



Of course no Halloween would be without the special events that take place. Here from Alden, Iowa issue of the October 10, 1879 issue, we have the following 

halloween fest

And finally this clip from a piece called “The Fairy Quest” from the Saturday, October 4, 1879 issue of the Republic County Journal of Scandia, Kansas.

clip from story halloween

I hope you enjoyed a glimpse of what folks back in the 1870s thought about October 31 and Halloween. There are so many stories, and I’m sure each of you have your own. However you celebrate of not, enjoy the fall season and don’t eat too much candy.  I know I won’t be bobbing for apples like I did when I was younger, but I might have a piece of…

Doris Gardner-McCraw -Author, Speaker, Historian-specializing in
Colorado and Women’s History

Angela Raines – author: Where Love & History Meet

For a list of Angela Raines Books: Here 
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This Post by S. J. Brown


Blog WaterfallThe world is filled with photographers each with their own specialty. Some enjoy  getting that perfect scenic shot that places the viewer at the location. The shape of a majestic mountain, the trickling liquid that cascades from a water fall, or the subtle shades that enhance a sunset is what prompts them to click the shutter button.

Blog FlowerOther shutterbugs frame in bright colorful flowers. Focusing in on the intricate lines what enhance the petals. Just the right amount of sunlight is needed before they click the shutter button.

Blog JaySome photographers enjoy images that evoke emotion as told by the expression on a person’s face. These expressions are fleeting and they need to click quickly to capture their desired image.

Architecture is another popular subject to record. The sleek subtle lines that piBlog Lighthouseerce the skyline or highlight the craftsmanship that goes into a building command some to click the shutter button again and again from varying angles.

As a wildlife photographer getting close to a wild animal and capturing it on film is my objective. This isn’t always an easy task. You can’t ask your subject to move a little to the left or look this way, can you? I can and do.

When I am in the field these types of comments evoke a chuckle from my spotter, but I chat with my subjects anyway. A calm reassuring voice lets my subject know I am there. This reduces the surprise factor and flight or fight response to my presence.

Blog HawkA raptor in hunting mode perched on a tree branch often has it’s back to me. A short conversation will prompt him to turn to see the source of the noise. Click , click goes my camera. Further chatter often turns him around to access the threat. That is when I click, click, click the shutter button.

Blog FoxFinding my subjects is also a challenge. They could be in the woods, along a river bank, along the edges of a field, or standing along the road. Some animals are use to seeing cars drive by. However when a vehicle stops that is totally foreign to them. Some stop and ponder the situation for just a moment. That is my opportunity to click away.

For me photography is as much about the experience as it is about the resulting image. The challenge of finding my subjects is something my spotter Jay takes very seriously. While I view our excursions as relaxing and fun he is serious and tense until I click the shutter button a few times. Then he relaxes a bit and enjoys his surroundings.

Blog TurtleMy endless quest for new subjects to photograph has led me to explore a variety of locations. I have met some charming people, and look into the eyes of fascinating creatures.

        When viewing a wildlife image do you consider what it took to get the shot? Do you simply enjoy the image? Do you have a preference for scenic shots over architecture, or are critters your favorite?

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Go into the field with S. J. Brown and see what develops.

Read Close Ups & Close Encounters.

S. J. Brown’s children’s picture books introduce children to wild critters with photographs, not illustrations.

All the Birds I See Cover



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Fun with Book Promotion by Erin Farwell

IMG_3021_1Writing is hard work. You have to create believable but inventive plots and characters people care about or hate depending on their role in your story. The setting must support the world you’ve created and the ending must satisfy the readers so that the want more. After all this hard, challenging, and satisfying work, you finally have a book: a real one that you can hold in your hand, turn the pages, and hold up to say “I wrote this.”

After the joy of birthing your new “baby” comes the hard part – marketing the dang thing. While we love our work and hopefully so do our friends and family, we still need, want, crave others to like it, too. So we do launch parties, book signings, Goodreads Giveaways, Facebook posts, bookstore queries, and anything else we can think of to tell people about this precious piece of ourselves that we have launched into the world.

Recently, a fellow author, Lois Winston, invited me to contribute to an author cookbook featuring dessert recipes along with our thoughts on love and writing as well as a blurb about our books/stories. The idea is that people will get some great recipes and maybe find a few new favorite authors in the process andIMG_6458 the writers will have another forum to connect with potential readers.

I jumped at the chance, offering my family’s recipe for Hidden Treasure Cookies, aka chocolate cups and caramel cups. This is the recipe that one child, upon tasting the cookies for the first time, turned to her mom and asked, “Can we adopt Miss Erin?” Yes, they are that good and one of the gems of our Christmas cookie trays. My thoughts on love and writing were pretty basic, yet true from my perspective but the recipe… so good.

The result of Lois’ effort is an amazing book entitled Bake, Love, Write and includes recipes and inspirations from 105 authors. In addition to the book itself, a group of the contributors are holding an electronic scavenger hunt during the month of October. I had never heard of this before but thought – why not, and I’m so glad I did. The participating authors have hidden a Halloween icon on one of the pages of their author websites and have donated a book, e-book, or swag item as prizes. Contestants must go to the author pages, find the icons and report their findings to be eligible for prizes which will be chosen through Raffle Copter. You can learn more and participate if you’d like here.

What a brilliant way to get people to read our author pages, learn more about our books, win prizes, and have some fun. Now if only I knew another group of connected authors with books to promote who might want to participate in a scavenger hunt…?

The recipes in Bake, Love, Write are awesome as are the authors themselves and it’s a wonderful way to take the drudgery out of book promotion. Check it out and tell me what you think.

Also, today is my husband’s birthday so a quick shout-out to him. Happy Birthday, Mike!

You can learn more about me at:

Erin Farwell

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