Happy Halloween, stamp collectors!
As you might know, a spooky philatelic specialization isn’t hard to come by. Last September, Canada Post released the third and final set of its Haunted Canada series. Once again, award-winning designer Lionel Gadoury was joined by illustrator Kammy Ahuja and artist Sam Weber to produce five frightening stamps featuring:
- the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre Centre (Toronto, Ont.);
- the Bell Island Hag (Bell Island, N.L.);
- the Lady in White (Montmorency Falls Park, Que.);
- the Phantom Bell Ringers (Charlottetown, P.E.I.); and
- the Dungarvon Whooper (Renous, N.B.).
“Having been able to delve into 15 of our nation’s most richly nuanced tales and bring them to life with master illustrator Sam Weber has been a thrill like no other,” said Gadoury. “All things must come to an end, but our fascination with the unknown is eternal. I hope Canadians and collectors are inspired by this final set and take time to share their own haunted tales with family and friends.”
For the deltiologists among us, the fifth floor of the Toronto Reference Library carries a vintage postcard collection with more than 50,000 postcards, most of which were produced in Germany in the early 20th century. Many holidays, including Halloween, are featured extensively in the collection, which was bequeathed to the Toronto Public Library by Beatrice Corrigan, a prominent University of Toronto professor.
One of the cards in the collection features a “Gibson Girl” design—the ideal of feminine beauty in the 20th century—on a pumpkin-style moon.
Our friends across the pond have also issued some spooky stamps.
On May 13, 1997, Royal Mail issued a four-stamp set dubbed “Tales of Terror.” Designed by Ian Pollack, the set features Dracula (26 pence); Frankenstein (31 pence); Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (37 pence); and The Hound of Baskervilles (43 pence.)
Bram Stoker’s 19th-century novel, Dracula, tells the tale of the blood-sucking vampire Count Dracula through a series of letters, diary and ships’ log entries, and newspaper clippings.
Frankenstein (or The Modern Prometheus) was written by Mary Shelley in 1818 and is considered the progenitor of science-fiction novels.
Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde was an 1886 novella written by the Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson. There are now more than 100 stage and film adaptations of the original novella.
The Hound of the Baskervilles, published in 1902, is the third crime novels written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle featuring famed detective Sherlock Holmes.