Vintage Halloween Decor Is Trending for 2022, and It’s So Much Creepier Than We Expected
PureWow editors select every item that appears on this page, and the company may earn compensation through affiliate links within the story. You can learn more about that process here.
If you’ve been following this year’s fall design trends, you’ve probably noticed that retro. Is. In. So, it should come as no surprise that vintage Halloween decor is trending hard this year. Luckily, we’ve got a lot to work with, and apparently, Americans were just as obsessed with Halloween decor in the early 1900s as we are today.
However, consider yourself warned: The seasonal decor of the ‘20s, ‘30s and ‘40 is not for the faint of heart. Some of these pieces are creepy, like swiped-from-a-haunted-house creepy, and far more sinister than we’d expect them to be. See below for a brief overview of where the haunting aesthetic comes from, what to look for and of course, 15 of the spookiest retro and vintage-inspired Halloween decor we could find.
Star Tribune via Getty Images
Vintage Halloween Decor: What To Look For
“Since Halloween items are notoriously hard to accurately date, one rule of thumb I use is this: the scarier the imagery, the older the item,” says Ledenbach. While finding authentic vintage Halloween decor is a niche (and strangely difficult) hobby, Ledenbach brings up an important point: If you want to pull off the vintage Halloween aesthetic, you need to keep things creepy.
GETTY IMAGES/Harold M. Lambert
Focus on decor inspired by Samhain rituals, like carving menacing snarls onto pumpkins, displaying black candles and crystals, and creating potion-filled cauldrons. Plus, there’s no better way to channel the spirits than with a Ouija board—a fitting seasonal substitute for the coffee table book.
GETTY IMAGES/University of Southern California
Another nice touch? Include gothic and Victorian-style accents throughout. Think holographic paintings, medieval lanterns, witch hands, skulls, gargoyles and black candelabras.
While you’re at it, weave in a few animated objects— because nothing gets our blood flowing quicker than an unexpected “pop-out” scare. Work in some creepy, animated telephones, old radios or flickering lights to bring your vintage decor into the 21st century.
15 PIECES OF VINTAGE AND RETRO-INSPIRED HALLOWEEN DECOR TO SHOP NOW
Checkerboard patterns are a staple of this season’s vintage-inspired designs, and this mini pumpkin feels just as retro as it is chic. Add it to your doorstep or place it in a window for a hint of glamorous, nostalgic design.
2. Gemmy Spooky Victorian-Style Telephone
This Victorian-era telephone rings like a real phone and murmurs spooky phrases into the receiver when it’s plugged in. Perfect for a retro Halloween party.
A must-have for any gothic-inspired aesthetic, this set of six portraits seems to be completely normal—until you look at them from a different angle, where they instantly transform into creepy zombies and blood-stained mummies. Not to mention that each picture boasts a printed baroque frame, which adds a nice vintage touch.
With a package of four double-sided cutouts in assorted designs, this Beistle decoration has been around since the early 1900s. Hang these on a wall or in a window to add a (true) vintage flair to your Halloween decor.
If you’re looking to skew more retro (and less spooky) this vintage-inspired cauldron features a distressed black and white checkerboard pattern that lends a worn-in feel. Plus, it includes a gold-accented pot sitting on a pair of fanciful orange witches’ feet (making it the perfect candy holder).
This old-school style village is meant to be paired with string lights, tiny pumpkins, or any other seasonal elements to create a spooky scene on the mantel or at the doorstep.
With a hand-embroidered design that looks like it’s straight out of grandma’s sewing station, this owl-pillow would make the perfect nostalgic accent to a cozy swivel chair or tufted loveseat.
Cranking the creep up to a new level, this terrifying doll has a glowing head that will ask, “Don’t you want to play?” as he crawls across the floor. He’ll also say things like, “Come closer” and “I got a secret,” turning your house into a fright fest for anyone who dares to approach it.
This spellbinding pillow pays homage to hippies from the ‘60s. Toss it on a velvet-upholstered sofa or style it with a crochet throw blanket to give your nostalgic vignette a bewitching accent.
Why settle for a basic witch prop when you can have one that lights up with glowing green eyes, says four creepy phrases and is touch-activated?
Ouija boards have been around for decades—and now they’re begging to make a comeback into your Halloween decor. Just be sure to hide this from the kids (unless you want to wake up to blood-curdling screams from them and their friends).
Because what’s a vintage-inspired Halloween table without some gothic candelabras?
String lights are a decorative staple of the season, and this set of 50 LEDs features an orange-etched design that can bring a retro vibe into your space. Oh, and did we mention that they’re waterproof and totally safe for outdoor use?
This witchcraft kit comes stocked with a candle, crystals and herbs that can be used to cleanse a space (or summon spirits, if that’s your thing). It also comes with directions that explain how to set everything up, including a rune board made of wood and three magic wishing cards.
Yet another necessary animatronic, this pop-up toy box is a Halloween must-have. This one features a creepy clown, doll and teddy bear trio, plus spooky sounds and glowing lights.