Monday Moments: Ghosts of My Friends

What we remember from childhood we remember forever – permanent ghosts, stamped, inked, imprinted, eternally seen. ~ Cynthia Ozick

Directions: Sign your name along the fold of the paper with a full pen of ink, and then double the page over without using blotting paper.

So opens the book The Ghosts Of My Friends. Arranged by Cecil Henland and published out of London by Dow and Lester Forester’s Hall Place, E.C., this book is a charming collection of autographs, with a “ghostly” twist. When the instructions are followed, the resulting image oftentimes produces a ghost-like image, built around the lines of the original signature. Sometimes, if the ink is too dry, the image is just a reflected signature. Other times, the images look like insects. Sometimes they don’t look like anything at all.

But with Halloween approaching, take a look at a few samples from a copy of The Ghosts of My Friends that we have in the archives where I work. See what images you can see in them! And did you notice that some of the signatures were collected while sailing on the Lusitania?

If you’d like to see it in the Archives, the book is part of our MS-383, Local History Ephemera collection, which has a number of interesting and unusual items relating to the history of the area. And if that isn’t enough “boo” in your Halloween festivities this weekend, be sure to check out some vintage Halloween photographs from our Dayton Daily News Archive on our DDN blog!

And I would be remiss if I didn’t share a picture of one of the scariest costumes at our local Halloween party. This guy was good…. He dressed in a suit, complete with tight-fitting black silk gloves, just like you see in all the great serial killer movies or television shows. He never spoke. Not a single word. Nor did he eat or drink. And, in case you are wondering, that is a real pumpkin. A very large one, that he carved out and wore. I think it is now my new favorite costume that I’ve ever seen.

What is your favorite Halloween memory? A favorite costume or treat? A scary moment?



Filed under Life, Monday Moments

2 responses to “Monday Moments: Ghosts of My Friends

  1. My favorite Halloween memory? We didn’t usually follow Halloween – I don’t like its overtones. But one year I relented and let my daughter go with some friends. She had such a good time. I was glad I put aside my objections and let her do it. A few years later she was too old to care.

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