“They’re creepy and they’re kooky, mysterious and spooky…”

Need a bit of inspiration for your Halloween? Consider the strange and unsettling world of Charles Addams (1912-1988), the cartoonist who created the Addams Family. His macabre sense of humor was frequently featured in The New Yorker, Collier’s, and TV Guide and can now be found in more than a dozen collections of his work. 

Addams’ friend, filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock, made reference to the cartoonist in the script of North by Northwest, “The three of you together. Now that’s a picture only Charles Addams could draw.”

See Addams’ work at James Branch Cabell Library, Special Collections and Archives.


Need a knock ‘em dead prop for your haunted house?  Try Eisenbrant’s spring loaded “Life-Preserving Coffin!”


“Life-Preserving Coffin, In Doubtful Cases of Actual Death”

Drawing for a Life-Preserving Coffin, 11/15/1843

The fear of being buried alive led Christian Henry Eisenbrandt to patent a “life-preserving coffin in doubtful cases of actual death.” In his application, he claimed that through a series of springs and levers, even the slightest motion of the head or hand would instantaneously open the coffin lid.

via DocsTeach

(Also fun at parties)