Haunted Costume
home : tidbits : Haunted Costume
Corsets and Crinolines - unique vintage clothing

Tidbits : Haunted Costume


Although I'm not a someone who believes easily in "Fairy Tales" and aliens and the like, I don't do witchcraft but know that bad ghosts and good angels do exist and that some things can be haunted. To celebrate Halloween this month, I've decided to share and scare :) with you two items in my collection which I believe to be haunted. So sit back and be prepared to be scared! Boo!

This parasol dates from the late 1850's around 1858- 1860. I bought it in the Canada/US border town of Stanstead in in 1997, when the operatic group I was in (The Montreal West Operatic Society), was putting the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta, Utopia. I only paid $5.00 US for it in the only antique shop there was in the town.
The stick is Ebony and has a lovely turned end for a handle. It's a typical pre Civil War era parasol with a folding stick and is small in size (measures 28 inches long). These little parasols were used as walking parsols or for carriage rides. This one is unusual in the fact it that it has a "Marquis Stick", which means it has a little hinge right under the ferrule to tilt the top of the parasol in the direction of the sun.
The cover is made out of black silk which needs to be replaced. All was well and until one day not long after I bought it that I took it out my "Costume Closet" to admire it. I had the ceiling light on in my room and was sitting down on my bed pretending to be a Victorian lady out in her carriage (Ok, I have no life!). All of a sudden, and this will be hard to believe, for a split second, I wasn't in my room. It was weird, I could see clearly but it was at the same time, gone was my pink persian style carpet and instead was the most brilliant green grass you have ever seen. I was looking down and I could see myself sitting and I was wearing a black silk faille skirt over a hoop. That was it, as fast as it had started, it ended, it all happened in a second but it seemed longer. It REALLY freaked me out and I wrapped the parasol up and put it at the VERY back of my closet, even now I don't like to look at it too much. What's even weirder, that night after my mum and I had gone to bed, the vacuum turned on by itself even though it had been switched off all day!

Feeling creeped out yet? Here's another, this one happened the other week around October 12, 2001...

This shoe isn't in the best of condition and it's an "orphan" shoe as well it's missing the other foot, but for $5.00 Canadian (noticing a pattern here?), who cares! It's a good example of early 1890's shoe styles and as it's made out of heavy pink slipper satin, probably was a special occasion shoe. It's very small and most likely was a older girl's or teenager's shoe, measures 8" long and 2 1/2" wide. It's fairly unusual as by this date, most women's shoes were made with a right and left last, but this pair are made as "straights", that is, with no left or right shape to them. However, even though right and left lasts became popular in 1865 with ladies shoes, straights, although less common, continued to be made well into the Edwardian era. I bought it about 1996 and it's been in the same condition ever since I got it until the other week.
I was making the bed when I looked up at the top of my china cabinet when I noticed my shoe looked a little odd. I picked it up to discover to my horror, that it was SOAKING WET! Now, I take care of my costume collection and am careful where I store things but this was so odd!
The shoe was so wet that you can see in the photo where the water had soaked through the shoe where it stood and stained the wood of the cabinet! At first I thought the ceiling had leaked and water had dripped on it but there are no water marks or holes in the ceiling above it and besides I keep Victorian photos and albums and tons of antique paper stuff beside the shoe and nothing else was wet! This looked like it had been dunked in something and I thought Gary had dropped it by accident in the little pot of hot water that we bring upstairs to use when heating up The Baby Jake's bottle, but Gary swore he hadn't and was equally as disturbed as I was. Anyways, it's about two weeks later now and the shoe STILL isn't dry and am still perplexed as to what happened!

All photos are from the collection of L. Hidic