I love everything weird and colorful in this world and I try to live a life that will make the world a little better once I'm gone.
Antique & Vintage Halloween Noisemakers
Part of what I really love about Halloween is its fantastic imagery. Vintage Halloween toys and decorations show some of the most interesting, weird, and spooky, depictions of classic Halloween motifs.
The black cats, jack-o-lanterns, witches, and bats featured on these toys defined what Halloween is today. Trick-or-treating was a joyous event, and these toys were used in the parade from house to house, as well as at Halloween parties.
Collectors are lined up for these types of items. The popularity for them is growing immensely, especially in recent years. Take a look at some of the Halloween noisemakers of days gone by.
Vintage Halloween Postcard Featuring a Boy with a Noisemaker
Types of Vintage Halloween Noisemakers
There are several different types of noisemakers, each with their own unique un-musical sound.
- Tin Can Rattles
The Owl and The Frog
Halloween noisemakers were cheap toys. The companies that made them made noisemakers for other seasons as well, and sometimes they used the same mold for the Halloween noisemakers.
The Kirchof Toy Company used the same mold for the Halloween Owl clicker noisemaker as they used for a frog in other seasons. The owl, however, was much louder.
Tambourine Style Noisemakers
The tambourine style noisemakers are loved by collectors especially because they are great on display. The round flat area of the tambourine is perfect for the graphic, and it makes these items a wonderful add to a vintage Halloween collection.
The graphics on these noisemakers are amazing! This devil tambourine is a great example of the kind of scary imagery that made Halloween so fun years ago, and that lead Halloween to be the scary fun holiday it is today.
Vintage Postcard of a Young Child - too young for Trick-or-Treat, but not too young for a noisemaker!
Antique Halloween Noisemakers
Vintage Halloween Collectibles: An Identification & Price Guide
Vintage Halloween Noisemakers
At the height of their popularity (1940s - 1960s), Halloween noisemakers were used by trick or treaters as they made their trek from house to house.
Often kids would try to stay quiet and sneak onto someone's porch, and then all at once ring their noisemakers trying to scare the person inside.
Aside from scaring people with a noisemaker, the other main use was one that could not be avoided when handing a child a noisemaker: annoyance. Kids would annoy anyone and everyone they could with one of these noisemakers. (Who wouldn't?)
Make Your Own Vintage Style Halloween Noisemaker
- Learn to Make A Whirligig Clapper
From directions printed in a 1914 copy of Popular Mechanics
Horn Style Noisemakers
I love the horn style noisemakers because they let the kid use their own lungs to help make the sound - as loud as they want! Also, they were often made nice and long, so they are a great addition to a collection as a showpiece.
All Smiles ... Creepy Creepy Smiles
One thing I love about the graphics on vintage noisemakers and other vintage Halloween items is that they are smiling.
They're smiling, but it's never a happy-go-lucky smile. It's always a spooky he's-crazy-and-about-to-kill-me smile.
Take this vintage Halloween bell noisemaker for example. It has a cat, a jack-o-lantern, a witch, and two moons, all with spooky smiles.
I guess they let the kids see what they want to see in the image - a happy Halloween character, or a figure that just might snap and eat your face off.
Virginia Allain from Central Florida on September 26, 2013:
I like vintage Halloween items like the black cardboard cats or the orange heavy fiber jack-o-lanterns.
mcstacy on July 24, 2013:
I never had a Halloween noise maker, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading about them. Great lens.
gaminglaptops on October 31, 2012:
Love this old-time stuff.
anonymous on October 31, 2012:
they really have nice design. nice lens.
Blonde Blythe from U.S.A. on October 31, 2012:
Those vintage Halloween noisemakers are too cool! I love the graphics!
Faye Rutledge from Concord VA on October 31, 2012:
I remember having a noisemaker every year at Halloween. Wow, brings back memories!
flycatcherrr on September 21, 2012:
Oh, I remember finding one of those old clickers in my grandparent's attic chambers one summer, when I was a bored little kid just poking around. Funny how those simple toys like noisemakers could be so entertaining. I wish some of these things were still current when I was a kid.
Linda F Correa from Spring Hill Florida on October 10, 2011:
This lens is just plain fun
Sabre1000 on October 05, 2011:
I LOVE stuff like this!
emmaklarkins on October 04, 2011:
Wow, thanks! You learn something new every day!
HomesteadingChic on October 04, 2011:
How cute! I wouldn't have thought of these. :)
GypsyLyric LM on October 04, 2011:
I don't know that I had ever even thought if these - although I'm sure I knew they existed. What fun, and how I wish they had still been in fashion when I was trick-or-treating. Well said about why kids like to use them!