Nina Nightingale's Charm School: Vintage Hallowe’en Decorations - Atlas Obscura Experiences

Nina Nightingale's Charm School: Vintage Hallowe’en Decorations

1 hour
$15 per device
See Dates
$15 per device
$15 per person
See Dates
What We’ll Do

Nina Nightingale's Charm School is in session.

From silhouette portraits and hair reliquaries to postage stamp flirtation and suffragette tea parties, join curiosity artist and host Nina Nightingale in exploring history's most fascinating disciplines and their hidden origins! During each hour-long virtual live show, Nina will guide you through the basics of a specific craft, tell you about its often surprising importance in the cultural landscape, and take any questions that might come up along the way. Part Home Ec, part AP History, Nina Nightingale’s Charm School won't teach you how to be more genteel, but you’ll learn why crafting was never that polite anyway.

Hallowe’en decorations in the United States have gone through a full circle evolution in the last 100 years — from a holiday largely for adults in the early 1900s; to the candy-centered, kid-friendly trick-or-treating of the 80s and 90s; back around now to full-scale, high-production haunted houses complete with animatronics, scare actors, and even the occasional ride! Join Nina Nightingale for a look at some curious decorations from the past, get some inspiration for your own upcoming fright night, and learn a quick and easy way to craft your own jack-o-lantern designed after the popular paper pulp pumpkins of the 1930s and 40s.

Class Supplies (if you wish to work along)

an old plastic pumpkin bucket

craft or house paint in your desired colours

baking soda


craft knife


tissue paper or newspaper



aluminum foil


duct tape

clear coat or sealant



light or candle


Where We’ll Be


About Your Host
Nina Nightingale
Nina Nightingale

Hello! My name is Nina Nightingale and I am a professional fine artist practicing the very rare art of SILHOUETTE PORTRAITURE, in which I cut your likeness from paper with no writing instruments—simply freehand drawing with scissors. This art of "shadow cutting" was popular before photography was made affordable. Silhouette portraiture is one part history and one part how-does-she-do-it?

What Else You Should Know

Once registered, you can access the Zoom room for this experience through your confirmation email or Eventbrite account. Atlas Obscura online experiences are recommended for attendees age 13+.

This Online Experience will be recorded. A temporary link to the recording will be provided in a follow-up email to all ticket holders within 72 hours after the event. Access to this recording will be available for seven days.

We provide closed captioning for all of our Online Experiences, as well as transcripts upon request. Please reach out to us at if you have any questions, requests, or access needs.

This event is one of Atlas Obscura’s Online Experiences. At Atlas Obscura, our mission has always been to inspire wonder and curiosity about the incredible world we all share. Now, more than ever, there’s a need to stay connected—not only to our sense of wonder, but to each other.

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