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Haunted Air Hardcover – June 6, 2011

4.3 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"for those into the history of Halloween and the common-day costumes worn, this book may be necessary in your collection."—"Selectism" blog


"an exquisite collection of antique vernacular photographs of Halloweens past"—Boing Boing


"recommended for collectors of Americana and those with an interest in the history of Halloween."—Library Journal's Xpress Reviews


"delightfully dreadful."—NPR's "The Picture Show" photo blog


"The emotional triggers of these moments in time have only become more subtle and complex with age." — GeekTyrant.com 

"bewitching collection of found American Halloween photographs from 1875-1955." —VMAN Magazine

"Creepy." —Rolling Stone

About the Author

Ossian Brown is an artist, musician, and composer who was a member of the music group Coil, and is a cofounding member of Cyclobe. David Lynch is the author of Catching the Big Fish: Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity as well as a three–time Oscar–nominated director whose popular and critically acclaimed films include Eraserhead, Wild at Heart, Twin Peaks, Blue Velvet, Mulholland Drive, and Inland Empire. Geoff Cox works in film and is the author of Anna & the Witch's Bottle.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Random House UK (October 28, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0224089706
  • ISBN-13: 978-0224089708
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #661,949 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Length: 1:14 Mins
Old pictures have always given me a strange feeling for one reason or another. It can be a simple picture of a family or some scenery, but the grainy-ness manages to give me an uneasy feeling that I have trouble putting into words. Maybe it's the lack of color. Not knowing exactly how these images looked in-person is just one of those weird things that leaves me staring at such pictures for longer than it probably should. Haunted Air is a collection of Halloween-themed photographs from 1875-1955, presented neatly like a photo album. As you can see in my video, the book has one picture on a page, very rarely using the back of the page to display another picture. I'm 50/50 on this, as leaving it blank ensures that the picture shown will be getting your full attention, but at the same time, it's mentioned in the introduction that the man who collected all of these pictures, Ossian Brown, had many more than what's shown here. These just happen to be some of his favorites. The guy did a great job picking photographs that will keep your interest though, that's for sure.

Maybe it's just me, but looking at these pictures of long gone people in crude masks and costumes, there's something strange about it all. And yet, they're just posing for a picture! Once again, it's the lack of color and picture quality that causes me to create stories in my head of what could possibly be going on. A child dressed up as a cat on all fours by himself, a group posed in front of the American flag, several people in the back of a truck...what exactly were these people doing? Nothing bad, I'm sure, but I still can't help but think. It sounds paranoid, I know. Just look at some of the images and see for yourself, and let your mind run free with the images.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
...than the other reviewers! My husband and I are avid readers of the UK publication, "Fortean Times." That's how we found out about this book; one of the Halloween photos was on the cover of Fortean Times and we were intrigued. We REALLY wanted to like this book but it's a HUGE disappointment for both of us. The commentary at the beginning and end of the book is wonderful. It's what's in-between that's disappointing. Each page of this book is, basically, a white canvas with a TINY (did I mention tiny?) vintage Halloween photo in the center. Why weren't the photos enlarged so they could be fully appreciated? Some of these photos are 2"x2" and feature multiple subjects in costume. Really? Anything "haunting" about these photos is completely lost. Granted, the photo on the cover of "Fortean Times" was blown up to magazine-size, which probably wouldn't be possible for a book. That said, it WAS the "haunted" look in the eyes of a boy in the "Fortean Times" photo that inspired us to buy this book. Believe me, you can't see ANY features in the book photos. Because there is no text on the book pages, I'm assuming it was the author's intent for the reader to "experience" the photos for themselves instead of being "led" through the book. We were waiting to be transported but, alas, without a magnifying glass, that simply wasn't possible.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Upon receiving my box of goodies from Amazon, I stood at my table, box open, checking each item. Upon lifting HAUNTED AIR up and the obligatory couple-of-pages-flip-though, I couldn't put it down. I stood there for almost 30 minutes - staring at each page...getting goosebumps and the tingle of eerie sentimentalism. I couldn't stop thinking and wondering if these people knew how creepy and weird their "get-ups" were?? Of course, the photos, each in black and white, certainly add to the stunning and haunting air. Love it. Love it. Love it. As to the 2-star review below...the photos are reprinted most likely, in their original sizes, which I think can only do justice for these beauties. I wouldn't change a thing for this book (just more photos!)...Thank you to everyone who put this gem together. Sharing it with the world. (And the glossy reprint of the photos...again, it just compliments the photos and their original counterparts. Many photos of those days were printed on glossy paper). Guess you can only please MOST PEOPLE. I am one of the "most people". 5 stars.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A well-crafted and rare collection of vintage halloween photos that you could not find anywhere else but here. A stunning look at the costumes of America's Past. Great conversation piece for a coffee table book, or for anyone in love with Halloween!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a beautiful presentation lacking enough ingredients, and parceled out like an overpriced meal. The plate is sparsely occupied but stylish, and all the cool people said it was the best ever, so you just have to agree if you want in the club.

I'll pass on membership. It looks like maybe they printed the images in the size they were when created (old pictures used to be very small), and they put one image every two pages, I guess so you could really get into that one miniscule haunt, but maybe it was because they could make a bigger book. The decision to not enlarge the images is beyond stupid.

It's nicely printed, but the editorial choices were flat out retarded. I'd be satisfied if I had paid $10, I guess, but I cannot get past the feeling of being duped and just plain disappointed that I cannot utilize the book for reference material as I had intended.
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