Some Victorians spoke of oatmeal as if it were a mainstay of their diets. Others claimed oats were fit only for animal fodder or for use in baths to soften skin… but food? Ugh. No. Why were beliefs so polarized? Why did Victorian-Americans have an aversion to oats?
PARALYZED BRIDEGROOM: A vintage newspaper article published on January 15, 1888 in The Sunday Leader of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, shows the superstitious nature of one (Kentucky) widower…and a very odd set of circumstances. Note that the article takes care to explain both the effected bridegroom and the new bride are frugal, hard-working, well-respected people of common sense. Amazing what a bit of folklore, threats from a dying first wife, and “the power of suggestion” can do.
When did Americans begin celebrating the Punxsutawney Phil, acknowledging the groundhog’s emergence from its den…and whether or not it saw its shadow? Is this a new observation, or an old? We know Victorians celebrated a wide variety of holidays we still acknowledge, and some we don’t. Did the Victorians’ superstitions embrace the Groundhog and his Shadow? Come see!
Victorian-era Americans enjoyed holidays–filled with patriotism, fun, remembrance, religion, and fashion. Halloween began far earlier than the 19th century, when All Hallows Eve was a sacred, religious observation. Come catch a glimpse of our Victorian American ancestors’ fun with Halloween: “Hallowe’en Cake” and its fortune telling methods, parlor games filled with superstition, phrasing for party invitations, historical cabinet cards of Victorian Halloween costumes, and more!