“No one else has ever created such a fantastic Pennsylvania Dutch Halloween.”
—C. Richard Beam, director, Center for Pennsylvania German Studies
at Millersville University
The first collection of Pennsylvania Dutch scherenschnitte just for Halloween is accompanied by original poetry in the native dialect with an English translation. As old as the culture itself, this elaborate style of scissors cutting is a cherished tradition. The artful precision used in the cuttings lends a menacing air to dangling spiders and slinking black cats. The poems capture the feeling of the holiday, describing witches dancing with “mystic glee” and Hallow’s Eve spirits that “clamor and bump.”
A brief introduction reveals how the Pennsylvania Dutch came to celebrate October 31. Details of what they wore, their choice of holiday food, and how they decorated are included. A glossary at the end lists dialect words next to the English translation for accurate interpretation of the poetry, and an instructional page features a pattern for readers to make their own Halloween paper cutting.