Ghosts of My Friends

The best in this kind are but Shadows….
~ William Shakespeare

Directions: Sign your name along the fold of the paper with a full pen of ink, and then double the page over without using blotting paper.

So opens the book The Ghosts Of My Friends. Arranged by Cecil Henland and published out of London by Dow and Lester Forester’s Hall Place, E.C., this book is a charming collection of autographs, with a “ghostly” twist. When the instructions are followed, the resulting image oftentimes produces a ghost-like image, built around the lines of the original signature. Sometimes, if the ink is too dry, the image is just a reflected signature. Other times, the images look like insects. Sometimes they don’t look like anything at all.

Bertha Greensmith

But with Halloween approaching, take a look at a few samples from our copy of The Ghosts of My Friends. See what images you can see in them! And did you notice that some of the signatures were collected while sailing on the Lusitania?

If you’d like to see it here in the Archives, the book is part of our MS-383, Local History Ephemera collection, which has a number of interesting and unusual items relating to the history of the area. And if that isn’t enough “boo” in your Halloween festivities this weekend, be sure to check out some vintage Halloween photographs from our Dayton Daily News Archive on our DDN blog!

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