10 Creepy Vintage Valentines
People like to complain that Valentineās Day is too commercial, that itās all an excuse to make us buy overpriced chocolate and flowers. Well buck upāwe may be wasting our money, but at least weāre not traumatizing our loved ones! Because based on these Valentineās cards from the 1940s and earlier, thatās what the holiday used to be all about. It’s Valentine’s day so here is a a light-hearted look at this special day of love.
The Valentine card you give says a lot about you. A handmade card says youāre thoughtful, a Batman card says youāre rad, and this card says youāre going to kidnap your lover and perform experiments on them in your basement laboratory.
Look at . . . her? It? She/he is half vampire, half evil doctor and all terrifying. Anyone who can do that with their mouth is either Gene Simmons or a monster, and you shouldnāt have sex with either one. The āsecret formulaā theyāre working has to be some sort of love potion, which is just a polite term for rape juice. If you get this Valentine, just run. Donāt stop to ask questions, or it will already be too late.
Dude, look at yourself. Thereās a reason she built a wall, youāre dressed like Captain Sex Offender. If you need a magic ray to get access to your loved one, sheās not playing hard to getāsheās playing ātraumatized victim.ā
Her expression says it all. Sheās not in love, sheās trying to calculate her best escape route while she still has time. Superhero themed Valentineās cards were even more popular in the past than they are today, but based on this one they probably released clouds of knockout gas.
Look, Iām not here to question how you express your love. If you and your partner like to dress as sailors and tie each other up while adorable mice and chicks watch, thatās none of my business. But please, please leave your kitten out of it. Nothing ruins a night alone with your special someone quite like the SPCA busting down your door.
It doesnāt help that the cat is terrified. Sure, at first glance he seems happy enough about the situation heās in, but look closer. Never mind the Exorcist-esque contortions needed to rotate his head like thatāthereās someone behind him, theyāre coming closer, and he is terrified. Whoever put him in that position is either not playing nice or has a serious misunderstanding of the idea that cats enjoy playing with string.
Sorry, sweetheart, but the only thing you need to be surrounded with is prison bars, and lots of āem. I donāt know what laboratory you escaped from (the vampireās?), but love should be the last thing on your mind. Focus on the pitchfork wielding mob thatās no doubt chasing you down and cursing you as a blasphemy against nature.
This 1936 Valentine gets weirder the longer you look at it. Where are her feet? Theyāre not in her shoes. Why is her dress clearly made for a much larger woman? Did she murder her creator and steal her clothes? Is this the grim origin of the āduckfaceā that now plagues Facebook profiles worldwide? So many questions, so little time to answer them before you run screaming in horror.
Whā¦ why does he have light bulbs for eyes? Are those light bulbs? Whatever they are, donāt look at them. One way or another, they will destroy you.
I shouldnāt criticize the poor guy though, because heās obviously in agonyālook at the mouth, locked in a silent scream that will never end. Itās like heās a robot that was taught to kill but learned how to feel pain. Hunting and other āmanlyā activities were common themes in old-timey Valentineās cards, but that doesnāt even begin to explain whatās going on in this one.
This poor creature needs to be put out of his misery for the safety of all. āIām out hunting for a Valentineā isnāt a cute metaphor, heās literally hunting the most dangerous game. āAre you āgameā?ā indeedāāBecause I am going to shoot you, because I am a killbot. Ha. Ha. Ha,ā is how the text would finish if there was more room.
Look, thereās no way around thisāhis cannon looks like a penis. Donāt accuse me of being a pervert, they knew exactly what they were doing here. If you think of a cannon you picture a black one, right? So why is his flesh colored, and rather strategically positioned? Itās āloadedā alright, and itās clearly ready to fire. What, pray tell, is it firing? Well, letās just say Iām willing to bet thatās not an ellipsis, but rather the word ājuiceā after the censors got to it.
Also, is it just me, or is the cannonās barrel twisted? Whether you think of it as a literal cannon or symbolism for the most well-endowed little boy in history, it shouldnāt look like that. If someoneās going to fire his āloveā at you, you at least want a proper delivery method.
Guns used to show up all the time on Valentineās cards, which makes senseākids played with toy guns a lot back in the day, and cultural attitudes towards firearms werenāt what they are now.
That being said, itās difficult to read this as anything other than a threat. I donāt care what the context isāunless youāre trying to seduce a member of the NRA, this will come across as creepy. It might as well read, āPlease be mine, because Iām willing to use force if necessary.ā And yes, that may get you love, but probably not the long term romance youāre hoping for.
Okay, I may have been exaggerating on the previous entry, but thereās no hyperbole hereāthis is a pro-rape Valentine. Thereās simply no other way to read it. Good lord, can you imagine what your Valentine would think of you if you gave this to them? Trick questionāanyone who gives this doesnāt care what they think, because theyāre only using it as a distraction while they re-enact the portrayed scene. āNow will you be my Valentine?ā sounds even scarier when itās being whispered to an unconscious body.
Was āyouāre so cute I could just eat you upā a phrase that used to be taken literally? Or were people simply turned on by cannibalism and horror once upon a time? I donāt know the answer, but does it really matter when all the potential explanations are equally terrifying? I wanted to dismiss this as some weird attempt at a dark joke, but it turns out ācannibalistic cardsā is an entire genre.
Maybe before it was traditional to eat chocolate at Valentineās it was in vogue to eat human flesh. Or maybe WWII veterans were trying to work out their PTSD through the medium of cards. Perhaps this what prisoners made before they started working on license plates? We may never know.
A suicide themed Valentine is already inappropriate enoughāit doesnāt help that the skunk isnāt screwing around. A gun or a heavy rock would be enough for most people, but no, he needs both. And based on his facial expression, heās about five seconds away from using them. And this was made by Hallmark, a company so wholesome their business plan is hugs. I donāt even want to think about what more risquĆ© manufacturers would have produced.
Again, this was an entire genre, not a one-off by some clinically depressed Hallmark employee. Apparently it used to be that if you werenāt on a Valentineās date you were either committing or trying to talk someone out of suicide.
Yeah, thatās right. If you canāt find love today, there are countless sappy movies and clichĆ©d TV shows out there to assure you it will happen sooner or later. If you couldnāt find love in the past? Kill yourself. Valentineās Day used to be hardcore.
You can read more from Mark, including his own light-hearted take on suicide, at his website.