I was Googling for vintage Halloween cards because, you know, Halloween! Halloween Countdown! and kept running across these strange, creepy images of women peering into mirrors looking for... what? WHAT? WTF? A quick Wikipedia check yielded this tidbit of trivia:
Unmarried women were told that if they sat in a darkened room and gazed into a mirror on Halloween night, the face of their future husband would appear in the mirror. However, if they were destined to die before marriage, a skull would appear. The custom was widespread enough to be commemorated on greeting cards from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Huh! I did not know that.
In one variant, the ladies were advised to do this while descending a staircase backwards, which seems a bit odd to me, but then again, the whole custom seems odd... and satisfyingly spooky:
And, apparently, roaming the countryside in cowl and shroud was de rigueur at the time:
My, how times have changed:
Artwork by Matt Dixon