Monday Morning Brief | Halloween stamps

September 12, 2016 08:24 AM

Linn’s Stamp News editorial director Donna Houseman reports on new Halloween-related stamps from the United States and Canada. The stamps feature jack-o’-lanterns and haunted sites, respectively.

Full video transcript:

Good morning and welcome to the Monday Morning Brief for September 12.

It’s mid-September, but the United States Postal Service and Canada Post, like the big box stores, are preparing for Halloween. On Sept. 29, the U.S. Postal Service will issue four new stamps for the holiday that falls on Oct. 31 each year. Halloween has its roots as the vigil of All Hallows Day, or All Saints Day, on Nov. 1. It has developed into a light-hearted secular holiday where children dress up in Halloween costumes, go trick-or-treating, and carve pumpkins into jack-o’-lanterns.

The four new Jack-O’-Lantern forever stamps each picture a different pumpkin carved with a grinning face that glows with an interior candlelight. For a spooky effect, the orange jack-o’-lanterns are set against a black background.

The jack-o’-lanterns were carved by Paul Montanari and photographed by Sally Andersen-Bruce. The stamps were designed by USPS art director Derry Noyes.

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The USPS says that the stamps are the first Halloween-themed stamps issued by the Postal Service. The 10¢ Legend of Sleepy Hollow stamp issued Oct. 10, 1974, and honoring Washington Irving’s classic ghostly tale, does not qualify as a Halloween stamp by their standards.

The stamps will be issued in a double-sided pane of 20, which the Postal Service calls a booklet. The pane will be available at post offices. The Postal Service will also offer the Jack-O’-Lantern set in press sheets consisting of six panes with die cuts (120 stamps) and selling through its Stamp Fulfillment Services division for face value at $56.40.

As has been the case for the last several press sheets issued by the USPS, the Postal Service has not disclosed how many press sheets of the Jack-O’-Lantern stamps were made for sale.

Canada Post is taking fright to a higher level with its third set in the Haunted Canada series of stamps, a series that began in 2014. The Haunted Canada booklet stamps were issued last week, on Sept. 8, and feature ghastly tales from some of Canada’s spookiest places.

Canada Post issued five nondenominated permanent-rate (85¢) stamps in booklets of 10 and souvenir sheets of five with the different designs se-tenant (or side-by-side). Each stamp focuses on a single supernatural site, with images made extra scary through the use of holographic foil.

The stamps also are available in a souvenir sheet and uncut press sheets of eight souvenir sheets.

Joel Sutherland, author of the children’s series of Haunted Canada books, served as adviser to the stamp series.

The stamp designs represent horrific stories from Bell Island on Conception Bay in Newfoundland; from a remote tributary of the Miramichi River in New Brunswick’s Appalachian forests; from Montmorency Falls just outside Quebec City; from Yonge Street in downtown Toronto; and from a church in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.

This year on Halloween, why watch scary movies when your stamps can provide all the fright you need.

For the most up-to-date stamp news, visit and follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. For Linn’s Stamp News and Scott catalogs, I’m Donna Houseman. Enjoy your week in stamps.