Courtesy of Cate Turner
The Halloween-themed market offered decorations and knick knacks.
R. House hosted a Halloween-themed vintage market to support the Women’s Advocacy Coalition in Baltimore on Sunday, Oct. 14. The market, located in the garage right next to the bustling Remington food court, is home to many flea market-type events throughout the year. Its wide open space and natural light is an ideal setting for the cute, homemade goodies that vendors often sell there.
Much like everyone else, I get very excited at the prospect of Halloween (and fall in general); I don’t think I’ve met a single person who doesn’t appreciate a good spooky aesthetic. So when I see the words “Halloween” and “vintage market” in the same sentence, I assume that I’m going to walk into a wonderfully creepy place that gets me even more excited about October than I already am. But the R. House garage, with its natural lighting and plain walls, was a bit of a letdown. And having attended previous markets at R. House, I was ready to see the usual turnout for these kinds of events: lots of shoppers, families and people trying to up their thrift game. But there were far fewer attendees and vendors than expected — especially given that 6,600 people on Facebook had indicated that they were interested.
Nonetheless, there was plenty to see at each of the various stations, and luckily I left R. House all the more excited for Halloween. Additionally, nearly every seller had some sort of depiction of Edgar Allan Poe, so I could probably draw him from memory at this point (which is always a plus).
The first vendor that caught my eye was a man selling handmade art which ranged from graffiti-style illustrations to intricate and small canvas paintings. The seller, who goes under the name 11-13 Creations, had perhaps the most floor space in the room, and his bright, intense colors and pop-art style paintings were incredibly eye catching.
There were several stations, such as Maxi Cif Designs and Eaarth Bones, that were selling pretty jewelry and accessories, and I think they did a good job capitalizing on the Halloween theme. When it’s October, I tend to think of gemstone necklaces as witchy instead of beautiful and moon necklaces as haunting instead of, well, moon necklaces, and therefore I immediately want both.
The most satisfying vendors were the ones that really took the theme to heart and set up tables with perfectly creepy, antique style goods. What they were selling looked like it belonged in the wizarding world of Harry Potter’s Knockturn Alley. There were skulls and old books and strangely shaped candles, all poised on antique tables that could definitely have been haunted.
My personal favorite was the vendor Second Guess Stitches, who sold handmade cross stitch and embroidered wall art. The owner said she realized the classically delicate and stereotypically feminine artwork could be something more fun when she started putting bad words and funny phrases on them. Some of my favorites included “My favorite season is the fall of the patriarchy” and a UFO accompanied by “Get in loser we’re going probing.”
There was also a vendor who featured small mannequin heads wearing unicorn headbands, but I tried to avoid that table.
While basically every station had some sort of connection to Halloween, I found that the market was slightly lacking in overall spookiness. This is understandable because not many stores specialize in Halloween trinkets, but my hopes were high — again, the words “Halloween” and “vintage market,” when seen together, really conjure a certain image. For some unknown reason, there was a strangely large number of vendors selling tie-dyed products and children’s clothing. Even more stores had an unidentifiable range of products: One woman was selling mostly bright-colored clothes and fun jewelry, but she also had a small space at her station allocated to her collection of Barbie arm keychains. To be honest, that might have been the scariest part of the whole event. But this particular market is still in its early stage, so perhaps more vendors will join as the project (hopefully) expands in upcoming years.
After I left the market and ate my Katsu Sando from BRD (which was absolutely incredible, by the way), at least three different children ran by me with skeleton and vampire face paint, and I knew the event had to be a success. It’s easy to get excited about Halloween, and seeing the vendors put so much work into their handmade, creepy products definitely helped. I would recommend staying updated with the events and markets R. House holds, because you never know what you might find among the weird and funny trinkets. And then you should go get a sandwich from BRD, because they’re so worth it.