An illuminated and gory Halloween

Halloween is here and you still don’t have a costume? Fear not! Here at Facsimile Finder we have the answer to all your problems!

With Halloween getting closer every day, it’s time to give you some inspiration for your costumes!

The practice of dressing up in costumes and begging for treats door to door on holidays dates back to the Middle Ages. Shakespeare mentions the practice in his comedy The Two Gentlemen of Verona (1593), when Speed accuses his master of “puling [whimpering, whining] like a beggar at Hallowmas.” And speaking of Verona, here are some details from an extraordinary manuscript that depicts the horror of the tortures suffered by the martyrs Saint George and Saint Margaret.

The manuscript, known as “Preghiera alla Vergine” (Prayer to the Virgin), owes its name to a short prayer that was written in ancient Veronese vernacular and is included as opening to the book. The rest of the manuscript describes the lives of the Saints and depicts the horrible tortures they suffered. There are a good 78 vignettes related to the text that play out in a continuous and fascinating way.

In case you missed it: check out the beautiful gallery of the Prayer to the Virgin and find out all the facsimile editions available on Facsimile Finder!

Some Inspiration for Your Costumes

Relax at the party

Prayer to the Virgin, illuminated manuscript facsimile

If you don’t like standing up all the time at a party, it’s a good idea to ask a couple of friends to stab your feet. Don’t forget to prepare a nice pillow, with some hand-written texts and possibly a gruesome description of your wounds. The Saint depicted here has a comfortable “Et iterum” cushion (don’t blame us if we misread the cushion!).

For the laziest

The wheel torture, on Prayer to the Virgin, illuminated manuscript facsimile

Another good costume that involves friends willing to help: get a large wheel (don’t forget spikes!), some ropes and a big yellow circle (be sure to have good manners to deserve that). People will be stunned by your ability to scream!

The best: The double-party-goer costume!

Cutting the Saint in two, Prayer to the Virgin, illuminated manuscript facsimile

Despite the difficulty involved in preparing this costume, it is far and away the best one—you will be able to attend TWO separate parties at once with it! Caution: After partying in this costume you may have a headache (and not from alcohol consumption, either!)

A gory Halloween to you all!