#4. "Hang Another Revolver Here, Honey, There's an Empty Spot."
Yes, these were the old days when you'd hang your Iver Johnson revolvers right on the tree, as the danger was apparently outweighed by the awesomeness of a tree covered in guns. With all of the talk about gun control we're going to hear over the next few months, it's borderline surreal to see these old-timey ads that brought to mind a husband and wife toasting some eggnog around a tree drooping under the weight of a dozen gleaming instruments of death. Guns than are hanging by the goddamned trigger. Do you have any doubt at all that shit is loaded?
#3. Our Love Will Survive This Avalanche of Spoons
Soooo, this is an ad for spoons that really needs to get some perspective on how important cutlery actually is. We like cereal and spoon-related activities as much as your average man-child, but we're not willing to let someone grope us in exchange for some awesome utensils, as is clearly happening in this ad.
Just look at the wife's complete lack of expression -- that's not joy or excitement or even gratitude. That's just numbness, which leads us to believe that this isn't a spoon ad at all ... wait a second, isn't heroin cooked using spoons? Yeah, that lady is riding the H-train. Tell us she's not.
#2. Santa Has Strangled a Goose
It's not that Santa is selling beer that bugs us about this ad -- he actually used to market alcohol and cigarettes all the time -- but what is slightly unsettling is that Santa Claus obviously strangled that goose to death like seconds before this photo was taken. Don't tell us it's part of the meal -- everything else on the table is steaming hot and ready to eat, and that goose is just lying there in its death pose, feathers and all, killed so recently that Santa had clearly just dropped it as the cameraman walked in the door, one wing extended in a desperate last bid to survive before Santa watched the life fade from its pleading eyes.
That is what happens when you swoop down and try to eat one of Santa's grapes, kids. You become part of the goddamned meal.
#1. Note the Severed Heads at the Bottom
This 1865 ad is actually just Harper's Weekly thanking its customers for their business. But studying it closely, we've developed a theory that the artist started drawing at the top and slowly went insane as he worked his way down.
Because at a quick glance, this seems pretty standard issue old-timey Christmas, but our creep-ometer started going off when we saw Santa winking lustfully from the center, being all "Ladies ... I mean ... children." But keep going down to the bottom and you'll see that the town has gathered for the annual Christmas decapitations of their giant-headed residents, as is tradition, which has incorporated the usual Christmas tropes: swords, dwarfs, kung-fu fighting and exactly one clown. Also, the set appears to have caught fire, leaving no hope of escape for anyone in that crowded building.
Which is somehow less terrifying than the thought of anyone here escaping alive.
Merry Christmas, fuckers!
For more holly jolly terror, check out The 6 Most Horrific Ways Pop Culture Has Misused Santa Claus and The 11 Most Unintentionally Creepy Christmas Ornaments.