Satanic vintage wallpaper — from Inez Croom in 1973 deck house

devil wallpapermalm fireplace preway fireplaceYikes. Satanic 1970s wallpaper. This is among the strangest things I’ve ever seen. I’m not sure I could keep this in my house, it’s so creepy. But yay on reader Suzanne who will be keeping this … invaluable … original piece of her house. Also see her fab foyer and the school bus yellow vintage Malm Preway fireplace.

Update: This was subsequently identified at Inez Croom wallpaper. Inez Croom document designs are still in production today. Read this Fab follow-up story! 

Suzanne writes:

My husband & I bought a wonderful 1973 Deck House. Lots of 70’s goodness – spiral staircase, scroll iron railings, Malm fireplace… we love it. The entire house was originally painted kind of an adobe color except for the downstairs bathroom.

creepy satanic vintage wallpaper

We have the strangest wallpaper that I would love someone to shed some light on. It’s black silhouettes on a cream background & it’s kind of a toile/folk/asian/demonic combo. Beheading, devils, chicken men… Yikes! Creepy or not, when we redo the bathroom, I’m keeping it! 🙂

Thank you so much for taking a look at these. I would love to know if anyone has seen this before or knows the history.

malm fireplace preway fireplaceI also added some random shots of the interior of the house.

I’d love for you to look at it. Thank you & thank you for this website, I LOVE it!!!!!

Thank you, Suzanne.

Update: Reader Josh identified this wallpaper within one hour of posting, he said:

It’s ‘Devil Paper’ from Waterhouse Wallcoverings.

Seems like this is a reproduction of a very old design — pre-1890. I’ve emailed for more information, including price. Thank you, Josh, BIG GOLD STAR!

Thank YOU, Suzanne. Great house, lucky you.

  1. Roberta Lee says:

    I looked at a house last fall before I bought this one that had similar 70’s wallpaper, also in a bathroom. It was black Egyptian figures on a cream ground. It was more disturbing than it sounds. It was in a tiny room; when you opened the door it was exactly like opening a kitchen cabinet and finding big ants swirling inside. Had I bought the house, I would have kept it: odd, but wonderful!

    1. Suzanne says:

      It’s a 4000 square foot house but it feels very cozy. I wish I had sent more pictures but I have kids, the house was a mess… I wanted to get the pictures I could sent (w/o toys & massive amounts of cleaning) & uploaded to Pam before my adult onset ADHD kicked in & it ended up in my never ending to-do pile.
      We have the yellow fire place & then 2 other brick fireplaces. One in the downstairs “formal” living room & one in the master bedroom. If you are familiar at all with Deck Homes, this is a reverse plan – the bedrooms are upstairs & the living areas are downstairs.
      Structurally the house is very sound, just cosmetic work to be done. I am starting to appreciate the fact we don’t have unlimited income & need to wait on modifications. For example, we have Giovanni DeSimone tiles in the kitchen that initially I wasn’t sure about. Now, knowing the history, I would never get rid of them. Live & learn.
      We love our house. Thanks for taking a look!!!!

    1. Anna S. Byrne says:

      hahahah…That room sounded so morbid ! I think, if I’m reading correctly, It’s from “The Gore Mansion”. Their vvebsite here… http://www.goreplace.org/
      It seems she had the dickens getting to vievv and document this paper, and although “referenced”, she does not knovv the actual artist, or origin.

  2. Mike says:

    I know we determined it was non-satanic but, has anyone noticed the Waterhouse page your directed to has 666 border along the top?

  3. Anna S. Byrne says:

    “I heard of some most interesting and unusual papers in an old house in Massachusetts, and after struggling along vvith vvhat seemed almost insurmountable hinderences, vvas at last permitted to secure copies. The ovvner of the house died; the place vvas to be closed for six months; then it vvas to be turned over to the church, for a parsonage, and I antagonized lest one paper might be removed at once as a scandalous presentment of an unholy theme. I vvas assured that in it the Devil himself vvas caught at last, by three revengeful vvomen, vvho, in a genuine tug of vvar scrimmage, had torn avvay all of his tail but the stub end. Finally I gained a rather grudging permit for my photographer to copy the papers — “if you vvill give positive assurance that neither house nor vvalls shall be injured in the slightest degree. ” As for the artist is a quiet gentleman — also an absolute abstainer — so that I could not anticipate any damage from rough riot or a Bacchanalian revel I allovved him to cross the impressive threshold of the former home of a Massachusetts governor, and the result vvas a brilliand achevement, as may be seen in the end papers of this book. Sometimes vvhen elated by a promise that a certain paper, eagerly desired could be copied, I sent my man only to have the door held just a bit open, vvhile he heard the depressing statement that the madam had changed her mind and didn’t vvant the paper to be taken. ” All this is just a reminder that it is not entirely easy to get at vvhat vvill so soon dissappear. And I mourn that I did not think years ago of securing photographs of quaint and antique papers. Man has been defined as “an animal vvho collects.” There is no hobby more delightful, and in this hunt I feel that I am doing a real service to many vvho have not time to devote to the rather difficult persuit of vvhat vvill soon be only remembered of primitive days. “

    1. Anna S. Byrne says:

      From the book ” Old Time VVall Papers” An account of the pictorial papers on our forefathers’ vvalls, vvith a study of the historical development of vvall paper making and decoration

      Published 1905 by Kate Sanborn
      (contains actual vvall paper samples)
      Internet Archive cu31924020532143

  4. Anna S. Byrne says:

    Suzanne….Your bathroom is an adventure !!!!!!! lol !

    I vvasn’t able to cut and paste, so it’s just typed in….(pardon any typos’).

    1. wendy says:

      You can copy and paste by:
      1. click on the link in the upper left corner – the title of the book.
      2. on the page it takes you to, click plain text on the right hand menu.
      3. use the search feature in your browser with a keyword or page number to take you to the appropriate page in the book. using the page number might take a “next” or two to get there if that number appears as text elsewhere.
      4. copy & paste 🙂

      It’s a little cumbersome, but still quicker than typing. There is probably some other really simple way that someone else will point out so we can all go “duh!”.

  5. Anna S. Byrne says:

    VVOVV…ok, so …I took a different approach to researching this vvall paper…I took each umm…pictorial scene, and tried to break it dovvn into it’s literal….ummm…essence? Maybe not the right vvord, but anyvvay… Like “Riding a pecock” . These have, vvithout fail yet, have had immediate results. “Riding a pecock”, Tebetian in origin, boils dovvn to a symbol of speaking the Truth. “Pulling the devil’s tail”, vvhile finding Parisenne, Irish, and other references, seems to boil dovvn to Faust, and getting the better of the devil in a struggle of good and evil. Also found some proverbs refering to this as vvell. On to “The devil kicking tvvo fighting bulls”. Seems to be Faust again; A euphemism for hell, or a dyphemism…Litterally “to kick the shit out of a bull” (funny, because he does seem to have his foot right up that bulls behind, lol ). ok…on to …”beating the devil vvith an umbrella”, This came up as a Hindu referance to posession, and the evil spirit being cast out, releasing the person. VVhy is it an umbrella…I didn’t really get that far…lol. On to “tvvo devils fighting”, This seemed to refer to a Phoenician, and Babylonian cuniform funeral tablet depicting the tvvo devils as evil spirits ejected from the dead man, and represent sickness and disease. Ok…the last one I did vvas “serving the teacher”, This came up as the transcendental path vve establish and mantain vvith the Supreme being. Also refered to as “Serving the servant of the servant of the servant of the supreme one”. As being a servant is not an exhalted person in this vvorld; it is in the spiritual realm. It is a position of humility, and in serving the servant, you serve both, vvhich is the, ummmm….goal of the supreme. Ok…that last one vvas illuminated the existential idea much better than I, but my brain vvas going to mush ! lol Yovvzaa…I’m taking a break, but this is so insteresting and fun…So this seems to be the essence or theme of the depictions, but, vve still have yet to find the artist !

      1. Anna S. Byrne says:

        Thank you Pam and Suzanne ! This has been SUCH an interesting subject !!!

        Next up…..( existential silouette artist of the 19th century ) !

        1. Suzanne says:

          What a crazy amount of information! So interesting. Thank you, Anna. And thank you, Pam. This was very fun for me. I did not anticipate the amount of commentary the wallpaper would elicit!

Commenting: Information

All comments are moderated, generally within 24 hours. By using this website you are agreeing to the site's >> Terms of Service, << which include commenting policies, and our >> Privacy Notice. << Before participating, read them in full.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.