What's Halloween without a bat? These small, flying mammals are a favorite Halloween motif, appearing as costumes, decorations, even candy. Though they're generally harmless to humans, western cultures usually consider bats the eeriest of creatures. Blame this bad reputation on their nocturnal lifestyle, and the blood-sucking habits of vampire bats. Though most bats eat insects or fruit, vampire bats eat blood, sucking it from cows, chickens or other livestock in the dark of night. Though humans aren't the vampire bat's preferred meal, they occasionally bite people, sometimes transmitting rabies. Though a vampire bat's bite doesn't turn an animal or human into a blood-sucking monster, western culture typically associates bats with death, danger and disease.
During the latter half of the 1910s, the bat was a surprisingly popular motif. In 1916, Vogue featured a cut-steel bead bag with a red-eyed bat as the central motif. A year later, a Vogue article on women's millinery fashions highlighted a hat with two fully extended bat wings cupping the crown of a beige hat trimmed with sable fur. Bats were not the only animal-based millinery embellishment; feathers and fur were also widely used to create the statement hats popular during the second decade of the twentieth century. Our bat hat is composed of silk velvet, faux astrakhan fur and bat heads.