Halloween Costumes From Yesteryear

The times may be a-changin', but the Halloween fun of wearing costumes stays relatively the same.

Join us as we take a tour of Halloween costumes and sugar laced revelry from the last hundred years or so.

You'll laugh, you'll cringe and you'll soon find out that things don't change much when it comes to dressing up for Halloween!

Photo: rich701/Flickr

Even in 1917 dressing in drag was a popular costume choice for Halloween, and since this was a year found smack dab in the middle of World War I dressing in military gear was also a popular choice.

However, the combination of drag and olive drab makes this one group you wouldn't want to run into while you're on shore leave.

Photo: State Library of Queensland, Australia/Flickr

A little bunny girl captured on film way back in 1922 in Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia, and she looks like she's ready to have a hopping good time out on the town.

It's nice to see that DIY Halloween fashion hasn't changed much in the last 90 years.

Photo: Foxtongue/Flickr

The band of gypsys shown here look like they're up to no good, and once again they prove that Halloween can be a real drag!

I hope these ne'er-do-wells don't drag their younger siblings down with them, or else 1930 is going to be the beginning of their careers as petty criminals...

Photo: WayneRay/Flickr

A public school teacher from Waterdown, Ontario Canada decided to show her love of Halloween by wearing this festive ensemble- jester style hat, mask, striped scarf with pumpkin medallion and striped skirt to match.

My, don't you look like the cat's meow Miss Crabapple!

Photo: State Library Of Queensland, Australia/Flickr

Here's a picture from 1946 of a boy wearing what is described as a "cockney style outfit", which looks a bit disco biker to me.

And is that a real live bird on his shoulder? This kid's got a lot of moxy, I tell ya what...

Photo: Los Angeles Times/Flickr

These gorgeous gals were contestants in the Slick Chick beauty contest in 1947.

The contest was held every year in Anaheim, California and seems likely to have been the starting off point for a starlet's career in Hollywood.

One thing's for certain- sexy costumes have always been a popular choice on Halloween.

Photo: Tsofit archive/Flickr

Cowboys were all the rage in 1955, and this little guy from Israel wanted to get in on the modern gunslinger craze with his Halloween costume.

The moustache is a nice touch, although I'm sure he'll still get carded if he heads to the saloon.

Photo: flashbacks.com/Flickr

These little brothers seem to be getting along just fine as they prepare to go out trick-or-treating on Halloween in 1956, even though only one of them is wearing a costume.

What a good big brother, letting your little brother wear your hat for the picture. Sharing your lollipop, now that's out of the question!

Photo: The Library of Virginia/Flickr

Elementary school students gathered on Hotchkiss Field for Halloween in 1959.

There's a good assortment of characters present, from Little Bo Peep to Bugs Bunny to a spooky skeleton and a couple of kooky clowns, and even the teachers decided to dress up for this fine photographic opportunity.

Photo: Fritz Liess/Flickr

Halloween 1963 was hobo heaven, and these little candy hungry hobos are ready to hit the neighborhood even though they ain't got no shoes on.

Why settle for one hobo when you can have two? That's double the panhandling, double the treats. Sounds logical to me.

Photo: Robert Couse-Baker/Flickr

This picture from 1964 features a self described "handsome short guy" wearing some sort of Huckleberry Hound getup, standing next to his mom looking meowriffic in her black cat suit.

Looks like they're done trick-or-treating for the night, but this little guy better be careful or his kitty mom is going to eat all his candy!

Photo: flashbacks.com/Flickr

This hilarious pic is captioned "Halloween 1971 was a Drag", and it seems to sum the whole funny bit up rather nicely.

Halloweens come and go, but the hilarity of a guy dressed in drag lives on!

Photo: State Library and Archives of Florida/Flickr

In 1972 witches took to the skies over Tallahassee, Florida as All Hallow's Eve kicked off in a big way.

It's a good thing this spooky little girl had a license plate attached to her broom, or she might have gotten pulled over by the Skyway Patrol.

Photo: bradsearles/Flickr

This bunch of trick-or-treaters preferred the extremely popular plastic mask and suit costumes that were all the rage in 1975.

Kids took to these cheap costumes not because they were well made, but rather because they had all the most popular movie and TV characters available.

These lucky kids got to dress up like their favorite media superstars like Casper, Barbie, Snoopy and some simian from the Planet of the Apes.


This Halloween party in 1977 found a sleepy vampire hanging out with Luke Skywalker, an Indian and a nurse.

Perhaps vampires aren't such bad guys after all, but that little nurse has a mischievous look in her eye...

Photo: Tommy and Georgie/Flickr

These costumes were extremely hip and timely in 1978- a C-3PO costume with a really shiny mask and a cute little Wonder Woman.

It's funny how many of the old school licensed costumes had the character printed on the front, as if the mask wasn't a dead giveaway.

Maybe the picture is there to help the older folks figure it out, yeah that's it!

Photo: be Oh be/Flickr

Here we see a scary Frankenstein Monster and the nefarious Red Skull getting ready to raise some heck on Halloween, 1979.

The person who shared this pic didn't know who Red Skull was when his mom bought the costume for him, and in retrospect he wouldn't have wanted to dress up as a Nazi baddie had he known better.

Frankenstein boy demonstrates that a plastic mask looks much better when combined with an actual clothing costume, and it's way more comfortable than one of those cheap plastic suits.

Photo: Zombie Normal/Flickr

It takes more than kids in plastic mask costumes to frighten that adorable little Minnie Mouse in the middle.

In 1980 kids loved dressing up like Frankenstein's monster and Minnie Mouse, but the kid on the left should have traded this Vamp-ish getup in for a full blown KISS costume, because the mask really has a Gene Simmons as the Demon look about it.

Photo: Anosmia/Flickr

Taken around 1982, here we see a dog faced wizard and what their mother describes as a "floozy" getting the dog ready for a night of trick-or-treating.

While "floozy" may not be a popular choice in kids costuming, it seems to become a popular choice when some girls go off to college.

Photo: Rev. Xanatos/Flickr

Taken in the mid-1980s, this pic features kids in some very popular costumes-Berenstein Bears, Rainbow Brite and Little House on the Prairie are all represented in this group of young friends.

And is that another "floozy" I see holding a baby jack-o-lantern? Maybe "floozy" was a popular costume choice in the '80s...

Photo: megankhines/Flickr

Batman and two Ninja Turtles, very popular costume choices in 1989, pink bunny costume not so much.

However, if anybody even thinks about laying a finger on that pink bunny they're going to have to answer to some butt kicking superheroes, so that is one well protected bunny!


Bart and Marge Simpson were seen hanging out with a punch drunk boxer in New Orleans' French Quarter, Halloween 1992.

If you're a couple and you want to dress up like The Simpsons make sure you're Marge and Homer, or else you're going to get some unwanted stares when you start making out!

Photo: tbanneck/Flickr

We leave you with a particularly frightening group shot from 1995-three spooky ghosts, one of which may be the killer from the Scream movies, and the scariest clown in town Ronald McDonald!

His sinister clownish presence may not help the kids get more candy on Halloween, but I bet he gets unlimited french fries at the local McDonalds.

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