Friday, October 31, 2014

A Mini-History of Halloween Costumes

Several centuries ago, Western Europeans believed All Hallows Eve, or Hallowe’en, was the night when all departed souls had the chance to wander the Earth and seek vengeance on their enemies. In order to not be recognized, those living began disguising themselves in costumes. The tradition continued in one form or another and eventually was brought to the New World.

In 19th century America, Halloween became more about costumes and sweets, and costume parades and parties became popular. Gradually, only children were expected to dress up for Halloween, and costumes were usually homemade. These photos date back about 100 years.


With the growth in popularity of trick-or-treating during the 1930s, retailers began producing and selling costumes in stores. The costumes depicted everything from Uncle Sam to scary monsters from those new Hollywood movies. Some of the masks alone were pretty creepy, even the homemade ones.


In the 1950s, costumes started becoming more elaborate.


For Halloween 2014, the most popular costume for girls is predicted to be Elsa from the movie Frozen. And there will be plenty of boys going as Spiderman, according to the costume manufacturers.
Thankfully, dressing up in a scary pumpkin head seems to have gone out of fashion, for now anyway.

Happy Halloween!


  1. Fun pictures thank you. We don't celebrate Halloween here.

  2. Thank you for sharing the history and pics!

  3. My sister, brother, and I had a ball on Halloween. Our mom made our sacks out of pillowcases, and we made a haul in our neighborhood. It was good fun. As we outgrew trick-or-treating, people were starting to hand out filth, and we'd hear about needles hidden in apples. Nowadays, I hear about Halloween as a sinister occasion that we shouldn't be involved in, but as kids, we were oblivious to all that. It was simply a fun time to dress up in silly costumes and get candy.

  4. Halloween is a holiday that's changed over the years--for the better, I think.