30 Halloween Costumes Best Left In History

Updated on Oct 31, 2021. Originally added on Oct 27, 2015 by Daniel Pinna
While witches, ghosts and vampires are commonplace Halloween costumes today, I bet you won't recognize many of the costumes our ancestors dressed in. Spooky, silly, homemade, and store bought - these photos show the creative Halloween costumes from previous decades. How many of these costumes do you recognize? How we celebrate Halloween today has changed over the past 100 years - most notably with the prevalence of manufactured costumes - but the activities have remained the same: Dressing up in costume, begging for candy while trick or treating, partying until you drop, and scaring each other!

History of Halloween: Originally celebrated as Samhain (the beginning of a New Year for the Celts), in the melting pot of the United States Halloween has grown to a mixture of celebrating Hallow's Eve, All Saints Day, All Souls Day, and the Day of the Dead, creating a holiday for children and adults to dress up and party. Children party with candy, adults with . . . well, you know!


30 Halloween Costumes Best Left In History

Welcome to Halloween!

Halloween Bicycle

A studio photo from around the turn of the century - we thought that this was the perfect Halloween photo!

Adult Halloween party - they are scary in their own way!

Halloween party for the adults

Dad looks like a demented Ernie from Sesame Street, and his kid is as scared as we are

Halloween Daddy and daughter, 1930's

Creepy family!

Halloween Family - Before the Adams Family

There's something about these homemade costumes from the '20's and '30's that is creepier than anything today!

A giant mosquito on a bike?

Giant Mosquito Costume - Quick, call Orkin!

This would be especially spooky in Florida!

1930's or '40's? We know that they're homemade costumes

Homemade Halloween Costumes

There's a clown, a farmer, a mechanic, a Robin Hood, and I think that one child on the bottom right was pretending to be the pope?

Look at those masks!

The three amigos

Another homemade mask . . .

A pretty girl is like a melody?

That would scare the daylights out of us!

Watch out pirates - there's a skeleton stalking you!

Spooky Halloween

Fancy for 1930!

Doreen Wiltse & Jeanette Young

I bet somebody's Mom sewed.

Someone had a sense of humor!

The man in the mushrooms

The gnome and the four kitties?

Halloween Fairytale?

Who has heard of this tale?

It looks like a costume . . .

Halloween Carousel?

but it may have been 1915 high fashion??


She's right in character - sitting on the wall

Halloween Egg - 1920's?

Wonder if she fell and broke at the end of the night?

Halloween party circa 1908

Spooky Halloween Bash, Wisconsin

No costumes - but black pumpkins?

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