30 Halloween Costumes Best Left In History

Updated on Oct 30, 2020.   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!


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30 Halloween Costumes Best Left In History

Welcome to Halloween!

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!

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

Creepy 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?

This would be especially spooky in Florida!

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

Another homemade mask . . .

That would scare the daylights out of us!

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

Fancy for 1930!

I bet somebody's Mom sewed.

Someone had a sense of humor!

The gnome and the four kitties?

Who has heard of this tale?

It looks like a costume . . .

but it may have been 1915 high fashion??

She's right in character - sitting on the wall

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

Halloween party circa 1908

No costumes - but black pumpkins?

Moments in Time

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