Vintage Halloween Costumes

Updated: June 11, 2024
Old Halloween photos from the 1800s & 1900s.

Halloween probably originated with the Celtic festival of Samhain, which celebrated the end of harvest and the beginning of winter. During Samhain, the spirits of the dead, as well as other spirits, were presumed to walk the earth. Some of the less pleasant spirits needed to be kept away, thus bonfires were lit and some people dressed up as fearsome beings to scare away the evil.

In the mid-18th century, the term "All Hallow's Eve" became popular and our current customs started. It was in the beginning of the 20th century that Hallowe'en made it to America, although it wasn't until the 1950's that store made costumes became popular.

Below are some examples of early Halloween celebrations and costumes as well as some ideas for costumes for this Halloween!
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