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Halloween Through A Vintage Lens: These Iconic Costumes Might Give You The Chills

Of all the holidays, the atmosphere surrounding Halloween has to be the most unique. The entire month of October is one frenzied buildup to a night that celebrates the collision of festivity and fear. Though the past century saw a gradual transition from pagan-based, homespun disguises to more contemporary sources of inspiration, all of these vintage costumes unequivocally put the fright into Halloween night. Here are five vintage costumes you may want to try.

1910: Not bad for a spooky DIY mask

A masked woman on roller skates sounds like the plot for a superhero origin story, but this mask would probably send her fan base running. Costumes from the early 1900s were often made at home, with whatever materials were available.

Courtesy: Pinterest

This handmade disguise’s overly large eyes are all the more unsettling thanks to the addition of a delicate lace veil. Imagine trick-or-treating and spotting this visage racing toward you at unnatural speeds. No, thank you.

1978: Nightmare material, no cap

This picture reminds us that the former century was really deep in this Halloween stuff. The small child in the picture will forever have Halloween memories tainted by images of the petrifying pickle mutant and his masked associate. 

Courtesy: Pinterest

Between the fleshy nodules covering its body and the painted face emerging from the crumpled flesh of a gargantuan pickle, this costume combo is truly the stuff of nightmares. Now, if that doesn’t sound like what you’ll see in a nightmare, we don’t know what does.

1985: The familiar ghost

You’ll have to agree with us here: nothing is more vintage Halloween than a sheet with holes cut into it. Probably because it is the most emotionally scarring costume known to mankind. 

Courtesy: Pinterest

Nothing spells doom like a mask that obscures all features save for two shadowy eyes. Is it just us, or does the rope around the kid’s neck seem a bit sinister? Okay, where’s the Slenderman music?

1905: Ms. Frizzle’s wardrobe couldn’t be more detailed

Early on in the 20th century, costumes tended to have more serious overtones; they often connected with early pagan and Christian traditions that were deeply linked to ghosts and superstitions. With the level of detail, whoever organized them must be a Ms. Frizzle fan. 

Courtesy: Pinterest

Do you think this spooky photo was taken on the set of the next “Purge” installment? We thought so, too. Well, it was taken at a rural schoolhouse, and an adult, perhaps a teacher, stood behind a lunch table set with Halloween crafts and decorations.

1948: What’s Halloween without these?

Masks are one of the scary aspects of practically every Halloween costume. As time went on, Halloween costumes became even scarier, and pranks got more extreme. This made law enforcement take steps to turn Halloween into a child-centric festival.

Courtesy: Pinterest

However, some of the costumes during this period make us wonder if these national officials knew what scared these kids and what didn’t. These homicidal clown masks tell us that Halloween was never a child-centric holiday.

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