What if you spent every day looking for One Beautiful Thing?

The Ghost of Halloween Past:


Back in the sixties, Halloween costumes were not the modern marvels of engineering and fashion (and expense) they are today. No. We wore garbage, and liked it. First, came the “ventilated” plastic masks that smelled weird, made everyone sound like they were speaking into a pillow, and would never line up with your actual eyes. If you loved a TV or movie star, Farrah Fawcett or Donnie and Marie, to name a few, you didn’t dress like them. You attached toxic plastic to your face and put on an acetate costume that tied behind your neck, and let me tell you, you felt fabulous. You can’t tell in the photos because our faces were obscured, but we were positively beaming in there. There was no attention to detail, no attempt at reality, no beautiful mermaid makeup, no folding transformers equipment. We happily wore the awful costumes we carefully picked out from the local general store, and we all carried the same plastic pumpkin with the handle that cut into your fingers every year until we somewhat wistfully aged out of the system. By the mid-seventies, everyone was dressing as hobos and gypsies, and the terrible plastic masks and pumpkins were all but gone. For the record, I still kind of miss my stupid plastic pumpkin. I always associated it with fun. And sugar.

Just to drive home the shocking horrendousness of the costumes children wore, I thought I’d do a side-by-side comparison. Then and now. And if your little upstarts have the nerve to complain that their costumes aren’t legit enough, show them this post. That’ll learn ’em!

Go check out all the vintage costume horrors at the online Halloween Museum, whose website inspired this post!

Bat Girl Then Now

Bad costume or not, I guarantee that child on the left felt so empowered, she punched at least one kid that day!

ghost then now

In this case, the mask might be necessary, but that doesn’t mean it’s not crappy.

princess then now

Why did she need a mask? Okay, yes, the crown, and I guess the hair, but the face? Why couldn’t she use her own face? I guess we’ll never know.

deer then now

Costumes were so tragic, they actually had to say what they were in large letters so people didn’t have to ask. Because going by that mask, I would have guessed rat.

robot then now

Another one. If it didn’t say robot, I would have thought vacuum.

spiderman and ww then and now

I thought that Wonder Woman costume looked familiar…


Author: Donna from MyOBT

I have committed to spending part of every day looking for at least one beautiful thing, and sharing what I find with you lovelies!

26 thoughts on “The Ghost of Halloween Past:

  1. Yes!!! I was just thinking about those plastic horrors…. Ella is wearing an infkstavale t-Rex that comes with its pen fan system. Yup. I’m basically putting my kid in a plastic bag.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My experience was unique during the 1960’s because my mother volunteered to sew costumes for the local ice capades. The reward for her services was the use of one of their costumes for Halloween. So I had very elaborate costumes like a velvet and sequins candy apple. I always got lots of oohs and ahhs (and candy) at every door. I did carry the plastic pumpkin though.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Times do change. I remember the gypsie fad. It was so easy to put on a long skirt and a few ropes of beads. The amount of money spent today is really terrible.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. In the 70’s, one Halloween I wore a black garbage bag, black and yellow striped socks, made pipe-cleaner antenna, and call myself a “bee.” Cost: $0. Tonight I’ll be trick or treating with my six year old son who will be wearing a stormtrooper costume…it’s so realistic it makes the littlest kids cry. Cost: >$25.

    PS…They still have those darn plastic pumpkins that cut your hands. Those never went out of style.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You brought back some funny memories. I use to love Halloween because my Mom was very creative and made my costume. I was a geisha girl, a hobo, and so many other characters.
    It saddens me today when I see kids or young teens not wearing a costume at all. They don’t say “Trick or Treat” and just open their sack to smuggle treats from you, and never say “Thank you.”
    I enjoyed this post of the good ole’ days gone by,

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is a genius post, Donna.

    Liked by 1 person

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