What Halloween Looked Like the Year You Were Born
See how much the Halloween season has changed over the years with these vintage memories.
Halloween sure has changed since the days of apple bobbing and hand-stitched costumes. Let’s take a trip down memory lane to see what this spooky holiday looked like the year you were born.
While you’re at it, be sure to check out all of the hauntingly good Halloween recipes we’ve collected over the years.
“After two years of staying home on Halloween because he was sick, all my little brother, Joey, wanted was to go trick-or-treating.” —Joesephine Mele. Stay cozy with these Halloween soup recipes.
Fourth graders at Newburgh Elementary School rose to the occasion on Halloween when they competed with other classes for best costumes.
Who said grown-ups couldn’t have a little Halloween fun? Though the party may have only been a few hours, we’re sure that these memories have lasted a lifetime!
Late October in the ’50s meant sometimes having to bundle up on Halloween night. This fur-lined costume was fit for a king!
“We lived on 42nd street in Milwaukee. My mother must have had some old sheets to spare, as she made me and my older brother, Ken, ghost costumes for Halloween one year.” —Patricia Kasbohm Schley
No one will say “boo” to our Ghostly Custard recipe.
“My brother, Bob, sure was a cutie. This was in 1955 and Davy Crockett, a five-part serial starring Fess Parker, was airing on ABC as a part of the Disneyland series.” —Genevieve Catina
When it comes to Halloween costumes, finding one that is unique can be tough. This group of youngsters got creative by dressing up as baton twirlers, farmers, cowboys and more.
Back in the ’50s, many little buckaroos dreamed of being just like Roy Rogers, the “King of Cowboys.”
“This is a Halloween picture of Our Lady of Lourdes 8th grade all-boys class of 1958. I got my nerve up and asked the nun if I could have this picture.” —Bruce Bray
“Halloween proved to be a great time for my sister, Kathy, and me to jump on the cowboy chuck wagon. Raised on an electronic diet of TV Westerns (thanks to 2 older brothers) we happily wore cowgirl costumes.” —Debra Steilen
“In 1960, at age 8, my brother was a Roman centurion. We made the kilt and cape from an old red tablecloth and the helmet from gold-pained papier-mache. The dagger was real, but my father would let him hold it only while we took the photos” —Heather Anderson
“While kids form a line, my daughter and her grade school classmate take a bite at apples swinging from the ceiling at a Halloween party in our rec room.” —Michael Lacivita
Plain apples not your thing? Take it up a notch by making these gourmet caramel apples.
“A t-shirt, a couple of dish towels, miscellaneous bits of jewelry, and some creative bending of metal rods created this look.” —Heather Anderson
“When your dad is a service technician for IBM, it stands to reason that all those electronics could be used to make a blinking costume for Halloween.” —Peggy Oels
Give your holiday beverage a scientific spin by serving up this Mad Scientist Punch recipe.
“Here’s a photo of my younger siblings Peter and Laura tugging at Laura’s yarn braids.” —Sally Olson
“It was so cold and rainy the Halloween of 1965 that we had to wear coats.” —Karen Withers
Keep your trick-or-treaters warm by packing a Thermos of our stovetop hot chocolate recipe.
Premiering in the summer of 1966, ABC-TV’s Dark Shadows served up a daily dose of vampire drama. It was part soap opera, part horror and altogether freaky,
Though Spandex-clad Bruce Wayne had only made his TV appearance as Batman the year before, his superhero Halloween costume became one of the best-sellers in 19767—along with other popular comic book heroes like Superman and the Green Lantern.
“My little brother and sister, Robbie and Aimee, dressed as Batman and a nurse for Halloween.” —Sarah Mason
“Here’s a picture of my Gran trying the family’s clown hat under her great-granddaughter Kristine’s chin.” —Jim Mattison
“This is a photo of my siblings and I surprising our dad by trick-or-treating at our own home. He treated his four little monsters to fresh apples on Halloween.”—Nina McLean
“Being a single mom and raising my daughter, Erin, on a very tight budget, I needed to be creative with her Halloween costumes. Our town had a children’s Halloween party, and almost every year, Erin would win the prize for the most original costume.” —Lisa O’Brien. Prepare these Halloween cookies for your party.
“My brothers Garth, Glenn and Jerry Jr. dressed for Halloween” —Sue Jernigan
The ’70s were all about flower power, just like this adorable homemade costume.
After giving out apples and bags of candy, First Lady Betty Ford placed a quarter into each child’s UNICEF collection box on the White House lawn.
Let’s do the Time Warp! The Rocky Horror Picture Show, starring Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon and Barry Bostwick, was released in 1975.
Few things go together as well as pumpkins and Halloween. Don’t believe us? Just check out these pumpkin recipes that are perfect for Halloween night.
In 1977, the world was introduced to Luke, Leia, Han and the rest of the galactic universe with the premiere of Star Wars: Episode IV—A New Hope.
Don’t want to limit your Star Wars love to just Halloween? You can fill your kitchen with these Star Wars-inspired gadgets that are sure to awaken the (cooking) Force in you.
“My mom was a talented seamstress who sewed all the clothes for me, my sisters and her granddaughters. In 1978 she made Halloween this cute costume for my sister Debbie.” —Carolyn Heep
A year after Halloween first premiered, the mask of its infamous villain, Michael Myers, was a go-to costume choice.
If spending a cozy night in watching scary movies is your favorite way to spend Halloween, check out these recipes that are inspired by spooky films like Misery, The Ring, Children of the Corn and more.
Not all Halloween costumes have to be scary! Dress as a busy bee, friendly ghost or a back cat for a costume that’s more sweet than spooky.
“This is my daughter, Kimberly, as a clown; and my daughter, Kristina, as a witch, in 1981.” —Darlene Brenden
Be as proud of your Jack-O-Lantern this year as these kiddos were with some expert tips for carving the best pumpkin ever.
Sometimes, it’s just easier for mom to dress the kids up in the same Halloween costume. Since mom always knows best, here are some comfort food recipes just like she used to make.
Are you afraid of ghosts? The supernatural comedy starring Sigourney Weaver, Dan Aykroyd, Rick Moranis, Bill Murray and Harold Ramis premiered in the summer of ’84.
Stick together for safety, kids! These adorable “dolls” held hands and posed for a picture before continuing on their mission for Halloween candy.
Look out, here comes Spiderman! Creepy crawlers, like spiders, are a staple of Halloween lore. Incorporate them into your celebration this year with these buggy recipes.
“I made this pumpkin costume for my daughter. Looking back, I should have stuffed it up a bit to fill her out, but she still looked great.” —Darlene Brenden
Double, double toil and trouble with your best pals this Halloween by throwing a ‘Besties and Broomsticks’ party. Check out how the party comes together, here.
Classic costumes like a clown never go out of style. If you can’t get enough of these circus entertainers around Halloween, consider making a dozen of these adorable clown cupcakes.
Sometimes Halloween tricks aren’t so sweet. Turn your little monster’s frown upside-down with these adorable Halloween treats.
“This is my daughter, Kristina, in 1991. The grade school she attended was called Deer Creek, so I decorated her sash with ‘Miss Deer Creek’.” —Darlene Brenden
Who doesn’t love a good monster mash? Recreate Frankenstein’s monster, a mummy, werewolf and more with these monstrous Halloween recipes.
Some Halloween costumes, like this one from the Mattison family, are passed down through the generations. For more family classics, check out these heirloom recipes.
Don’t get grumpy while carving your Jack-O-Lantern this year! Here are some awesome, no-carve pumpkin ideas that come together in a snap.
“This is my sister, Christina, with all of the nieces and nephews in the mid-’90s.” —Maureen Stanko
Farmer Wayne Woodard rallies up 100-pound pumpkins to sell at a roadside stand in New Milford, Connecticut.
Nowadays, it’s hard to imagine a Halloween without a dozen Harry Potters or Hermione Grangers running around the neighborhood. But in 1997, J.K. Rowling’s popular children’s series had just entered the scene—and sure enough, the three-headed dog costumes were soon to follow.
Apples to apples, Halloween is the spookiest season of the year! If you’re looking for something to do with your apple haul, take a look at our favorite fall apple recipes.
Other than Halloween, when can you see witches hanging out with cowboys? Turn your kitchen into a bona fide homestead with this cowboy cookie recipe.
It’s tractor time! Get inspiration from the world around you, like this boy’s homemade costume in 2000.