Halloweens from our Youth & Hellish Costumes


Let’s start with the obvious here. You could not breathe in these masks back in the 70s. You felt like you were being suffocated or worse. Halloween costumes back then were frightening, itchy, flammable and so not politically correct. 

Found on Pinterest. I take no credit. Contact me if you own this picture!

They were made with rayon, polyester or plastic and if your parents smoked you had to be super careful not to catch on fire. And we thought this was fun???????? No wonder my parents don’t have any pictures of me in a costume. It was like this period of my life was non-existent. But I remember. Yes I remember. And I lived through it. I remember having a princess costume. It was horrible. The face was not princess like at all. It was down right scary. It was plastic with two tiny holes at the nostril area. I remember sweating in it for hours. The face was more like clown princess than real royalty.  The dress part was polyester/rayon and I developed a rash after wearing it.

We went trick-or-treating in groups from the neighborhood. You knew early on who had the best candy and who didn’t. We had tiny little plastic pumpkins to hold our candy.  Sometimes we would go home and dump the candy and head back out for more. I don’t remember a single adult going with us. They were all at one house having “witches brew” with the other parents. How did we even survive the 70’s? 

Some of the candy I remember where candy cigarettes, Bazooka Bubble Gum, awful Bit-O-Honeys, root beer tasting candy, candy that were in the shape of bottle caps, Necco Wafers (Horrible!) and others I cannot even name. We also got those fake tattoos and wax bottles filled with drops of juice of some kind. I knew kids who ate the freaking wax! (They ended up serving jail time later in life).  Then you took it home for mom to go through and make sure there were no razor blades or hypodermic needles in them. Because there were some messed up people in your neighborhood who would do that you know. 

I don’t think we even had  a curfew. We just hung around the corner lamp-post until the parents left the party house. Then we all wandered back home. How did we live through the 70s?  And to top it all off, my uncle was my dentist. So of course he wanted to know how much candy I had eaten on Halloween. If I had a cavity, he’d say that was why. Too much Halloween candy. I hate dentists to this day. 

Did you live near a haunted house or evil witchcraft neighbors? There was an abandoned house in the woods that we all made up stories about and there was always a neighbor or two that could pass for child-eating, zombie brained, crazy pyschos. You never saw them in daylight so you knew they were evil. And they never gave out candy on halloween. They also had a black cat or a dog named Cujo. lol

What are your Halloween memories?  Do certain sights, sounds and smells take you back to that time? Was it scary? Did you ever really find a razor blade?

Cheers Y’all!

5 thoughts on “Halloweens from our Youth & Hellish Costumes

  1. That sounds a lot like my 80s Halloweens. 😆 Cheap vinyl, elastic masks, wax candies…we still got apples back then, too! My cohort sometimes took the candy to the hospital, who did free xrays for razor blades. Was that just a SF Bay Area thing?

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  2. I think I was lucky! I was born in the 50s and Halloween was huge. It started with the the military base where we lived. We used pillow cases to hold all the loot. Those things would get heavy with all those families there. We never worried about poisons or needles. I think it was a pretty protective life. We would go home and sort the candy out, always setting some chocolate aside for mom and dad. With 4 of us trick or treating, there was plenty of opportunity to trade candies. I recall we were allowed to take a little to school. When daddy got out of the military, I was older then so I went on my own. It was still great and I hauled so much that I would go home, dump my stuff out and then go back out. My brothers and sister were older and didn’t go out, but I shared my goodies with them. I think I may have been 13 the last time I went out. After that, I would hang out with my friends and maybe throw dried corn at houses. Just a little bit. We couldn’t afford to waste TP. I remember those plastic, sweaty masks and quickly set them aside. If they knew who I was, I didn’t care. Just give me candy. My standard costume became one of daddy’s t-shirts, a man’s coat and I called myself a hobo. I am not sure there is even such a term these days. I still love Halloween.

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