Capes, plastic swords and thrift store latex masks are all things that litter stores once the cool crisp feel of Autumn dismisses Summer. Even though we grew up as children going door-to-door for treats, there is a lot more to the origins of Halloween.
It is believed that Halloween stems all the way back to the Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light huge fires and wear disguises/costumes to ward off ghosts. Much like Mrs. Blankenship stated in Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers, “All across the land, huge bonfires were lit. Ohhh, there was a marvelous celebration. People danced, and they played games, and they dressed up in costumes, hoping to ward off the evil spirits. Especially the boogey man.”
The American tradition of Halloween didn’t really come about until the recognition of All Souls’ Day, which is a day to remember those who died and live on through purgatory, being cleansed of their sins. Even though that seems fairly dark, the festivities included poor citizens begging for food to which they’d receive “soul cakes” from families if they promised to pray for the family’s dead relatives. This method replaced leaving out food and wine for the dead. This soon became known as “going a-souling,” where children took up going to homes of neighbors to be given either food or money.
Now here we are, dressed in costumes of our beloved movie, television and book heroes to request a trick or treat. Something that was once so dark has become a favorite seasonal pastime for the young and old.
Check out the Fright-Rags crew in these Halloween costume pictures from yesteryear to now!
Halloween 1984... Mom handmade both of these costumes for me and my brother.
(Little Red Riding Hood and Wolf)
Halloween 2014 - My 10 Year Wedding Anniversary Vow Renewal Reception!
(Miss Halloween & Teen Wolf!)
1980 - Dressed as Eddie from Rocky Horror Picture Show with my dad who is also Eddie.
2011 - Dressed as CM Punk with Alex as John Cena.
Halloween 2014 - At Kimmy's 10-Year Wedding Anniversary Vow Renewal Reception. In gory face make-up.
Me as Jason Voorhees, probably circa 1987-1988? I thought I was so bad ass!
Here I am in 2014, as a Rockford Peach from the movie A League of Their Own.
I think I’m 7or 8 yrs old in the old one. The only thing I remember from it was that my Dad tried the plastic fangs first and I was so terrified when he turned around I broke out in tears and refused to go near him until he took them out.
The new one is the best I have from last year (2015) — kinda sums it up anyway ;). I love it not only because dressing up to match my daughter’s costume made her day, but because my normal resting-grumpy-face is almost exactly the same furrowed brow as the mask.
I think I was a princess or some sort of angel in this pic, I can't really remember. I do remember this was the year when it snowed like a mofo (1993 I think), but we all still went out, as did many others because weather never stopped us..Haha! My crown kept falling in my trick-or-treating bag and I kept thinking someone was throwing something in there because I just didn't notice, lol.
This was literally a last minute thing. I think I was 19 in this pic (2006 or 2007) I saw my Uncle's tuxedo and just threw it on with some make-up along with that epic cowboy hat. I didn't trick-or-treat, but my cousins and I decided that since it was Halloween, we should just dress up and have fun.
Here I am in a clown costume my Mom made, back in 1984. For several years, my Mom would pull out her sewing machine and whip up these amazing costumes for me. I got to be a ladybug, a spider, a court Jester, Roger Rabbit and so many other characters made with love. Thanks for that, Mom.
Okay, I am cheating a bit because this was back in 2008. However, I felt compelled to share since this was the fifteenth year I dressed as The Shape. Sadly my original Don Post "The Mask" mask didn't make it up to this point and I bought myself new coveralls as well. I absolutely cherished every Halloween I got to stand on the porch and scare trick-or-treaters. When I would go inside to take a breather, kids would ask where Michael went. I lived for those Halloween nights and I'm so happy to have been a fun part of the night for many of those neighborhood kids.
This photo was taken on Halloween night, 1990. I was 13 years old and this was my first ever Michael Myers mask; "The Mask" by Don Post. I looked like a bobble head in it but I didn't care, it was my favorite thing ever and I'd finally gotten what I wanted, an actual Michael Myers mask!
BEETLEJUICE SCREENING 2016
We held a 35mm screening of Beetlejuice at a local theatre and I decided to dress up as the man himself. I had done so once before at a party on 2014 where I miraculously found this suit at Goodwill and was able to get the other parts of the costume at various stores and online. I did all the makeup myself, which took about an hour. It was fun putting it on...taking it off, not so much. I'm seen here with my dad who also dressed up, and my wife who dressed as Lydia.
I hope you enjoyed a journey through costumes of now and yesteryear. It's always fun to see what characters you'll find on October 31st. Still beware...as you never know if you might find yourself running into an evil spirit...or the boogeyman. -Liz