Ghosts of Halloweens past: Vintage images of scary celebrations

From way back when and not too long ago, check out what Halloween used to look like.

A group of small-fry superheroes head out on the big night in Oakland, N.J., Oct. 14, 1966.

Eddie Adams / AP

Actress Barbara Bates and her husband Michael watch guests arrive at a Halloween party on October31, 1956.

Grown-up guests bob for apples at a Halloween party in October 1922.

Topical Press Agency / Hulton Archive

A Halloween pumpkin gets carved in a photo taken circa 1955.

Sherman / Hulton Archive

A group of men in costume as witches, complete with brooms, line the staircase of a house, circa 1950.

George Pickow / Hulton Archive

From left to right, Elizabeth Bianco, Barbara Lee, Anthony Dimino and Theresa Imbronone try to take a bite of a big apple at a Halloween party in New York City, circa 1940. The party was organized for members of Tots' Town, a day care facility at the Children's Aid Society's James Center.

Keystone / Hulton Archive

A family admires their lit-up jack-o-lantern, circa 1955.

Sherman / Hulton Archive

Costumed kids arrive at a Halloween party, circa 1960.

As kids arrive at a Halloween party, circa 1955, a sign on the door warns "Beware ghosts are within!"

A little girl waits at a window for the first guests to arrive at her Halloween party, circa 1955.

Kids in New York's Little Italy try eating apples dangling from a string as part of a Halloween game, some with better success than others. The party, on Oct. 25, 1939, was thrown by the Children's Aid Society.


A tin man and a couple of dolls march in the Halloween festival in Anaheim, Calif., on Oct. 20, 1962. More than 7,000 kids took part in a parade, and there was a breakfast for 2,000 costumed citizens.

Anonymous / AP

Kids (including a tiny Mr. Peanut in a big hat) prepare for the Halloween festival parade in Anaheim, Calif. on Oct. 20, 1962.

Anonymous / AP

Elementary school children take a walk at the Halloween festival parade in Anaheim, Calif., Oct. 20, 1962.

Anonymous / AP

Kids sit on the sidelines to watch the parade at the Halloween festival in Anaheim, Calif., Oct. 20, 1962.

Anonymous / AP

Kids march in the Halloween festival parade in Anaheim, Calif. on Oct. 20, 1962.

Anonymous / AP

Scary stuff! A girl reads a hair-raising story in New York, Oct. 20, 1964.

Some 20,000 kids arrived in New York's Central Park for a Halloween costume party thrown by the city on October 30, 1966.

Jacob Harris / AP

Dressed in their bunny outfits, Warren (top) and Missey (below) Millard of Miami, Fla. get ready for a Halloween sugar rush on Oct. 25, 1974.


A man named Bill Schuck transformed his home in Miramar, Fla. into a Halloween horror house for the entertainment of local kids on Oct. 31, 1976.


Halloween revelers celebrate at Studio 54's legendary Halloween party, in 1977.

Richard Drew / AP

An unidentified man in a very elaborate costume mugs for the camera at Studio 54's Halloween party in New York on Tuesday, Nov. 1, 1978.

Richard Drew / AP

Teenagers (from left) Kristi Hale, Jody Johnson, Tammy Winton and Katy Thorp get a scare during a visit to a “haunted mansion” in Sacramento, Calif. on Oct. 30, 1979.

Rcp / AP

It was a carb-friendly affair at the 10th annual New York City Halloween parade on Oct. 31, 1983. The event, which marches through Greenwich Village every year, attracted some 250,000 people.

Ray Stubblebine / AP

A 7-year-old named Carrie, in this photo from Halloween 1985, models a witch costume from Woolworth's, which boasted a mask with extra-large eye holes so kids could see better on the big night.

Anonymous / AP

A man with children dressed as clowns poses in New Jersey in this photo, from the 1930s.

A masked girl in Illinois in the 1930s poses in a pumpkin patch.

Lady Gaga could take a lesson from this getup: A woman in London dresses as a very convincing candelabra as part of the "Pageant of the Superstitions," a charity show on Oct. 10, 1930.

Sasha / Hulton Archive

In this photo, taken circa 1865, a white caped figure wearing a pumpkin mask takes two people by surprise in their kitchen. The image is part of the London Stereoscopic Company Comic Series, which created pictures that could be viewed in 3-D.

London Stereoscopic Company / Hulton Archive