Saturday, October 01, 2011

Anything Goes Saturday - Halloween 1951

Happy October, everyone! Halloween has been slowly creeping up on us since August, like some sort of low-grade fever. It's already everywhere you go! Hopefully you aren't sick of it yet, because I plan to celebrate Halloween during each of my "Anything Goes" saturdays this month, with a series of vintage photos from parties thrown by one family, dating from 1951 through 1955. Today's examples are all from 1951, a full 60 years ago.

It is interesting to see the masks and costumes that these kids concoted. Check out the miniature Fu Manchu (a pretty cool mask, and I like his shirt!). Next is Long John Silver (Disney's "Treasure Island" had been a big hit in 1950); a rubber Indian mask resembles one of the Kickapoo Indians from Al Capp's "Li'l Abner"; and a fierce werewolf is next.

Back in those days, a popular costume idea was to borrow mom's clothes and wear lots of makeup. The fellow to our left does not make a very convincing girl! The kid in the middle wants to look like a grownup, and he has Ernie Kovac's "Percy Dovetonsils" glasses! I don't like the looks of that sailor.

Boys pestering girls, it's a tradition. The wearing of "black face" makeup was another commonly seen disguise - one that wouldn't fly today. Not sure what that character in the middle is supposed to be. A drunk who works in a lab??

There's our harem girl again (she's a tall one!), along with a gypsy lass, a pirate wench, a Spanish seƱorita, a ghoul (?), and I don't know WHAT that scary thing is to the right. Perhaps a giant baby (with a twin, apparently).

And finally, there's another boy in girl's clothing, an actual girl in an elegant dress, a home-made dog thingy, a hobo, and a cool Frankenstein's monster.

If you enjoyed this visit to a 60 year-old Halloween party, let me know and I'll continue next week with pictures from 1952. If you didn't like it, I'll find something else to share!


TokyoMagic! said...

I would love to see more vintage Halloween pics, Major....these photos are a hoot! Wish we could see more of the Pumpkinhead mask in that last pic.

Todd Franklin said...

Keep on trick or treating! You always find the neato coolest slides, so happy halloween month to you!

Katella Gate said...

Dave, this is the perfect theme for Saturdays in October, keep it up! I was born in 1960, but this is how we celebrated Halloween till I outgrew it (permanently) about age 16, and it's interesting how the costumes and taboos have changed since then.

Orange Co Native said...


I find it interesting to see how kids were dressing for Halloween over 50 years ago. A lot of homemade costumes.

It looks kind of the same as when I was a kid in the early to mid 1960's. It kind of started to change with store bought costumes around the 1980's.

Show the pics from 1952 as well. It is interesting.

Connie Moreno said...

Are you kidding me???? I LOVED THIS!!! I adore old Halloween pictures. I remember that my friends and I started planning our costumes in JULY!!

Second photo cracked me up.

Third photo - ya, no, don't know WHAT those oooogly "babies" are supposed to be. Rosemary's Baby? No, the movie hadn't come out yet.

I can hardly wait for more!

Nancy said...

these are cool! i remember those great costumes in the boxes with the cellophane window so you could see the colorful masks...that was the best part!

more Halloween for me, too! :-)

Chiana_Chat said...

Hi Maj, yes I'd enjoy some more Halloween people-looking too :)

Vaughn said...

Cool pics. That boy dressed as a girl seems, from his facial expressions, to be regretting his costume of choice, lol!

Anonymous said...

Cute home made ideas lets stop buying everything at wal mart and make our own

JG said...

Let me add my voice "MOAR".

These are my memories of Halloween.

Especially nice to see this "pre-goth" view of the holiday. I am really over the dog collars, chains and white-out makeup.

Lots of kids now in our neighborhood still have sort of home-made costumes, but the "princesses" with the $70 dresses show up once in a while.