Tonight on ABC, one of the greatest Halloween specials of all time aired again – It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. It is in this special that poor Charlie Brown utters those sad words, “I got a rock.”
In that scene, Lucy is wearing a witch mask. It got me to thinking about Halloweens of my past. I remember the streets would be packed with kids when I went out trick or treating! I remember standing in lines at the doors of my neighbors, waiting for my turn to yell “trick or treat!” By the time I took my boys out on Halloween, I was sad to see that the streets were not very busy at all. I remember being out late and rushing from house to house – hoping to get them all before they turned the porch light out (telling you that “we’re out of candy”)!
As I sat here pondering this blog, I tired to think of some of my past Halloween costumes. I can remember some of the ones from when I was older: a vampire, Oliver Hardy, and a Robot. The robot was a couple cardboard boxes my dad taped together and spray painted silver. We put cassette tapes, a vacuum hose, and other things on it and it was actually very cool. My brother used the same costume for a play he did in elementary school.
Other than those mentioned above, I didn’t remember any specific costumes off the top of my head. This is probably because most of the costumes I grew up wearing sucked. They were so bad, Jerry Seinfeld did a bit about them in his comedy act. I did a Google search for Halloween Costumes of the 1970’s and it all came back to me! Halloween costumes back when I was a kid were hardly original. Today, if you go to an elementary school and watch a Costume Parade, you will see some really good costumes! Many of them will even be homemade. This was not the case when I was a kid!
You usually bought your costumes at K-Mart, or Kresge, or the local drug store. The costumes of the 70’s consisted of primarily a mask. The mask had two big eye holes (which you really couldn’t see out of!), two small nose holes (which you couldn’t breathe out of!), and a slit by the mouth. It was a cheap piece of plastic and it sometimes cracked. The mask had a cheap rubber string that was stapled to each side. This rubber string was what kept the mask on your head. If the string broke, you either re-stapled in, or you took it off and didn’t wear it.
The costume also included a cheap one piece outfit. They were like “onesie” pajamas. You first put your feet and legs in it and then your arms. There was a tie that you tied behind your neck to keep it on. On the outfit it usually has the character’s name in bold letters on it. This must have been so if the mask fell off, people knew who you were supposed to be. 97% of all kids wore these dumb costumes when I was a kid!
While I Googled, I came across two of those stupid costumes I sort of remember having. The first was The Six Million Dollar Man:
I also remember having C-3PO:
I think I may have had an Underdog costume, too!
The outfits were so cheap that by the end of trick or treating, there were rips in the crotch or legs. Sometimes they were ripped up before you even got to go out trick or treating! We’d wear our costumes to school that day and they would rip in the classroom! They were paper thin, too, so you either had to buy it three times too big, so you could wear something underneath it, or you covered it with your coat and no one saw what you were anyway!
Here are some of the funnier costumes I found while searching:
From TV – Welcome Back, Kotter:
Mr, Kotter (above) and Barbarino (below)
Mork from Mork and Mindy
The Fonz from Happy Days
There were plenty of super heroes, including Batman!
And, despite how sexy she looked on TV, the Wonder Woman costume was actually quite scary …
I mean – look at Lynda Carter! She’s beautiful!! That costume is just freaky!!!!
One of the most ridiculous costumes was this one based on the movie Jaws!
Finally, for the gals who thought Donny Osmond was cute … this costume should make them think twice.
Come on! That looks like a weird Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner!!!
For whatever it is worth, I am going to guess that these costumes are probably worth money today. I have a lot of friends on Facebook who have extensive toy collectibles, and they probably have some. Mine are long gone, more than likely because they were ripped up and destroyed the same year we bought it.
It was fun to just spend time searching up the old costumes and looking at them. Do you remember wearing these? What were some of your favorite costumes? What are some of your favorite Halloween memories?
5 thoughts on “Halloween Dress Up”
I remember those damn masks… Your own breath would make that mask so hot. I went as a ghost a couple of times…take a sheet and two holes…My mom would take me to the Dime store other times and I would pick a mask out.
When I took Bailey around 2003 and later…it wasn’t nearly as fun. It wasn’t as many kids and the grownups were more into it than the kids were. He wore a spiderman costume and continued to wear the damn thing for years after. He didn’t want a new one…nope…spiderman. The ’70s were more fun no doubt!
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Those masks were just awful. I remember in elementary school watching kids cut themselves on the slit by the mouth. They were sticking their tongue into that slit and slicing them open! Real safe!!
The response I am getting to this blog on Facebook echoes your thoughts: there were more kids out trick or treating when we were young.
You are aging yourself (and me because I use the term, too) by saying “Dime store”! My grandma used to mention the “five and dime”, too!
I think the thing that blew me away when I first started taking my boys out was how many houses were NOT passing out candy! I remember having my pillowcase half full after doing a street or two growing up. I remember the last time I took them out, we just took the car. That way I could drive the 5-6 houses to the next one that was passing out candy.
Yes, the tongue getting cut! I forgot all about that. I remember the sweat building up on your face and you would have to flip it up to get some air.
I think every town had a dime store…ours had a Mynah bird in it that the teenagers would try to teach it dirty words. I miss though stores.
We took Bailey to condo villages because they would decorate and would have some that actually answered. Hardly anyone was just going from house to house on a normal street. Those days seem to be gone. On top of that..I don’t know about Michigan but here if Halloween fell on a Thursday night they would announce that it would be on Friday…Just totally different.