8 Spooky, Old Halloween Costumes That Put Today’s Costumes To Shame

Most of us have heard our parents and grandparents say, “When I was a kid, we made our own Halloween costumes…and they were a lot better than what you can buy today!”

We have located photographic proof that that statement is 100 percent correct: Ossian Brown’s 2011 book, “Haunted Air: A collection of anonymous Hallowe’en photographs; America, c. 1875 – 1955.”

Halloween costume book
Image: Amazon.com

The book is a compilation of pictures showing just how creative Americans could be when faced with putting together a scary costume without the benefit of mega-stores filled with plastic masks of comic book and cartoon characters.

At 216 pages long, “Haunted Air” contains a number of photographs for anyone seeking inspiration for their own homemade Halloween costume. We have selected eight of our favorite images.

Our first entry features a group wearing very simple masks that appear to be made from basic brown paper grocery bags, with a couple of accessories (ears, noses and hair).

Image source “Haunted Air.”

Would you be scared if this papier-mâché masked trio showed up at your house? (We would be.)

Simple costumes make for strong images:

Papier-mache masks
Image source “Haunted Air.”

Perhaps this child grew up to be one of those people who don giant heads to march in parades:

single costume shot
Image source “Haunted Air.”

These two masked children appear to be posing with an adult in a witch costume. Throughout the book, families can be seen posing for Halloween “portraits”:

witch and two little goblins
Image source “Haunted Air.”

If they remove the masks (they appear to be paper bags) and put school books in their hands, this might be a “first day of the school year” photo:

Image source “Haunted Air.”

The images in “Haunted Air” also include some very detailed and complicated costumes that probably took considerable time to conceive and create.

We’re fairly certain PETA would have a problem if stores tried to sell the “Hunter Captures Bear” costume set:

strange grouping
Image source “Haunted Air.”

Could this be an early appearance of “Raggedy Ann & Andy?” We’re not certain, but that’s what popped to mind when we saw this shot (we have no explanation for the zombie that they have in tow):

Image source “Haunted Air.”

The last of our eight favorites from “Haunted Air,” is a masked person (opinions here are split on if this is a boy or a girl) holding a teddy bear and a doll. Just creepy:

Image source “Haunted Air.”

Do you have a classic, homemade Halloween costume? How about an old family photo (cute or terrifying) from Halloween? Send it to us (mopelka@theblaze.com) and you might see it as part of our Halloween costume slide show.

Check out a dozen more images from “Haunted Air” on Women’sPost.com.

Follow Mike Opelka on Twitter – @stuntbrain