Warning: These Vintage Halloween Costumes May Give You Nightmares
Modern trick-or-treating as we know it originated in North America in the early 1900s. The custom of kids in costume going door-to-door on October 31 has largely stayed the same, but the aesthetics have evolved in the last century or so. Today it's easy to pick up a mass-produced costume from your local Spirit Halloween. The DIY Halloween looks of yesteryear were much less polished—and much more disturbing.
Below you can see photos of terrifying costumes from Halloweens past. Many of the pictures date back to the 1950s—the decade when trick-or-treating exploded in popularity following the sugar rations of WWII. There's something uncanny about the dead-eyed, vintage masks every kid seemed to wear in the mid-20th century. The fact that the photos are in black-and-white also adds to the horror movie vibe. If looking through all the pictures gives you nightmares, here are some much cuter costumes to cleanse your eyes with.