This Halloween Safety Video From the 1970s Is Unintentionally Creepy

Halloween Safety (1977)
Halloween Safety (1977) / Throwback

Trick-or-treating was different in the 1970s. Candies didn't come in the exotic flavors that are available now, and finding razor blades in apples seemed like a legitimate problem. The Halloween costumes were also much creepier, though that wasn't necessarily intentional.

The retro educational video above shows what Halloween night looked like nearly 50 years ago. Like modern children, the youngest members of Gen X dressed up as witches, clowns, and fairy princesses, but their costumes weren't always of the highest quality. The cheap, homemade look of some of the outfits makes them scarier than most stuff sold at Spirit Halloween today.

Seeing a kid in DIY clown makeup may give you the creeps, but the video isn't meant to be horrifying. It was made to encourage good safety practices on the holiday, like wrapping your kids in reflective tape and sawing the tips off their wooden swords. Of course, poisoned candy—a major theme of urban legends in the 1970s—is also mentioned.

From the spooky opening music to the nighttime scenes, "Halloween Safety" feels different from your average public service announcement. That may have something to do with the person behind the camera. Herk Harvey served as a director and producer for Centron Educational Films, the makers of the safety video, but he's best known as the director of Carnival of Souls (1962). Made on a shoestring budget, the horror film is considered a classic entry in the genre. Suddenly the safety video's eerie tone makes sense.

[h/t Boing Boing]