1950’s Halloween

RDP Tuesday: Dead

Old English dēad, of Germanic origin: related to Dutch dood and German tot, also to die1.


Most of my flowers are dead.  I have one Gerber Daisy that is valiantly standing against the cold.  Only my marigolds are still hardy and glowing in the morning sun.

I don’t like dead.  Having ceased to live.

It amazes me that Halloween is now second only to Christmas in money spent on decorations, parties, and so forth. I’d much rather celebrate life.

Back in the ancient days of my childhood, Halloween was a fun time of dressing up in homemade costumes and raiding the neighborhood for treats.  Back then, people would give us homemade cookies and other homemade treats like popcorn balls.  No one worried about it.  It was just fun.

Our costumes ran to ghosts running around in old sheets; pirates, gypsies, clowns, and the occasional mummy. It was fairly cold by the end of October in Minneapolis, so you wanted a warm jacket  incorporated into your costume.

There were no stores that set up just for Halloween. If you bought a costume, you probably didn’t live in our neighborhood.  The most decorative we were in our school classrooms was black and orange crepe paper strips twisted and tacked to the ceiling.

This could have been my crowd  on Halloween in the 1950’s:

Related image

Because we lived in a heavily populated  neighborhood, no one piled their kids into the van and took them to developments where the pickings were better.

We’ve lived in this house for over 24 years, and I think we may have seen  three trick-or-treaters in all that time. There aren’t a lot of little kids in our neighborhood, and the houses are just far enough apart that no one brings their kids here.  They all head closer into downtown, where there are developments in which the houses nearly touch each other; lots of duplexes, and a few apartment buildings that brace for the onslaught of various witches, warlocks, and vampires. all closely guarded by vigilant parents.

Well, time passes and things change.  Not everything in the 1950’s was ideal, but Halloween was much more innocent, a lot more fun, and a lot less expensive then. I miss it.

RDP:  Dead


19 thoughts on “1950’s Halloween

  1. When I grew up we had lots of kids the same age that went out trick or treating. My grandmother made our costumes. My sister was an old lady one year…best costume ever! All the kids grew up and we might have got 10 kids which eventually dwindled to half that. Yes, all my friends buy costumes for their kids.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It was certainly less organized. So much fun running around the neighbourhood in the dark, but then you on each street there were people you knew, parents didn’t worry the same. We’re lucky if we get a dozen kids, and they are never without adults, and most often before dark.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s funny that growing up in the UK in the late seventies and early eighties you hardly heard mention of Halloween at all. It was one of those things you saw in films. Now it has suddenly become huge because business has made it into a huge event because it has more commercial potential than anything other than Christmas. Such a shame. They’ve ruined Christmas too. It should be about family and goodwill to all men instead it’s all about the presents and how much can you eat.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. You and I seem to be the same generation. The difference is we grew up on different continents. Where I was – England – Hallowe’en just wasn’t a thing. Occasionally, someone might have a party: apple bobbing, telling a creepy story to blindfolded listeners as peeled grapes were passed round as eyeballs – that sort of thing. Trick or treating simply didn’t happen. But Hallowee’en, American style, has arrived big time. But where’s the fun in buying a costume from the supermarket?

    And I’ve just read all the comments from people who decline to start Christmas till the end of November. Why so early? ;). You can see I’m a professional curmudgeon.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I grew up trick-or-treating in the 60s and 70s. Like you say, Halloween was a lot more innocent in those days. We always made our costumes and had fun doing it (the costume planning started in the summer time). Our whole neighborhood went trick-or-treating together and we had a blast. There was usually a parent or two who accompanied us when we were younger and when we were older, we went alone. We knew the neighbors and they knew us. Sometimes there were neighborhood parties and hayrides adding to the fun and excitement.

    I don’t like how bloody and gory and “goth” Halloween has become. Kids today don’t seem to even like trick-or-treating! I don’t get that personally. You’re so right… time passes and things change.

    Liked by 1 person

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