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21 Terrifying Old Photos That Prove Halloween Was Once Scary AF

Halloween was no laughing matter back then!

Posted on October 19, 2017, at 5:11 p.m. ET

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Halloween costumes in Germany, 1938.

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Three kids dressed as ghosts are ready for trick-or-treating, circa 1925.

Bettmann / Bettmann Archive

Three masked five-year-olds with a jack-o-lantern in Chicago, 1954.

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A man dressed as a cat in France, circa 1920.

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A person in a ghost costume stands by a Halloween altar, circa 1905.

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A woman and a young boy dressed as the Gingerbread Witch and Hansel, respectively, in 1894.

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A German man in devil costume in 1928.

Nationaal Archief / Spaarnestad Photo / Het Leven

Chicken costumes in the Netherlands, 1911.

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A masked woman on roller skates, circa 1910.

Public Domain

A group of costumed people pose for a portrait, circa 1911.

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A grotesque puppet on a stoop, circa 1900.

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Two costumed partygoers on Halloween, 1923.

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Three girls amuse each other with their masked costumes in the College Hill neighborhood of Cincinnati, 1929.

Bettmann / Bettmann Archive

Kids leave a novelty shop in New York City with masks on Halloween night, 1949.

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Three ghoulish characters take a drive in 1938.

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Women dressed as a coven of witches line up for a Halloween portrait, circa 1910.

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A group dressed as witches cast a spell over a cauldron in Germany, 1939.

Public Domain

A group of people in their Halloween costumes, circa 1920.

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Trick-or-treaters dressed as alien invaders arrive at a house in London in the 1950s.

Public Domain

A boy in a scarecrow costume, 1965.

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A masked reveler with a jack-o'-lantern at a Halloween party in 1956.