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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

Halloween costumes in Germany, 1938.
Ullstein Bild Dtl. / Getty Images

Halloween costumes in Germany, 1938.

Three kids dressed as ghosts are ready for trick-or-treating, circa 1925.
Kirn Vintage Stock / Getty Images

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

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

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

A man dressed as a cat in France, circa 1920.
Adoc-photos / Getty Images

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

A person in a ghost costume stands by a Halloween altar, circa 1905.
Historic Photo Archive / Getty Images

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

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

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

A German man in devil costume in 1928.
Ullstein Bild Dtl. / Getty Images

A German man in devil costume in 1928.

Chicken costumes in the Netherlands, 1911.
Nationaal Archief / Spaarnestad Photo / Het Leven

Chicken costumes in the Netherlands, 1911.

A masked woman on roller skates, circa 1910.
Kirn Vintage Stock / Getty Images

A masked woman on roller skates, circa 1910.

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

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

A grotesque puppet on a stoop, circa 1900.
Ullstein Bild / Getty Images

A grotesque puppet on a stoop, circa 1900.

Two costumed partygoers on Halloween, 1923.
George Rinhart / Getty Images

Two costumed partygoers on Halloween, 1923.

Three girls amuse each other with their masked costumes in the College Hill neighborhood of Cincinnati, 1929.
Cincinnati Museum Center / Getty Images

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

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

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

Three ghoulish characters take a drive in 1938.
Ullstein Bild Dtl. / Getty Images

Three ghoulish characters take a drive in 1938.

Women dressed as a coven of witches line up for a Halloween portrait, circa 1910.
Transcendental Graphics / Getty Images

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

A group dressed as witches cast a spell over a cauldron in Germany, 1939.
Ullstein Bild / Getty Images

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

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

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

Trick-or-treaters dressed as alien invaders arrive at a house in London in the 1950s.
Hulton Deutsch / Getty Images

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

A boy in a scarecrow costume, 1965.
Public Domain

A boy in a scarecrow costume, 1965.

A masked reveler with a jack-o'-lantern at a Halloween party in 1956.
Thurston Hopkins / Getty Images

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


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