A while ago, I asked anyone who wanted to send in Halloween shots of yourself as kids to do so. Here is a reader round-up! Get along little boys and girls .. goblins and ghouls!
First up, we have this from Charm and Poise:
Is this outfit not intriguing? I remember when I first saw this photo on her Flickr page, people were comparing it to a Diane Arbus shot and I can totally see it. I asked her to tell us more about it:
The weirdest thing for me about this photo is that I don’t remember the costume at all. Of course, I was only 2 when I was snapped sitting on the coffee table before a big night out trick-or-treating but still! No memory of dressing up like, well, a Mystery Bride? Unbelievable! I’m extremely disappointed, then, by the way my brain works. I can say, though, this costume represents one of the rare times when my parents actually bought me a costume instead of insisting I wear one of my dance recital outfits. My childhood Halloweens are marked by a decided allegiance to vague entities like “Super Spangly Gypsy” or “Flapper in a Leotard,” thus this bride outfit was clearly special … or it might just represent a time before I was actually taking dance classes.
As I didn’t remember this costume, I asked my mom if she could tell me anything about it. Apparently I kicked up a real fuss about wearing pants under the bridal gown. Uh, yeah! What bride – already decked out in saddle shoes – wants to ruin her couture look with PANTS? Plus, there are two other slides of this bridal ensemble that proves I was also forced to put on a sweater over my fine gown, so really, resistance to pants seems like a simply sensible choice to retain some semblance of bride-like authenticity.
And the mask? Either my mother truly doesn’t remember or there has been some sort of family-wide decision not to reveal the reason behind it. My already shaky self-esteem might take a real hit, I suppose, if I discover that my family was embarrassed by the beveiled, besocked pint-sized bride traipsing around the neighborhood we’d just moved into. Or maybe I was simply a bride, stung by the pants, yellow socks, saddle shoes, and sweater I was bundled into, who insisted on a little anonymity while parading around the streets looking less bridal than I desired.
I suppose it’s fitting that the Mystery Bride remains cloaked in a veil of inscrutability. She is a Mystery Bride, right? If we all knew the secrets of the pants wearing, masked bride then her mysteriousness would be dimmed. And what fun would that be? Go, Mystery Bride! Go out into the streets with your little white sweater obscuring your finery! Let your sturdy shoes cover miles of suburban sidewalks! Your legs are protected from the crisp fall evening, and the candy is heavy in your plastic, orange Halloween sack (a new kind of bridal trousseau, perhaps?), Go forth into the streets, masked girl, and get yourself some treats!
Way to go, Charm and Poise! We would never want Mystery Bride's mysteriousness to be dimmed. She's right about that! However, I would really love to see the "Super Spangly Gypsy” and “Flapper in a Leotard" costumes. If you meet Sharon today, you'll see that she's a real fashion plate so thankfully, the Mystery Bride look didn't scar her too badly.
Next up, we have Karen!
Look how I ROCKED the witch look, complete with the Lady Elaine cardigan sweater. And my mom drew a widow's peak on my forehead, which I think is a nice touch. Don't I look MEAN AND SCARY???
I love that my dad was so into Halloween he put out the skulls and the flashlights to make it SPOOKY. What you can't see or hear is the record player hidden behind the bushes playing Walt Disney's Chilling Thrilling Sounds of the Haunted House. My dad would open the door and pretend he was Lurch saying, "You RAAAANG?" Utterly awesome.
She DID completely rock it - and I love that her Dad pretended to be Lurch! This shot is so cute to me because if you've ever met Karen, you can see her here but just a tinier version. With much cuter sweaters.
Next up, we have Mike!
Look at him rocking that little Bugs Bunny costume! Cute! Mike says that he has nothing to report on the costume since he was only two and can't recall anything about it - which I can completely understand. I can't remember things from when I was THIRTY two, so we'll let it slide this time, Mike! (And Charm and Poise, you might like seeing that little princess on the left there. She had to wear pants too! And a mask! You two could have been best buds!) And to bring this one full circle, he later on married a girl who LOVES rabbits.
Now it's Bryan's turn! Bryan is one of the most Halloween obsessed people that I know so I was glad to see that he has some photos of his own childhood Halloweens. Let's take a look and see what he says about these shots, shall we?
That's when we lived in Duluth, MN on a sprawling Military base with TONS of kids,back when the gang of kids took off for the night with no parents driving you from block to block or hiding behind bushes. That was my Little Rascal period where I had my whole gang of grade school pals and we were one unit, like a school of fish (I was 7 there).
You know what I first remember about that pic every time I see it? At that time in '75, Rhinestone Cowboy by Glenn Campbell was out and a HUGE hit and I can vividly remember us singing that song loudly as we cruised the hood trick or treating. The whole time.
The werewolf pic was my only departure from a vampire/Dracula (except for the dreadful year my Mom & sis made me and my nephew go as clown...ugh). That was 81, I was 12. Ive never found out what company made those kits,but they were foam pieces that stuck to your face with little doubles sided sticky foam pieces,and they came with face paint as well. I THINK it was the same people who are famous for the tubes of vampire blood, fake scars,etc. Anyone from the 70's/80's knows what I mean...
Bingo, here we go!
I actually won best costume for that in my 7th grade English class! My prize? Not a damn thing but the admiration of my classmates. I'd rather have the cash equivalent.
Wow, Bryan! I'm with you. What's the fun in winning a contest if there aren't any valuable prizes? I hope that this will make it up to you:
...or make you forgive me when I show this!
Oh my gosh..yep, it's that year that you talked about - the one that you describe as "The Halloween from Hell when my Mom made me go as a clown with my nephew Mike." For some reason, I just can't quit staring at that photo. I think it's partly the makeup. And that this photo is SO classic 70's Halloween. It's amazing that Bryan could be made to look so creepy as he was such a cute kid outside of the clown garb. Thanks for everything, Simplicity!
(Thanks to Charm and Poise for this scan!)
Next up is little Amber from 1979:
Amber adds: The Raggedy on the left is me (not quite five years old), in the middle is my only grandparent, my Dad's Mom, and the little cutie on the right is my cousin Katie.
Talk about cute! Look at those little pink cheeks! Gosh, you kids are SO taking me back to the 70's! Amber still looks just like this too - but with lots less blush.
Next up, we have one from Paper Dolls for Boys!
She reports that she is that cute hula girl in the back row. Look at her grass skirt and leopard print bikini top! And Amber, I think that I see another Raggedy Ann! I love looking at all of the other costumes in this shot too. And that floor model TV. Boy, kids wouldn't know what to think of that today, would they? Paper Dolls for Boys still does truly amazing Halloween costumes and decorations to this very day.
Now it's time to see fineskelington.
He's the little Woody Woodpecker there.
That's his Dad as the mummy reading the paper and his brother as the witch. SO classic! I don't think that I'd thought about Woody Woodpecker in years until I saw these photos. He says that he thought that the Woody costume was great and that he was a wee bit scared of that Mummy. I'd have to second both of those! And I absolutely love the ruffled details on his boots and around his neck. Woody grew up to be an amazing artist specializing in character and creature design. I wonder if he ever thinks back on these costumes?
Next up...me and my bro!
The funny thing about this photo to me is how I look just like that bear on my costume!
My brother says:
I can only guess that with the clown costume, something happened that night that began my fear of clowns. Maybe I was running through the house and ran into a mirror, scaring myself. Or maybe I was out trick-or-treating, and ran into a group of clown-dressed children, who beat me down with their big shoes, and after they ransacked my sack, all I was left with was that awful candy corn.
Ha! He really is scared of clowns and not just saying that because clown fear is in vogue these days. We're both scared of clowns and I'm scared of monkeys. My Mom won't cop to anything horrible happening to us at a circus but sooner or later, we'll break down her defenses and get the true story. My parents better not have adopted us from a circus. Though, that would explain some things.
Hey..wait just a minute!
It's all starting to come together now. No wonder my brother loved makeup so much as a kid!
I'd better change the subject or he's going to drive to Tennessee and put me in a figure-four leg lock.
Ooh! That witch costume! I can still remember how great I thought that it was. I can guarantee you that at this age, my parents had to threaten us to get us to stand so close to each other.
My brother weighs in on Spider Man: I look awfully stiff, don't I? Why's my left hand clenched like that? It must be because I can't see out of that mask, and I'm afraid of walking into a wall. Either that, or I'm getting more and more panicked as I remember back on my clown beatdown from years before.
Ha! Can you tell that both myself and my brother always like to think that there is some back-story behind everything, filled with intrigue and drama? And is it just me or does he look like he's gone sleepy time back behind that mask?
Well kids, that's our walk down the lane of trick-or-treating past. Thanks to everyone who let me use your photos. I've sure enjoyed seeing you all as kids!
My buckaroos, I hope that each and every one of you have have a great Halloween! Here is a final flashback for y'all!
Hey, my brother's Spider Man costume was on there!
Until next time, (trick or treat...smell my feet...give me something good to eat..)
x's and o's,