14 Adorably Retro Halloween Snapshots

Halloween costumes have come a long way, baby! I was just telling our own Koa Beck about how #ballin I was as a little kid in my Small Wonder costume. Now, that same costume looks terrifying, with its black, staring, souless eyes…CREEPY. But back then I thought I was the bell of the whole damn ball.

But my Small Wonder costume is hardly an isolated incident of cool. There are hilarious, awesome, freaky and ingenious costumes from days gone by. So I gathered the best ones (and creeped myself in the process). I should note, If you’re afraid of clowns you should, turn back now!

1.  Bugs Bunny 

I love the costumes with masks. This is something kids nowadays just don’t have, due to safety reasons. But the masked costumes were some of the creepiest ones every.

2. Bozo the Clown and Cinderella


3. Raggedy Ann! Superman! Some kind of king!

I am in love with the Raggedy Ann wig, and amazed at how little Superman has changed. But why aren’t the older two in costume? It’s a mystery lost to time.

4. Bumblebee 

The retro decorations behind this kid, and the obviously (and awesomely) handmade costume, really make this picture.

5. Some kind of circus thing?

That might not be a clown, but it is certainly clown-esque.

6. Jem! 

I also had ones of these bad boys in the 1980s and it ALSO came with a mask. Jem was the shiznit.

7. Christmas Tree 

The description for this picture says she won a prize for this handmade beauty, and I can see why!

8. Daffy Duck and Woody the Woodpecker 

Is it just me, or does this remind you of Howard the Duck?

9. Pumpkin Babies!

These are the cutest makeshift costumes ever, though it does look like the pumpkin is going to eat everyone. This is what happens when you let Tim Burton direct your school Halloween parade.

10. Leopard, Casper, Cinderella, and Geisha* 

*Racism. Given that these are vintage costumes, you knew we would get here eventually.

11. The Incredible Hulk and…a…small animal?

That is exactly how the guy who owns this picture described it, and he’s the one in the blue suit. It’s pretty bad when you don’t even know what you were supposed to be!

12. Musical Bandits?

I don’t know how to feel about this.

13. Hobo

All I can think of are the warnings my dad used to give me, “Don’t put the balloon in your mouth, it will go down your throat!” Is it sanctimommy when I’m judging something from 60 years ago?

14. (Very Creepy) Robots

This is what my nightmares look like…

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  • Ashley

    It’s always funny to me when there’s a picture ON the costume of the character it’s supposed to be. It’s like costume Inception. Or more like, “Shit, no one can tell what this is.” “Just throw a picture on it, it’s fine.”

    • Sundaydrive00

      I always refused to wear those types of costumes as a kid. I could wear a shirt with the character on it any day. For Halloween I wanted to actually be the character.

    • http://wtfihaveakid.blogspot.ca/ jendra_berri

      I know! I hated those as a kid. I wanted to be a Disney princess, but they were always stupid masks with a garbage bag-like sack with a picture of Cinderella on it. Kids today have it gooooood.

  • Sundaydrive00

    #3 I think the older two are in costume, its just not clear what their costumes are.

  • Rachel Sea

    I love awful costumes. The kids who come to my door wearing something their parents slapped together get the biggest handfuls of candy.

  • Jen

    I wish #6 was actually Jem, but I’m pretty sure that’s Minnie Mouse. Off to google Jem costumes..

  • LadyClodia

    #5 is a character from “The Banana Splits” show by Hanna-Barbera (costumes by the Krofft brothers for extra nightmare fuel) from the late ’60′s. I’m not exactly sure why I know that, since that was way way before my time. Maybe I saw it on the Boomerang channel or something.
    When I was 3 I had a Snoopy costume with the plastic mask, and I loved it, and I had it for years afterwards until it basically disintegrated. And I had a similar Wuzzles character costume at some point too.
    There aren’t nearly as many masks with kids costumes nowadays.

    • Evelyn

      They must have repeated it a lot. I was a huge fan as a small child but was only born in 1977, although I was in England so no idea if they were still repeating them in the US. They were somehow big enough still in 1980ish that someone put on a show as them in Woolwich, London as my mum told me once that she took me to see them at the Tramshed. No idea if it was an official tour or just someone cashing in as some kind of tribute.

    • LadyClodia

      I was terribly scared of big costumes like they wore in the show when I was little, so I don’t know if they did reruns in the US. I was born in 1980 and watched a lot of old Hanna Barbera cartoons, but I’m pretty sure I had only heard about The Banana Splits somewhat recently. I have a knack for retaining useless trivia, though, lol.

    • Leafyleafster

      Thank you, that was driving me crazy and you saved me so much time on the google! =)

  • Momma425

    That is the scariest leopard I have ever seen. I would have dropped my candy and ran in the opposite direction!

  • LiteBrite

    Does anyone remember Kooky Spooks from the late 70s/early 80s? A pic is below to refresh your memory (or give you youngsters a frame of reference for just how stupid we were at that time).

    My sister actually wore one of these for Halloween. I wish I could find the pic of her with it because the look on her face is priceless.

    • Gangle

      That may be the most incredible thing I have ever seen! And ages 3-adult too!

    • LiteBrite

      I know. Like any self-respecting adult would wear this! Well, actually **I** would for kicks. I sort of want one now.

    • Gangle

      Me too, and we don’t even celebrate halloween!

  • m

    I think #8 is actually Donald Duck.

  • tSubh Dearg

    I am disappointed by the lack of costumes made out of black rubbish bags. I grew up in Ireland during the 80′s and for 3 years running the basis of our costumes was a black plastic bin bag with holes cut out for your head and arms. You then add ears and drawn on whiskers to be a cat (maybe even a tail made out of a belt or scarf if you were fancy!) or a witch complete with homemade pointy hat and store bought (or homemade from cereal box) mask.
    The best part was that your costume was done in 5 mins with little cost to your parents.Though if you were really fancy they would have bought white plastic bags so you could be a ghost.

  • yup

    10 isn’t a Geisha, it’s Elvis and 11 is supposed to be Dumbo, I think.

  • kris

    Princess… Got to love the fact that our parents could do cheap costumes, lol. I don’t have the money to pay for costumes for my kids this year, so I am taking some of their raggedy play costumes from the last year, and turning them into zombies. My daughter has a torn and raggedy Rapunzel dress, and so she is going to be a zombie princess, and my son is going to be a zombie ninja. She is 5 and he is 8, and he is the only one unhappy with the decision.

  • Jay DeSart

    #5 is not a clown nor even clown-esque. That’s Bingo from The Banana Splits, and he’s a gorilla. Sheesh… kids these days… no appreciation for history.

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