23 Creepy Halloween Costumes From The Early 1900s

Published October 1, 2021
Updated October 17, 2021

You won't believe how scary Halloween used to be when you see these twenty-three photographs of creepy Halloween costumes from the early 1900s.

Before sexualizing pop culture figures or symbols became the new Halloween vogue, Halloween held a more traditional — and macabre — appearance.

Packing their superstitions in their suitcases, immigrants to the United States would hold various ghoulish parties in hopes to lessen the terrifying mystery of the afterlife and come to grips with their own mortality as the warm days of summer had come to a close. The rich, fear-festooned mixture of multicultural trickery and enchantment soon became quite difficult for children and capitalists alike to resist.

And thus, what began as an adult’s attempt to reconcile with death and the departed transformed into an industry catered toward children seeking sweets, later bedtimes, and creepy Halloween costumes.

In 2012, it was estimated that Americans spent approximately $8 billion on Halloween. Check out its more humble and horrifying origins in our series of creepy Halloween costumes from the early 20th century:

Creepy Halloween Costumes

Creepy Halloween Costumes Couple Wearing Masks

Butterfly Weird Halloween Costume


School Ghost Costume

Witches Costume

Creepy Halloween Costumes Skeletons

Creepy Halloween Costumes Skates

Children In Creepy Costumes

Bizarre Rooster Costume

Mother Children Costume

Creepy Halloween Costumes MIchelin Men

Jester Costume

Creepy Group Costumes For Halloween

Creepy Halloween Costumes Faces

Eyes Costume

Eye Boobs

Creepy Halloween Costumes Door

Creepy Halloween Costumes Devil

Dressed As A Club

Creepy Halloween Costumes Bottle


Creepy Halloween Costumes Bacon

If you enjoyed these creepy Halloween costumes, check out our posts on abandoned Detroit and the fascinating history of masquerade balls.

All That's Interesting
Established in 2010, All That's Interesting brings together a dedicated staff of digital publishing veterans and subject-level experts in history, true crime, and science. From the lesser-known byways of human history to the uncharted corners of the world, we seek out stories that bring our past, present, and future to life. Privately-owned since its founding, All That's Interesting maintains a commitment to unbiased reporting while taking great care in fact-checking and research to ensure that we meet the highest standards of accuracy.
Savannah Cox
Savannah Cox holds a Master's in International Affairs from The New School as well as a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, and now serves as an Assistant Professor at the University of Sheffield. Her work as a writer has also appeared on DNAinfo.