Any look back in time is bound to be full of nostalgia for the good old days, but this collection of vintage Halloween costumes just took a turn for the sinister.
HuffPost LA teamed up with Alison Martino and her Facebook community Vintage Los Angeles to uncover the best decades-old photos of trick-or-treating Angelenos. What we found, in addition to warm memories of mom's handsewn costumes, were some terrifying children's masks.
Photo of the "Funny Bunny" and the "Happy Hobo" courtesy of Julianne Fishell via Vintage Los Angeles.
A lot of them.
Photo of "Mickey Mouse" and a cat courtesy of Ruth Campbell via Vintage Los Angeles.
We agree with our colleagues over at HuffPost Comedy that any black and white photo is bound to be 1,000 percent creepier than a color photo. But these masks, with their dead-eye look and wide, sinister grins, take the scares to another level.
It turns out the masks were mass-produced and sold in department stores like JJ Newbury or JC Penney, explained Martino to HuffPost. Martino, who is also a memorabilia collector, remembers that kids didn't have much choice in the 50s and 60s when it came to choosing Halloween costumes.
"Back in the day, we would buy those masks at the last minute and we'd see dozens of the same kids wearing the same costumes all over the city," said Martino. And they weren't that much fun to wear, either. In addition to being sweaty and smelly, they were also tough to see through.
Photo of multiple Popeyes courtesy of Richard Wojcik via Vintage Los Angeles.
"They trapped a lot of hot air between the mask and your face," Martino remembered. "I can't imagine how little kids kept those on for more then an hour." The kicker? These masks were supposed to be cute and adorable. Instead, they are the stuff of nightmares.
"Most of those plastic masks you see in thousands of vintage photos from the 50s, 60s and 70s were not really intended to be scary," said Martino. "Plastic cat or bunny faces were intended to be cute at the time ... looking back on them, they [were] terrifying."
Here's one of Martino and her bunny mask.
Photo of a bunny courtesy of Alison Martino via Vintage Los Angeles.
So the next time you catch yourself rolling your eyes at a Miley Cyrus mouse suit or a sexy marine biologist costume, just be thankful that people have mostly left those freaky plastic face masks in the past, where they belong.
Vintage Los Angeles is a Facebook community dedicated to Southern California history, as told by people who lived through it. Take a look at more vintage costumes in the slideshow below, courtesy of Vintage Los Angeles. Our favorite are the pair of 1968 IBM computers with printer paper coming out of the middle.