Happy Halloween! This final week of October brings festive costumes, carved pumpkins, lots of candy and even a ghoul or two. Minnesotans are getting ready to head out trick-or-treating, and the City of Anoka is celebrating its status as the Halloween Capital of the World. These photographs look at Halloween in Minnesota throughout the years. The spooky Halloween window display above is from 1949 and showcases decorations and party games.
This week, the young and young-at-heart are carving pumpkins into spectacular jack-o'-lanterns. This 1948 image shows Jack and Joan Benedix hard at work to carve the perfect design into their pumpkins in the kitchen of their St. Paul home.
In recent years treats may have overshadowed tricks, but some tricks have been documented for the camera. In approximately 1915, some tricksters stacked boxes to cover the windows and door for a Halloween prank in Young America, Minnesota. Hopefully no one needed to go shopping early on November 1.
These children are trick-or-treating in 1948 and selecting their treats carefully. While apples have made way for individually-wrapped candies, costumes are still mandatory, and pumpkins are used to carry home all the treats. One of the young girls actually brought her carved pumpkin along.
In 1920, the City of Anoka started celebrating Halloween as a community and is often credited as being the first city to do so, cementing its reputation as the Halloween Capital. This image from 1936 shows a relatively early party from the city's history, featuring children and adults in costumes near a roaring bonfire.
Historic photographs are prominently featured on the Minnesota Historical Society's webpage, but artifacts are also a major part of our collections. This image showcases a sesquicentennial coin associated with the Anoka's Halloween celebration. In addition to bonfires and costumes, other activities such as a parade and medallion hunt are also part of the multi-week festivities. We hope these historic images and artifacts have put you in the "spirit" of the season!
Visit Collections Online to see more spooky Halloween images from the Minnesota Historical Society!