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Classic Halloween costumes from 1865 to today

  • Good witch

    A portrait of a young woman at a Halloween party dressed in a silk party dress and a pointed hat, circa 1940s.

  • Nurse and toy soldier

    A group of young children dressed up for Halloween trick or treat in Jersey City, New Jersey, circa 1940s.

  • Skeleton

    Louis Armstrong on stage is frightened by a skeleton during the song "Skeleton in the Closet," from the movie “Pennies from Heaven.”

  • Devil

    A man dressed as the devil and a woman dressed as an armless sculpture show off their costumes, circa 1940.

  • Pig

    A woman with a pig mask poses for a photo, circa 1940.

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  • Pirate

    A woman wearing a pirate costume, circa 1940s.

  • Jack-o'-lantern

    A little girl poses in a fancy outfit holding a paper mache jack-o'-lantern, circa 1945.

  • Cowboy

    American child—and future photojournalist—Robert Abbott Sengstacke (left) poses dressed as a cowboy with other children at a Halloween party, circa late 1940s.

  • Cat

    American actress and model Dusty Anderson wearing a Halloween cat costume in the late ‘40s for a publicity shot.

  • Rabbit

    Children in costumes arriving at a Halloween party, circa 1955. A sign on the door warns “BEWARE GHOSTS ARE WITHIN!”

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