Growing up in the 1970’s was pretty damn great if you liked Halloween.
It was a time before people were literally scared of their own shadows, a time when parents felt fine about letting their kids stay out until well after dark as they trick-or-treated until they basically dropped.
We didn’t have many organized affairs like they have today.
I mean, there were some parades and stuff, and lots of people got dressed up in a costume for school on the big day. but overall, there weren’t any of these ‘organized’ ‘trick-or-treating’ events that are more and more common these days.
And we sure as hell didn’t go knocking on doors before it was dark.
But some things always change with the passing years and there isn’t really much we can do about that.
Still, I look back fondly on my Halloween memories as a young kid growing up in 1970s suburban America. I think about those days and how excited we were, how far we’d roam. By 10pm on Halloween night, my friends and I would often find ourselves a mile or two away from our own ‘hood, decorated plastic bags undulating at the seams with six or seven pounds of Chunky bars and spiced wafers and packs of Sweet Tarts and plastic spider rings.
And I can still feel the hot plastic of my store bough masks sticking to my young face in the cool night.
I can still hear the sound of my own breath slamming into the mask walls as we climbed up on to another stranger’s bulb-lit porch and rang the bell and readied ourselves.
Anyway, all of this nostalgia has hit me hard the last few days as I help my own kids get ready for their own Halloween. So , keeping in the spirit of things, I went looking for some cool pictures of other people like me, my brothers and sisters of Halloween, who grew up in the 1970’s.
People who did will know exactly what I mean when I say it was, in so many ways, the ‘Golden Age of Halloween‘.
Casper, The Friendly Ghost 1 of 19Everyone in this pic looks really great, huh? But, I remember that Casper costume like it was yesterday! I wore that and loved it.
Spaceman 2 of 19Were you ever the 'Spaceman'? Did you have this cool store-bought get-up? This one rings some bells and I think it might have been something I wore one Halloween when I was very young.
Tigers 3 of 19These tiger costumes practically roar with 1970's pride, huh? And you gotta love that it appears that it was two siblings wearing them here. I hope they each have a copy of this shot because it is a real '70s classic.
KISS & Princess Leia 4 of 19Well, I suppose if you really wanted to show the spirit of Halloween in the 1970's with one picture, this might just be the one. You've got your Gene Simmons from KISS and your Star Wars heroine. It's actually a perfect capture of the Golden Age of Halloween.
Aluminum Foil! 5 of 19I love this picture for several reasons. It's cute and captures a great '70's family Halloween vibe. But mostly I love this so much because it shows how important aluminum foil was to us DIY costumers back then! (Or to our moms, more likely). I remember my mom helping me make myself into a robot using cardboard boxes and about three tons of Reynolds Wrap.
The Gang’s All Here 6 of 19Oh my. Look at how splendid this picture is, people. It's a nice fat slice of 1977 cake served up decades later for us to savor. Darth, Batman, a cowboy, and (count 'em) TWO Supermans, each of them as powerful and great as the other one!
Little Princess 7 of 19This little gal and her giant pumpkins make me smile, but I especially LOVE her super cool circa 1975 trick-or-treat bag propped up behind her. And help me out here...is that a Cinderella mask beside her? Or is it someone else? I can't quite place it and it's KILLING ME!
Jaws and Flash 8 of 19Okay, Jaws and Flash Gordan together, side by side, in one vintage Halloween family shot from the '70s. It doesn't get much better than that. And I'd wear that Jaws outfit TODAY if I could get my hands on one...in XXL.
The Ghost 9 of 19This picture is a must-see because it depicts the long lost art of the Ghost costume that we were so good at back then. It has all but disappeared nowadays, and I think that's sad, because the creative house sheet apparition brought out the creativity in kids while also keeping things simple.
Batman 10 of 19This little fella wears this Batman suit as good as anybody I remember. And that includes me...at least twice. Batman was so popular in the 70's that it wasn't uncommon for siblings to fistfight over who was going to get to be him for Halloween.
Three Classics 11 of 19It's 1978. A witch and a tiger and a bunny rabbit are knocking at your door on Halloween night. All is right with the world.
Little Devil 12 of 19Ahhh, who can forget that perennial favorite, the Little Devil? I was one. If you trick-or-treated in the 1970s, you probably were one too. Great vintage decorations in this picture too. I love that old stuff.
The Bee! 13 of 19Bees were cool in the 70's and they are still cool today. This young dude had an incredible get-up, I think. I love the helmet antennae and those classic wings.
C3P0 Forever 14 of 19Back then, once Star Wars came out, all of our lives changed forever, huh? And not just at Halloween. Merchandising went through the roof and I know I wasn't the only one who probably cost my mom an arm and a leg in Star Wars dolls and light sabres.
Raggedy Anne & Bozo 15 of 19Here's another picture containing two absolute 1970s Halloween Legends. Chances are, either you were either Raggedy Anne/Andy or Bozo the Clown at least once, or you trick-or-treated with someone who was. P.S. I still find Bozo terrifying.
Look Closely! 16 of 19Look closely! Who is that standing at the top of the stairs there, underneath that incredible mid-70's shag wall rug??? Yep, you got it! It's the inimitable Captain Kirk!
Memory Heap 17 of 19Man, this super stellar group shot of some 1970's school class all decked out in their Halloween best really blows my mind. So many familiar costumes in there, and so many memories attached to them. What a fabulous picture for someone who grew up in that era.
Luke Skywalker 18 of 19Batman looks awesome here as usual, but I love this shot because of that Luke Skywalker right there. That was such a hugely popular store-bought costume when it came out; I remember seeing herds of Lukes strolling past me on the dark Halloween night streets of my town.
1970’s Kid Forever 19 of 19As children of the 70's, I suppose we will carry a bit of plastic KISS costume and orange carpet in us forever. And, as far as I'm concerned, that's a very good thing indeed.