Oct 29 - Halloween 100 Years Ago

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 10-29-2010, 11:51 PM         #1
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forsakenninja05 
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Oct 29 - Halloween 100 Years Ago
 

 
From roller skates to swastikas, see how people in the early 1900s celebrated what one expert calls the United States' "rogue holiday."


Masked Halloween Mystery


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Decked out for Halloween, a masked woman on roller skates—most likely a random addition to her costume—poses in 1910.


Masquerade parties in the United States were much more common a hundred years ago, when people dressed up not just for Halloween but also for several other holidays, including Valentine's Day and New Year's Eve, according to Lesley Bannatyne, author of the forthcoming book Halloween Nation: Behind the Scenes of America's Fright Night.

Private social clubs often threw Halloween parties for their members, as it was the first major holiday after most people had returned from their summer homes, Bannatyne noted.

That said, it's "not like Halloween [in the early 1900s] was an East Coast phenomenon or a high-society phenomenon"—people of all classes donned costumes across the country, even in small Western mining towns, she said.

The "early 20th century also was the beginning of a real democratic movement, a push toward a popular culture," Bannatyne said, so Halloween was "very egalitarian—everyone celebrated it in their own way."

Schoolhouse Ghost


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A person in a ghost costume stands with a table full of Halloween decorations in a rural U.S. schoolhouse in 1905. Nature often inspired Halloween costumes and decorations a century ago, with cornstalks (as seen above), vegetables, tree branches, and leaves showing up as common elements, according to Bannatyne.

Halloween was originally perceived as a "rustic, country holiday," especially during the U.S. Victorian period, about 1840 to 1900, she noted.

"Overwhelmed by the fallout of industrialization, [Victorians and early Halloween revelers] sought out a simpler time where people were more connected to the land and the natural world.

"The quaint, old-world, country nature of Halloween appealed to them."

Halloween Child's Play


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Part of an old U.S. Halloween tradition, blindfolded children attempt to put out a candle in a photograph dated to the 1900s. The game, probably called "blow out the candle," is often mentioned in early Halloween party books, Bannatyne said.

Halloween in the U.S. was mainly a celebration for children until the premiere of the 1978 slasher flick Halloween, when the holiday "became paired with contemporary horror," she added.

This new a.ssociation with bloody violence—and the attendant gory costumes and decorations—"opened up the holiday for adults and older children to celebrate, [and] made [it] more popular."

Magic Moment


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Possibly conjuring a witch, sorcerer, or clown, one woman's 1910 Halloween costume (pictured) has several possible meanings, according to Bannatyne.

The star and moon icons, for instance, may reflect a fascination with mysticism and magic, which have been connected to the "spooky aura" of Halloween for centuries, Bannatyne said.

Many of the first Halloween costumes reflected people's interest in the exotic, such as other cultures," she said. "You often find Egyptian-inspired costumes, for example, because of the mystic a.ssociation with ancient Egypt."

Likewise, she added, this costume's celestial symbols could represent night—"the domain of Halloween."

Bewitched on Halloween


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Women wearing improvised witch costumes line up for a photograph in the U.S. in 1910.

"Witches and Halloween have been tied together in the public's imagination since at least 16th-century Scotland," Bannatyne said. At that time, "you begin to find poems such as Alexander Montgomerie's 'The Flighting of Polwart,' where witches ride through the night on All Hallow's Eve."

"Also, costumes were always homemade at first," she noted. "People only began to buy manufactured costumes in the second and third decades of the 20th century, when a few savvy companies—Dennison and Beistle were the first—became aware that money could be made from Halloween decorations."

Halloween Dance


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Costumed girls—including one swathed in swastikas—smile for the camera on October 25, 1918, on the way to a Halloween dance pageant. The swastika had different meanings before the rise of the Nazi party in the mid-20th century—for one, it's an ancient symbol for life in some Indian religions, according to Columbia University.

"Most [U.S.] civic and private organizations in the first half of the 20th century"—such as dancing schools, churches, women's groups, and military groups—"all hosted Halloween parties for children," Bannatyne said.

"It was partly an attempt to keep children busy on Halloween, so as to cut down on some of the mischief that happened at night."

Bobbing for Apples


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A U.S. girl bobs for Halloween apples sometime in the early 1900s.

Due to Halloween's rural origins—its precursor, Samhain, was marked 2,000 years ago in Celtic Europe—the harvest-time holiday has often been a.ssociated with apples, nuts, and cabbages, Bannatyne said.

Today Halloween is a "rogue holiday," not attached to any person, ethnicity, or event, according to Bannatyne. Because of that, it's often a "cultural bellwether" for what happens in U.S. society.

For instance, on Halloween 2001, right after the September 11 terrorist attacks, more families than usual went trick-or-treating—for example as firemen—to show their "lack of intimidation," she said.


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 Halloween Costume Pictures: Spooky Styles a Century Ago

41 comments for "Oct 29 - Halloween 100 Years Ago"

 8 years ago '05        #2
Gateway972 47 heat pts47
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Second Picture Klansmen
 8 years ago '05        #3
Hold That 104 heat pts104
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these white people would look scary without the costumes..
 10-30-2010, 12:17 AM         #4
GhostDigga  OP
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If I saw that schoolhouse ghost I'd be... not out on Halloween.
 8 years ago '04        #5
nicoled985 22 heat pts22
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ok this thread just creeped me the f**k out... Old weird pictures scare me
 10-30-2010, 12:30 AM         #6
CaliforniaGirl  OP
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 Hold That said:
these white people would look scary without the costumes..
Everybody looked scary back then
 8 years ago '10        #7
Illswift 7 heat pts
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 8 years ago '04        #8
!!! 231 heat pts231
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Nightmares
 8 years ago '06        #9
SpeedLimits65 5 heat pts
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i miss when all hallow's eve was about scarin the s**t out of people. now its either dress like something funny/cute or dress like thes.luttiest b**ch at the party.
 8 years ago '07        #10
TH35 105 heat pts105
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Old pictures are creepy as f**k.
 8 years ago '06        #11
RAZAH CUTS 6066 heat pts6066
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wild lookin white folks, lol....
 8 years ago '05        #12
Y.G. 27 heat pts27
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 forsakenninja05 said:

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Creepy a.ss lil boy.
 8 years ago '04        #13
Lavares 19 heat pts19
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 younggangsta_s said:
Creepy a.ss lil boy.


its a girl

but yea something about pics from that era
 8 years ago '07        #14
wtr1906 45 heat pts45
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 forsakenninja05 said:




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WTF is that creature??? Are they sure that is a woman?
 10-30-2010, 09:29 AM         #15
thelittleone  OP
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they legit had creepy costumes lolol

halloween went from being about ghosts n goblins... today its about lady bugs and bumblebees, alice in wonderland and little red riding hood.
 10-30-2010, 10:59 AM         #16
Motivated  OP
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the people themselves looked scary, the costumes just made it look worst.....wow
 8 years ago '06        #17
luckluck 17 heat pts17
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Back then sucked.
 8 years ago '05        #18
DatKidDex 
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That little girl bobbing for apples looks like a straight demon....:budden:
 8 years ago '05        #19
dameons 10 heat pts10
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Great post . Thanks yo.
 10-30-2010, 11:25 AM         #20
forsakenninja05  OP
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[pic - click to view]



id smash the one on the far right
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