But the kids? They loved it anyway, even if their vision was significantly impaired by the restrictive eyeholes in those hard, plastic masks.
We’ve gathered up a large collection of the most popular vintage Halloween masks and costumes from the era, most of which you could pick up at your neighborhood drugstore or Woolworth’s.
If you were a kid during the 60s and/or 70s, you were probably sporting one or more of these characters! Have a look, and tell us your favorite costume from this period.
Vintage Halloween masks & costumes back when they were making news as the freshest trends in the mid-1970s
Costumes popular for Halloween funsters (1974)
Evening Herald (Shenandoah, Pennsylvania) October 31, 1974
Down in the spook works, Halloween costumes are made.
These store-bought costumes for the current Halloween were designed in 1973. And the ones for 1975 are being drawn up right now.
For a preview of what the little hobgoblins will be wearing Halloween, I talked with William Wimmer, an executive of one of the big two Halloween costume makers.
His firm, Collegeville, in Collegeville, Pa., and Ben Cooper Inc. in New York turn out most Halloween costumes — and that includes some for adults.
The hottest costume in the adult line is the Oil Sheik. More than a thousand dozen were sold way before Halloween. In fact, much to Wimmer’s regret, the costume was out of stock weeks before Halloween. (It moved fast, too, in the juvenile line.)
Vintage Halloween masks & costumes on display
The Sheik costume for adults outpaced the Shadow, Clown, Devil, Fortune Teller, Hobo, Skeleton and Witch.
In the juvenile department, the newest thing is costumes with lights that blink. The flasher-light unit is fixed into the head part of the mask and is said to be safe. Characters in the flasher-light rig include clown, devil, princess, dragon, and spooky monster.
In the tiny tot department, Casper the Friendly Ghost is the rage. The little kiddies also like Teddy Bear, Fluffy Kitten, White Rabbit, Friendly Lion, Bugs Bunny and Clowns.
Boo! Vintage Halloween masks: Skeleton & I Dream of Jeanie
These harmless disguises all pretend to be spittin’ images of characters found by children in cartoons, movies and storyland.
In the costume line for older children, there are frightening characters but also some letting the boys and girls go as contemporary Idols. Namely — Football Superstar, Blues Singer, Beauty Queen, Soul Singer.
Halloween costumes are keeping up with the fever building toward the nation’s bicentennial. For girls, there are costumes of an Indian Princess, Miss Liberty, Betsy Ross.
Boys can select from among the following costumes: Uncle Sam, George Washington, Indian and Brave.
To keep tuned to safety, many of the commercially made costumes have stripes that glow when lights hit them. Another safety twist: Costumes that are mostly all white — more easily seen at night.
At the Cooper firm, Planet of the Apes characters are new this year and the costumes include Caesar, Lisa and Warrior. Other costumes from comics, the movies and television — Star Trek, Kung Fu, Batman, Superman.
From the World of Walt Disney, cartoons and creations are the all-time favorites — Donald Duck, Tinkerbell, Mickey Mouse.
Monsters are big with the kids and costumes catering to this appetite include the Creature, Wolfman, the Mummy, Vampire, Frankenstein, Spiderman.
Makeup sets offer the chance to look like almost anything or anyone. Expect a lot of Planet of the Apes trick-n-treaters. A hot item is a Planet of the Apes make-up set.
Monster-Glo Costumes and Vintage Halloween Masks (1966)
Black Cat – Devil – Body Snatcher – Monster – Skeleton – Ghastly Genie – Vampire – Ghoul
Collegeville vintage Halloween masks & costumes (1966)
Black Cat – Cinderella – Monster – Pirate – Hobo – Skeleton
Old plastic masks including Planet of the Apes, Frankenstein, Witch, Princess & Pirate
Vintage Collegeville Halloween masks from 1960s
Astronaut, Cinderella, Clown, Devil, Hootenanny, Monster, Pirate, Princess, Secret Agent, Skull, Tiger, Witch
Black cat, Brute, Clown, Devil, Ghastly Gertie, Ghost, Ghoul, Monster, Red Skull, Body Snatcher, Vampire, Witch
Bat, Brute, Ghastly Gertie, Gorilla, Ghoul, Monster, Body Snatcher, Weird-O, Fink.
Vintage Halloween mask & costume sets: Popeye, Hagar the Horrible, Lil’ Tiger, Stripe the Pup, The Phantom, Skeleton
Vintage Halloween masks & costumes: Sylvester, Daffy Duck, Mr Do Bee (from Romper Room), Underdog & Bullwinkle
Ill-fitting cheap costumes! Bugs Bunny, Hot Wheels, Road Runner, Casper the Friendly Ghost
Actual Flying Nun and Bugs Bunny vintage Halloween masks
Complete costumes for the wee folk (1966)
Clown – Kitten – Blue Fairy (sparkle velvet decorations) – Red Riding Hood – Pirate – Rabbit – Skeleton – Witch
Amazing rubber masks – Comic wigs – Funny hair
Vintage kids’ Halloween costumes for trick-or-treating
Famous Collegeville Safety Halloween Costumes (1967)
Vintage Halloween Masks & Costumes (1968)
Collegeville safety Halloween Costumes – $1.58
The Witch – Mr Spock – Dr Doolittle – Bugs Bunny – Casper
The plastic masks and (flame retardant!) rayon costumes were pretty much the standard among us kids in the 1970s. You could buy them for a couple of bucks at the five and dime, and they were adequate for a school Halloween party or a couple of hours of trick-or-treating. I remember that for a couple of years in a row I was a generic (pre-“Star Wars”) robot. When I was growing up, Halloween wasn’t that big of a deal aside from that. Trick-or-treating was strictly confined to little kids; no self-respecting teenager would even consider dressing up. And it certainly wasn’t a thing among adults. Some grownups had parties (because any excuse for a party, right?), but no costumes.