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The costumes of the 1960's Were so Cool

Updated on December 7, 2012

Back then we had a lot of fun did we not!!

Is it hard for you to remember any of the old Halloweens you were there for?

Trying to remember what it was like for some people back then, must be really hard, while for others who enjoyed those outings it's still a pleasure to recall how they visited many homes, laughed, carried on and ate a ton of candy, and had good clean fun wearing costumes made out of rags, dirty linen and leftovers. I was one, that always got as much candy eaten as possible, before heading home, trading with friends or siblings for those candy you liked less and the ones you didn't even like at all. I could never bring myself to enjoy those silly tootsie rolls at all and traded them off, sometimes faster than they made it into my pillow case even. Honestly why didn't families just carry the good chocolate bars huh? You could always get O Henry bars, and Jersey Milk bars they were fairly common, as were those small 5 or 10 cent bag of chips that usually ended getting squashed to pieces by the apples or homemade treats anyway. Man, those really were good times cavorting with pals and no worry of school the next day either..

Recently while relaxing in my lounger, as I was trying o so hard to let the chaise be my bed, I was unceremoniously bothered in my reverie by these blaring words “it's Halloween in 2 weeks time, Grandpa oh yea yea,” bellowed at me by my 4 year old grandchild.  Moving slowly, trying to clear the cobwebs and focus, I, somewhat semi awake and while looking at this expectant youth thru my dirty horn rimmed glasses, he excitedly yells at me; "So tell me there Grandpa, did you guys celebrate it, and what was halloween like when you were young like me?  Now,I was being pushed into lying to the child or give him some abstact kind of truth, beacause Grandpa always like to sound cool. Or maybe I should I spew off some cock and bull story and make it sound glorious to his young innocent ears, or should I just give him the "folk tale" adults always tried to use on me to show me their hardships? Right now, I'm willing to bet a buck you have heard this one from some well meaning peer somewhere trying to dazzle you with their brilliance or just baffle you with their version of b.s. "Well back on the farm when I was a lil whipper snapper...." Either way, you know your smart enough to figure it out now, its gonna be crap! So while most of us were getting into our own youthful angst against the establishment and big brother we heard a lot of this from our older relatives “Well youngster, back in our times... !”

Recalling this, started me trying to remember how it was back in Canada in 1960 as we celebrated Halloween when I but a young boy enjoying the trick and treating myself. So where should I start because I know for true that as a budding brat preteen, I settled for used hand me downs . Wasn't even bad enough, I had to wear my siblings soiled goods all year long after they'd worn them, with one or two holes magically appearing when I got them, and having Mom repair them for me, but get real? Yep, an old costume or a one homemade were the only 2 choices given, where today's poor misguided little delinquents can get their Mas and Pas to purchase them expensive costumes that they will wear once and never wear again and somehow to me doesn't make sense. Back then in 1960 we could go into the family old junk room/laundry room, and between me and my two brothers, would literally fight to put together the best costume. Even when I would win I would lose, because soon as the fighting started, like some mad charging rhino there was my Pa yelling at the three of us; “Hey you meatheads, knock it off or someone's gonna get a hurtin'.” So after we would have our minute each to explain why the fight got so out of hand, and so loud, to keep family peace, he would side with my one brother or the odd time even my younger one. But as for me the center kid, he never even took my part, “whoa is me for I was undone,” so I would just sigh and give in relenting for the last bits of motley crew get up, I could find by scrounging like a wet rat. A couple of times my costume was the best, well for sure, at least in my mind it was!

Glorious costumes too

I had a big sister who always dated, and always had good red lipstick and/or rouge handy. I would sneak out of her room, doors weren't closed or locked back then either. If I had chosen to be the Captain Blood pirate skewed while at war, appearing as covered in blood, or hatless cowboy from using her scarfs,or one of Mom's towels, we used what was at hand. or if I instead picked smelly miner's gear from a plastic bag left there from a long time ago, wiggling into my old man's used old steel toed boots or his dusty miner's hat and his belt, wanting to dress just like dear old Dad, I was soon ready for action, and if my friends could stand my smell it was all good for the night. Dressed up like an underground miner cast off at Halloween, which was the 1st profession I partook of after turning just 18 years old. Who knew huh? Back in 1960 what I thought was fun dressing like a miner would become my profession for the next 30 years.

Many of my early friends, some of whom today we are still friends, can recall slipping an old sheet over your head, cutting 2 holes for the eyes and that would be a ghost, or if it was green a goblin. Costumes were simple, and if it wasn't too cold you you just wore a mask to be whatever picture was on the mask, so you could be a Frankenstein in one mask or a tiger in the next or the Lone Ranger if you choose a sleek small mask to cover your eyes and nose. And of course you needed more than one mask if you went out twice in one night. My second costume most of the time was Superman, in my blue rubber boots with a bath towel for a cape, with an S emblazed by a red crayon or pen on an old blue t shirt found in the wash around that time.

I still remember a couple of my buddies using their dad's new fedora hats (without their dads finding out cuz they were usually at work by then) and wide silk ties over a t shirt being FBI agents and whosoever thought of it first was Eliott Ness of course.

Every Halloween we would dressup in our costumes and walk to our school because we knew that afternoon classes were to be cancelled that day to hold a classroom party, which always had a best costume award (usually food). There, the female teachers dressed up like Mary Poppins, or Cinderella or even a really old witch or if it was a male teacher, like a cowboy, janitor or army officer and they both let us carry on loudly, play all kinds of assorted games, tell spooky tales, jokes or stories, and we got to pull all the girl's hair, (we hated girls then) and get kicked in the shin at least once. Then we would nurse a sore shin, sit back and be entertained, then gobble down a ton of milk and cookies, or if we were blessed, someone's Mom's delicious chocolate cake, now, can some of you remember that far back or is SAL or AL Zheimer slowly taking over? Then dismissed 20 minutes earlier than all other days you left for home day over, or if you were a wise one, you stayed on the school grounds playing soccer games for one extra hour than usual, then left to go off trick-or-treating with a few of your best pals. Nobody worried about you, back then either? First ones on the hunt always got the best candy at EVERY home one could visit. Did you hear that kids? Nowadays, a lot less people even give out any candy, or treats if at all. However back then we got our literal fill and if you were fairly quick to get back home, you dashed out for another part of town to get a complete refill, stopping to eat the best candy so you did not have to share it too. At home always by 10p.m. my folks made us three boyos evenly split all the candy from the hauling we got equally, I always thought that sucked big-time as I usually had two bags, to their one each. So much for enterprising youths huh? But since their was no recognized child's union to help me it was a lost cause to argue at best .

Unless I forget o yeah, when you got to the neighbor's house even if you got the candy, you had to answer some silly non relevant question or sing first and well, to get your treats given. I tried doing this a couple years back with some kids, I was giving candy to, and when I asked who sings and no one replied, I swear I heard "fire truck" muttered, or some similar expletive. So much for that idea, how dare me expect today's monsters and goblins to even be co operative for that matter. Oh how times have changed!



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    • Powerful Pierre profile image

      Powerful Pierre 7 years ago from Abbotsford BC

      thank you two for droppin in

    • Fullerman5000 profile image

      Ryan Fuller 7 years ago from Louisiana, USA

      I remember those wonderful days of picking out the perfect costume and counting down til it was time to go trick or treating. Then i would go through my candy like a rich man counting his money. Boy, those days were the best.

    • jeanie.stecher profile image

      jeanie.stecher 7 years ago from Seattle

      Yeah! I just remember the old days when my sister, friends and I are going around the village to trick or treat neighbors. They were very willing to give candies and stuffs. Some even prepared food for us. It was just Fun. =)