Halloween costumes – when did this go off the rails?

When I was a young useless lad, mine own dear Mother made me and my Brothers into orange Crayola crayons by hand. These costumes undoubtedly took her hours to make, but probably cost $8 in material. And nobody’s ever forgotten them. But now this quaint, wholesome activity has been conquered by, by what?

First off, let’s start with a little history. Halloween is a cult Pagan festival honoring the dead; likely in a creepy grinding ritual that back in 553 BC probably involved a pile of bones, human sacrifice (which seems to defeat the purpose), or at the very least a bunch of club beatings.  They probably did this for three days straight, because what the hell else was there to do back then?

In order to quickly attract converts, the Catholic Church allowed the adoption of Pagan rituals into the Christian calendar. Depending on how you count, this emerged as All Hallows or All Saint’s Day around 1400 years ago. Thus the original purpose of involving the dead, leads us down the road of horror, vampires, fear, boy bands, gargoyles, Miley Cyrus, etc.

But this costume thing is only about 150 years old. And it always seems to have taken on a rather tame tact that gives one the impression that the culture mostly left to whole violent death concept behind. Here’s a photograph from 1924, not too many decapitated horror movie themes going on here:


In my youth days, I remember the parents walking around in street clothes. All the kids wore either homemade or rather bland costumes which were actually street clothes just slightly altered. Maybe other kids wore ridiculously elaborate costumes back then and I just never saw it? I’m not sure, we didn’t exactly live in a rich neighborhood and so who knows what folks were wearing on the Giant Octopus mansion street.  Maybe those kids went around in $600 Monopoly Man costumes?

The Monopoly Man

“Terribly sorry Sir, but my Father is very wealthy, as the saying goes, and states that if you peasants do not provide me with the very best candy I am to slice you.”


But as to my home,  I just remember loving the simplicity of it all.  The family and neighborhood flavor of it.  When you’re wearing a homemade crayon around, your expectations of life are formed accordingly.  And I’m the better for it.  So are my Brothers.

Well, that was fun, for those days are over.  When did this go off the rails?

Culturally the planet’s gone from:


Pagan death ritual => Catholic soul day => wholesome costume culture / candy day => what?


What’s it now? Well, here’s a pair of screenshots that I think answer’s that question. And I hate the answer.



1) sex

2) sex

3) Diz-Nee

4) Mon-Nee

5) Other generic Giant Octopus product

6) Mon-Nee

7) sex


Uh, [shakes head], I want my crayon costume back.

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