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Halloween Memories from the 50s

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Growing up in a small New England town, Halloween was a big deal. We weren't the norm since both parents worked. Our father worked at the local Post Office and our mother was an R.N., typically working the graveyard shift so she could spend evenings with our family.

Our costumes were store-bought. You remember them - thin polyester/plastic-like material, scratchy and ill fitting. Most of them were one piece - you stepped into them and there was a skinny string tie at the back of your neck. There was a hard plastic mask that made it hard to breath and see at the same time. Often, that came off before the night was out. But if you were real lucky, your mask was just a mini one, black with eyeholes and it sat on top of your nose. Oh, did I mention how much the costumes itched? I think I was a witch most years. That was popular as well as ghosts and clowns. Superman was a hit, too.

When we got older, we sometimes got creative. Hobos were easy to fix, gypsies were fun, as well as cowboys since most of us had our toy guns (with holsters) and a cowboy hat - as evidenced by me in this photo (approx. age 5).

L-R: Aunt Anne Blanchard, Uncle Oscar Lamsa holding my youngest brother Kendall, my brother Charlie, me, neighborhood friends David and Stephen Marshall.

We always went trick or treating on the actual day of Halloween. We walked our own neighborhood while it was daylight and if we were lucky, there might be an early evening visit to relatives or even a school/church party.

The weather was another thing. I can remember many Halloweens when we were bundled up in several layers of clothing under our costumes since the temperature had dropped dramatically in that final week of October.

What do you remember about Halloween as a kid?

Ciao for now!


  1. First cowgirl I've seen wearing a dress and saddle shoes...

    1. Thought I had replied to It wasn't Halloween, just my "phase".

  2. I had the plastic masks too,of animals, but my mother would make flannel pajamas in fabric to make the body (like spotted for a leopard), and a tail from scrap she would safety pin on! Then, I'd have new pajamas! I don't know if she did that a lot, or the times she did just stand out in my mind.
    I remember, even in the early 60s, I wasn't allowed to eat anything homemade. One house down our street invited trick-or-treaters into their decorated entry and gave out homemade cupcakes. My father let me eat it before we got home, so my mother wouldn't know!
    We got to wear our costumes to school, masks and all and would have a "parade" on the playground.

    1. What sweet memories! I remember being the oldest and staying up latest, I scrounged in my younger brothers' candy buckets and pulled out my favorites, adding back the ones I didn't like in my bucket. LOL!

  3. Where did you grow up in New England? I grew up in Hartford, Ct until I was 10 then moved to New Britain, Ct - Moved away after getting married to a service member and after retiring went to Windsor, Ct. 12 years ago we hit the road and never looked back - enjoy your retirement

    1. Hi Peg, I grew up in Duxbury, just outside Plymouth. We spent ten years full-timing but have now moved to snowbird status here in middle TN.


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