Vintage Halloween Photo SPOOKtacular

As far as I can tell (my childhood memories are spotty at best), I've always loved Halloween. The October celebration of ghosts and goblins and high-fructose corn syrup touched something deep inside my evil little heart, as you can see in the photo above, where I proudly display both a cornucopia of seasonal items and my finest Gecko Hawaii shirt. In the spirit of the season, I have taken the liberty of scanning and collecting some old photos of these early Halloweens to share with you. It's like peeking into your trick-or-treat bag at the end of the night...let's see what we've got!
This photo is the earliest one I could find. I'm wearing a dinosaur onesie that my mom sewed based on a pattern she purchased at Michael's. I'm also apparently camera shy, or perhaps weeping. Equally likely, I suppose. Oh, and one note: most of these scans are from old Polaroids that survived a house fire and a closet flooding, so if they're washed out and/or ashy, there are very good, very bad reasons.
"It's a-me, Mario!" I am DEFINITELY not saying in the photo above, because that wasn't a thing yet. Having said that, it was a-him, Mario, that I was dressing up as. To all you Johnny-come-latelys wondering why I would be wearing red overalls and a blue shirt when Mario's outfit reflects the opposite, miss me with that revisionist history:
Here's another photo from the same year, this one including my sister.
I'll refrain from commenting on any relationship betweeen the devil costume and my sister's behavior in restaurants at this point in her life and simply note that 1) I promise my mustache was not drawn on this photo in sharpie, and 2) that Inhumanoids action figure in the lower right corner of the photo was amazing.
My parents dressed up too, back then. Here's a photo of my mom dressed as the Queen of Hearts, with me apparently as her feral dogboy, based on my posture and expression.
When I started to go blind in second grade, my costumes began to reflect this. Hence, here I am as a mad scientist. Between the ashiness, the color palette and my blank expression, this photo would not be out of place pinned to the wall in some abandoned building in Silent Hill.
Here's another photo of my Halloween display from the first image, sans moi. There are some incredible items here, most of which have been long lost to the inferno. You've got some classic McDonald's Halloween pails as well as the less-celebrated McDonald's Halloween bags, some old foam Todd Masters jack-o-lanterns, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark in both book and cassette audiobook forms, and much more. I even left in the bottom section of the Polaroid, with a handwritten message from the Ghost of Halloweens Past.
For whatever reason, my most chronicled costume is my scarecrow outfit. Here it is in its embryonic stage:
Wait. No.
Ah, there we go! This is me in scarecrow makeup and jaunty Giants cap. Here's the finished product:
This is quite an elaborate outfit, with sleeves stuffed with hay and only the finest Osh Kosh B'gosh. Although I should note that I can't be a very effective scarecrow if I have a giant crow PERCHED RIGHT ON ME.
Here's a full body shot of me staring longingly in the distance, wondering how I'm going to be able to eat a cheeseburger with my sleeves stuffed with straw. It also provides a glimpse of some other 1990 costume choices, like Cape Man and Fly Boy.
This rare non-Polaroid is chock full of Halloween-y goodness, including a pumpkin carved with a pattern from the original Carve-O-Lantern book, a skull candle holder, random cornstalks and fake spiderwebs, and my sister dressed as Ariel from The Little Mermaid, complete with red tinsel hair and tasteful faux-torso sweater.
Finally, here's another shot of the two of us within our dark, wood-paneled mobile home, posed in front of the sewing machine that facilitated it all. It's nice to see that animated bird deterrents and landwalking fish beasts really can get along after all!
And that's my stroll down Memory Lane, right where the sidewalk meets All Hallow's Drive. Thanks for joining me, and of course...
BONUS: Here's some footage of my Halloween village decorations from this year! It differs quite a bit from the Scare Acres setup I've had in years past, as I integrated a ton of new pieces, and it's all set to the music from a cheesy old Halloween cassette tape that I had completely forgotten about until Dinosaur Dracula posted it up online. Enjoy!

Joey Marsilio would love to share vintage Polaroids of his debut novel, Henry Garrison: St. Dante's Savior, but they don't actually exist. You can still buy a copy, though.


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