100-Year-Old Halloween Costumes

17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Thursday, October 31, 1912:  And this is Halloween. What a pity it is that I’m not out having a good time, and I’ve never had that pleasure either.

Witch (Source: Ladies Home Journal, July, 1912)

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Poor Grandma—It’s too bad that she missed all the fun. I’d be bummed, too.

Here’s what was happening in nearby Milton on Halloween, 1912:

HALLOWEEN PARTIES AND MASQUERADERS MADE NIGHT GAY

Young Folks and Old Enjoyed Selves in Various Ways

Streets Were Filled with Merrymakers

Milton was the scene of high carnival last night. Chattering and laughing, it was a merry throng that wandered up and down the length of Broadway and Front last night for hours attired in costumes that represented every character and nation under the sun, and in some costumes that didn’t represent anything in particular. . .

Milton Evening Standard (November 1, 1912)

Recent photo of Broadway and Front Streets, Milton The street is generally very quiet now. Imagine what it was like a hundred years ago with masqueraders parading through the downtown.

5 Responses

  1. I would love to be part of a merry throng–am going to use that phrase–I just love it

  2. Oh vintage Halloween stuff is so fun, I’ve been snooping round Pinterest and it’s fun to see what people collect. Milton was really a hub of activity at all times. What a fun community to grow up in. Too bad your Gramma was missing it.

  3. Seems to me that Miss Muffly’s family were not into the “hijinks” and “frivolity” some indulged in on “All Hallows Eve” in their part of the world 100 years ago.
    We know that many Halloween activites originated in an attempt to protect oneself from malevolent spirits who were said to roam the earth, at this time of the year, when the veil between the living and the dead was lifted.
    From the newspaper article, it seems that the folks in nearby Milton were using this occasion simply as an excuse to have a “Fancy Dress” parade… Interesting post. Thanks Sheryl. I wonder what others think.

  4. Bummed for your grandma — Halloween can be fun, but it’s never been my personal favorite holiday. Hope she found something to amuse herself …

  5. […] I included two of these pictures in my October 31, 2012 post—but they are so good I just had to share them again this […]

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