Dressing up on Halloween is a longstanding tradition in America, but it wasn’t always as fun and lightheartedly spooky as it is now. Halloween costumes have made a long journey from their Pagan roots to the popular and fun costumes of today. Here are 5 facts about the history of kids dress up costumes for Halloween that will add some spooky insight to your child's Halloween experience.
- Halloween night wasn’t always so nice and dandy, as it was at one point really dangerous for children. Prior to and during the Great Depression, kids played tricks on people on Halloween. Some tricks were harmless, such as stealing gates, but others incited violence, like tripping people and damaging property. To prevent children from creating more problems, adults started organizing trick-or-treating events and Halloween parties to keep them from trouble. Fortunately, to this day, Halloween is commonly associated with spooky fun, and not true terror.
- Wearing halloween costumes used to be about warding off evil spirits, stemming from Pagan spiritual beliefs and traditions. Costumes focused on a mask and garment that would disguise the person behind it from bad spirits, which was their original intent.
- The popularity of costumes not rooted in scaring off evil spirits rose in the mid 20th century, as department stores started to mass produce costumes. Companies such as Disney also licensed the use of Mickey Mouse and other characters for Halloween costumes, much like they commonly do today. At first kids costumes weren’t affordable, so parents made homemade ones, but they eventually became cheaper and more accessible.
- Throughout history, ghosts, clowns, and witches have been popular Halloween costumes for kids. During the later half of the mid 20th century, popular culture took hold in popularity, as movies and tv inspired more Halloween costumes. This was likely the root of the rise in popularity of pop culture based costumes, much like we see today.
- In 2019, consumers spent $3.2 billion dollars on costumes, making it one of the top spending categories for Halloween, according to the National Retail Federation. The average planned spending amount for costumes was $31.05 that year. With the prevalence of mass produced costumes over the homemade ones of yesteryear, this industry is booming and will likely only continue to grow.
Teetot has a variety of costumes for your little one to choose from for Halloween night. From fairies to racecar drivers, your child can relish in the best of Halloween costumes and traditions while honoring the past that got us here. Contact us for more information.