Behold, the Power of Free Candy

Kids today have it so easy. My son gets a complete Luigi costume at Target, slaps on a fake mustache, has us drive him around a few minutes, then comes home with enough candy to put Willy Wonka in a ten year coma. Halloween is just a blip between summer and Christmas to my kids. There’s no magic, no sense of adventure anymore.

Back in the 1970s, when I was a kid, times were hard and we didn’t mess around—Halloween was Go-Time. The rest of the year, my brothers and I rarely got candy (unless you count the Sucrets we stole out of my mom’s purse), so we prepared for this holiday weeks in advance.

Plus, we were entirely on our own. Mom and Dad rarely bought us a costume. We had to cough up our own spooky designs from whatever was lying around the house. And trick-or-treating? Completely unsupervised and lasted until way past bedtime, even on a school night, just like God intended.

We’d spend weeks brainstorming wacky homemade costume ideas: “Hey! I know! We can have Dad cut up some of the foam insulation from the attic and make a giant Pac-Man!” We’d analyze which houses would score the biggest payload: “Okay, rumor has it Mrs. Stevens doles out jumbo-sized Snickers so be sure to hit her up first… but steer clear of Old Mr. Pitts, he throws nothing but moldy popcorn balls or crayons at your head and he smells like cheese.”

Once darkness fell, we’d fan out by ourselves and bravely trek the streets, clutching our garbage bag costumes, our sad Hobo faces covered in whatever we could scrape out of my dad’s ashtray, and beg perfect strangers for a Charleston Chew.

Whenever I tell my kids about the hardships we faced back then, they interrupt me and say, “Yeah, yeah…whatever, Mom. By the way, that is the dumbest idea for a costume, like, ever, and can you give me back my Kit Kat now? That’s your third one!”

Let’s travel back in time to my childhood Halloweens, shall we?

I’m not sure what I was trying to be here, I’d guess a gypsy, or maybe Laura Ingall’s long-lost Spanish cousin. Either way, it looks like I’m thinking, OH DEAR GOD, please don’t let me be seen in public with these two freakshows! He used up all my Noxzema for this?
I was a witch this year (again) and my brothers were hobos (again). Strangely enough, they didn’t even have to alter their appearance at all. And the hobo sticks came in handy when my brothers threatened to beat me over the head if I didn’t give them my Skittles. Just look into the cold, dark eyes of my younger brother and tell me he didn’t intend to mug me later on for all my Pixy Stix.
This year we were all lucky to have ‘store-bought’ costumes. Still, I felt bad for my younger brother, having to trick or treat with Yul Brynner and the freaky-deakiest Raggedy Anne I’ve ever seen.
I’m not sure what’s scarier about this photo, the giant fork and spoon on the wall my brother used to chase me around the house with… the illusion that the entire room is invisible due to my mom’s horrible paint job or the fact that I chose to go trick or treating at the age of 11 dressed up like an Amish hooker.
Finally, my favorite Halloween photo of all-time. You thought I was kidding about the foam insulation Pac Man? It is a sheer miracle my poor brother didn’t suffocate after five minutes in that thing. Oh, and you thought I was joking about the garbage bag? Behold, my genius idea for a costume. Any guess what we were? We had to wear a SIGN to let people know. Probably a good sign it’s not a very good costume. If you can guess what we were in the comments below, I’ll ship you a truckload of Twix.

UPDATE: The mystery of the trash bag costume has been revealed by the too-brilliant-for-her-own-good


She correctly guessed we were:

The Fruit of the Loom Grapes!! Congrats, Speaker7!


Happy Halloween! Care to share any really horrible and lame costumes you once had as a kid?

112 thoughts on “Behold, the Power of Free Candy

      1. I hear you. My daughter had me drag out my wedding dress from over 12 years ago and I said, “Here, I’ll put it on for you.” then spent 30 minutes trying to button up the back. I only got halfway. Then a one of the stitched pearls blew off and almost took my daughter’s eye out.

  1. You went as M&Ms? You did rock the Amish hooker costume!

    We never had store bought costumes, either. And we had to deal with the neighborhood in which we lived, no chauffeuring to better loot areas. Why, in my day, we had to walk! Gah, do I feel old. Sigh.

    1. Oh, that is a GREAT guess! I wish were were M&Ms. I will give you another hint, we stuffed the garbage bags with balloons to help (or hurt) the illusion. After we walked a few blocks, the balloons started to fall out and we were left with pathetic, deflated trash bags. Like we needed any more help in the pathetic dept.

  2. haha–that pac-mac with the two little feet is hilarious. Clever one. You and your friends? I’m stumped–no twix for me.–hmmm–still pondering with the help of coffee–judging by your friend on the right perhaps “The Three Not So Blind Mice?”

  3. First and foremost, your classification of Sucrets as a candy speaks VOLUMES of just how candy-deprived your childhood was. Just so you know you aren’t alone in such a childhood history, my brothers and I used to eat the candy in the dishes at my grandmother’s house, despite its unknown lineage. We suspected that many of the candies actually came with the bowls when she bought them at flea markets. The only candy which was off limits were the ones which we couldn’t chisel free from the sides of the bowl.

    As for costumes, I estimate that my brothers and I went as “hobos” most years. We’d scheme and plan for months (days) for the best costume ideas, then we’d end up just wearing older clothes (all our regular clothes were already “old” – that’s the nature of hand-me-downs) and smearing some dirt on our faces. Dunno why we never thought to use cigarette ashes, Dad smoked Kents almost constantly and Mom emptied ashtrays bi-monthly.

    My wife and I saw a bunch of Trick or Treaters yesterday on the boardwalk in Ocean City, NJ. Almost every costume was expensive and store-bought. The kids were cute, but over-all, it made me kind of nostalgic and sad.

    Wonderful post, as always.

    1. Ha! Oh yeah! We spent many a time choking down calcified candy from my grandmother’s candy bowls. We were pretty desperate. I remember a real treat for us was when my mom would dig around in her purse and give us each a tiny stick of Dentyne gum. Score!

      It is kinda sad with the costumes these days. My daughter spent all of two seconds picking out her costume. She is going as the girl from Brave, complete with red wig.

  4. Oh, I love this post!! I remember those Halloweens so well!! We used to start planning in about July, but no matter what, the week before Halloween meant that we were desperately searching through my Dad’s old shirts, hunting for cardboard boxes and begging my Mom for the use of her old lipsticks.
    My best costume ever: I was a TV with my best friend. We walked all around the neighborhood inside of a cut out cardboard box with a coat hanger antenna. She was three inches taller than me, so I wore huge wooden blocks nailed to the soles of my shoes!

    1. We got plenty of use with my dad’s and mom’s old clothes. We used her lipstick for makeup, too. Too bad you didn’t have a photo of your TV costume with the wooden blocks on your shoes. I bet that was classic.

  5. Maybe I’m influenced by all those Charlie Brown Halloween stories, but I think I went as a ghost once too often. Those old sheets Mom had no more use for sure came in handy. By the way, I remember trick or treating “two days in a row.” I scored a lot of candy. Thanks for the trip down memory lane, Darla.

    1. Oh, yeah! We went as ghosts ALL the time! I have a vivid memory of my dad driving us to my uncle’s neighborhood so we could score more loot. I was wearing a sheet with holes for eyes and it kept slipping down, obstructing my view so I was tripping and falling down all over the place.

  6. Running from Hell with El

    These costumes were fantastic! The Pacman was sheer brilliance–I mean, really!! And I do like the ingenuity pictured above. Sucrets–yum, lol.

  7. Snoring Dog Studio

    First of all, you haven’t changed a bit! I was a hobo for quite a few Halloweens. It was easy and comfortable. However, considering how less-than-well of we were, all five of us kids always looked like hobos, so it wasn’t much of a stretch. I can’t stand the store bought costumes- the human ones and the pet ones. Of course, it mightily irritated me when kids would show up to the door in their usual clothes expecting treats. If you’re not in a costume, then you’re just begging. I fear for the loss of imagination and creativity in our world. Oh, yeah, one time when I was very young, we ran out of candy so I handed out toast. Unbuttered of course.

    1. I do remember my mom handing out TONS of candy back then. She’d get well over 100 trick or treaters as we lived right intown next to L.L. Bean’s. But then she’d run out at 8 pm and she’d get those teenagers with nothing but a bag over their heads, threatening her for candy. She’d give them (I kid you not) popcorn balls…and pennies.

  8. Always had home-made costumes, too. One thing we had to deal with was the weather b/c by Halloween, there’s usually snow on the ground in Saskatchewan. Plus, I lived on a farm so trick-or-treating involved piling into my Mom or my Aunt Irene’s car and being driven from farm to farm where we were expected to SING for our treats. That’s right people, forget the cleverness of the costume, you’d better be able to belt out a song or two. 5 farms = 1 pillow sack full of stuff – pop, homemade caramel apples, popcorn balls and fudge, plus store-bought candy.

    My favorite, most ingenious costume? Belly Dancer. Bad idea at 32F though…….


    1. We were farm kids, too. We had to go miles to hit up a couple of places. And we got lots of handmade/homemade goodies and APPLES (without razor blades , back in the stone age) Popcorn balls, BIG candy bars, homemade fudge, etc. etc.

      I have a picture around here somewhere of me as a pilgrim…wonder where that is?

      1. Ah, yes….the good ol’ days of razor-free apples…such a simpler time back then, Katy. And always it was regular sized candy bars, none of this piddly mini-bar, snack-bar junk.

        You must find the photo of you as a pilgrim.

    2. OH, I can totally picture you guys singing! That is a riot! And the pillowcases…we did that a few years, I had forgotten about that…I mean pillowcases were the way to go because you could cram a truckload of candy in those suckers.

      Our Halloweens are almost always freezing cold, too. Last year, we got slammed with a huge snowstorm just a few days before, so it made the trick or treating that much more fun, wearing giant parkas over your costumes. My poor kids.

  9. I went as a chicken one year (I had orange tights, a paper beak, and a big shirt I had covered with strips of crepe paper to represent “feathers”). I got plucked. I wish I had a picture of that costume – it was classic.

      1. The really funny part is – I had to be in my 30s when I wore that one…One year my husband’s office was supposed to dress up for Halloween. He “borrowed” one of my maternity dresses, found a pair of queen-sized pantyhose, and headed off to work. He had to drop my car off to get it worked on on his way to work. He took a lot of good natured ribbing and got hit on pretty good. Then, when he got to the office, everyone else had “forgotten” to dress up. I wish I had a picture of that one, too!!!

  10. The pac man is amazing, and the yul brynner pic is truly frightening, “Take ALL the candy, just please leave” stuff if nightmares. I wish we did it justice in the UK, maybe it’s just London but teens just put their hoodies up and start beating your door down and shouting obscenities through the letterbox. And they don’t leave until you give them your iphone, laptop and big screen TV.

    1. I know, what WAS my brother? I wish I knew. Some kind of superhero? Mr. Clean? Whatever he was, it certainly succeeded in making my younger brother cry nonstop.

      And London sure has a strange way of celebrating Halloween. I imagine you’re safe if you just keep all your lights and your front porch light off, right?

      1. I wish I had a porch, our old London houses weren’t designed that way, all squished in.

        Reminds me when I watch some US house shows, buyer sees a detached home and says “it’s too small” I start choking as the lounge is about as big as my whole house. And then they reveal the price and I faint as it’s a auarter of what my small house is worth. I only rent but ithe house is worth £450,000 which is about $700,000 I guess. I’m trying to save to buy now and it’s a scary prospect, the money and that I’ll have to move out into the suburbs, I’ll have to change the name of my blog, though I expect I’ll still get funny stories from it’s residents, luckily people are weird everywhere.

      2. I know, I love those home-buying shows. “Nah, it’s only 3,000 sq. feet. Sorry, I can’t go below 5,000, And the kitchen is all wrong. I want granite counter tops, not marble. Oh, and you expect me to live with NO sub-zero fridge next to the hot tub? Please!”
        I imagine once you’re a suburbanite, you’ll have loads of bizarre crap to blog about.

  11. My sisters and I loved to plan out our costumes…..all homemade. We thought the store-bought ones were cheesy. We did birthday presents (a big box covered in wrapping paper and a big bow on our head), dice (a big box painted white with the black cut out circles), pumpkins ( orange fabric filled with newspapers and a black cut out triangles for the face) plus many others. I loved to come up with creative ones for our kids-perhaps that is why they alll ended up in theater at some point in their lives. In fact, from what I see in your photo, you look like the theater scene changers—who always dress in dark clothes. Or perhaps cat burglars.
    Anyway, Halloween was always fun, except for the town dentist, who handed out toothbrushes and small tubes of toothpaste, back in the day we always received full-sized candy bars. The best part was getting home and doing a trading session—-we would trade each other for the candy we liked best. Mine was gone within 2 weeks. My middle sister made hers last through Easter.

    1. We all were pretty damn creative and crafty back then, weren’t we? Where’s the imagination of kids today? Where’s the joy of creating? Where’s the recyclable use of potentially harmful insulation and cigarette ash?

      Good guesses on the cat burglars….but nope.

      We also did trading back then. We’d come home and dump everything in piles and argue and put each other in headlocks. It was a magical time.

  12. I love the pics of you in costume. Halloween was big for us too, just because there were so many kids in our neighborhood and we traveled around in groups – our moms drinking coffee in a sedan some yards away and our dads in charge of the candy duty. Mine often went through all of the candy, the fruit – pears and apples – and would start handing out change. It was a great way to get rid of the jars of loose change from his pockets that collected over the year.

    1. yes! My mom did the pennies thing when she would run out of the ‘good stuff’. And popcorn balls. I tried one of her popcorn balls once and broke a tooth. Saved me going to the dentist. Also, we used to use them as doorstops. See…we were so resourceful back then, Renee.

  13. Love those costumes! Your poor brother. (His feet sticking out the bottom make the photo hilarious!) I have no idea about the garbage bag costume. Hmm.
    I did have one store bought costume: Wonder Woman! 🙂

    I don’t know about your neck of the woods, but we had to combat all of the old ladies who would try to give us pennies in our candy bags.

    1. I’m really curious if my brother had proper ventilation. And how in the hell he managed to navigate up someone’s front steps. The poor kid!

      Wonder Woman! Now THERE’S a costume.

      We had the old lady pennies, the old lady popcorn balls that smelled more like moth balls, the old ladies who’d scold us about the dangers of sugar and hand us a couple crayons. We learned to avoid those houses right away.

  14. The gypsy! Yes, I did that one, too. Recognized it immediately. And the witch, yup. And what’s interesting is how cheap and cheasy the store bought costumes always were, compared to something homemade. When I was a little kid, my favorite house to trick or treat at, was a neighbor, about 3 doors down, who would always invite us in to watch TV, eat popcorn, and drink cider. We were never allowed to watch TV during the week, and it was extremely limited on weekends, so this was indeed a big treat.

    1. Those were the days, Sue. When neighbors were actually nice to kids. I remember we had one neighbor who’d transform their entire house into a haunted house with free tours to scare all the kids. They’d set out bowls of food and candy. Unfortunately, where we live on a major road with traffic, no one trick or treats at all. I have to take my kids to the next town over.

  15. Oh I miss 1970s-80s Halloween. My brother, cousins and I were take empty pillow cases, barely assembled costumes and roam the streets. When the pillow case was full, we returned to my grandparent’s house, dumped the candy into a giant pile and then set out again.


    It’s so lame now.

    My guesses:
    1. The anthropomorphic raisins
    2. The Fruit of the Looms Grape guy
    3. Violet Beauregarde, post-blow up

    1. First, off, your guesses KILLED me. I read them aloud to my husband and we both died laughing.


      DING! DING! DING! DING! WE HAVE A WINNER!!!! HOLY CRAP! I cannot believe you guessed it, Speaker! You are incredible. I thought for sure no one would ever possibly come close. Dang. Email me your address and I’ll get that truckload of candy ready for you. Seriously. Tell me what candy you prefer. I love Twix, but you might hate them….(I’m being totally serious, email me.)

  16. I was a child of the 70s, so I understand. Worst costume? One year I slaved over transforming a box into a telephone. Because I was trying to give my parents the hint that I sooooo wanted a phone. The costume was awesome.

    And yet.

    I could not walk.

    It was abandoned after 4 houses. I just carried it around with me. Pain. In. The. Butt.

    I can’t believe my 13 year old is still going out this year. Can’t wait to blog about it. Because he’s crazy if you ask me. The whole lot of them. You’ll see.

    1. See, this is what I think is important in a costume, it has to be dangerous, very cumbersome…and able to fall apart halfway through trick or treating so you have to carry it. Kids should have to WORK for their candy, dammit. I think my brother’s Pac-man fell apart, too. I don’t know though… blocked most of that memory out.

      Tech is trick or treating? yeah, I thought for sure my son wouldn’t want to bother this year, that he’d be ‘too cool’ but I think the power of free candy overrides any embarrassment he might feel walking around dressed up as Luigi.

  17. Great pics! Thanks for sharing. Well, my first guess on the costumes would be “white trash” but guessing your folks probably wouldn’t have let you go out like that. Then I thought maybe had something to do with the Garbage Pail Kids which I believe were popular back then. But I guess I really don’t know… so no Twix for me I guess… that’s okay, I don’t really need them anyway!

  18. As someone who has spent years amongst the Amish, and who’s wife used to ferry them around, I cannot thank you enough for that mental image! “Amish hooker”! Thank God I had just swallowed, or my laptop would now be an iced-tea-top! 😀
    (And by the by, you would have been considered INCREDIBLY hot! Amish guys might be handsome in a rugged, outdoorsy way, but the women? Not so much – even thinking back to the East German “women’s ” teams ….)

    1. Y’know, the Amish Hooker thing I hesitated on typing out. But then I thought, ah, what the hell. I mean, that’s the first thing that came to my mind when I saw the photo and how much makeup I was wearing. My poor Dad. And thank you for the compliment that I’d be a hot Amish chick. As for the Amish guys, well, those beards with no mustaches kinda freak me out a little.

    1. My favorite is when my kids knock on someone’s door because their porch light is on, then some guy will open it up and stare at us like he had no clue it was Halloween. Then he’ll throw some old ketchup packets and loose change into their bags.

    1. In a way homemade costumes were more comfortable, too. Those old plastic masks with the painful rubber band around your head, snagging your hair while your face is sweating underneath the plastic. yuck!

  19. SO FUNNY! Thanks for all the great comments also everyone. My guess on the trash bags was that you were a bag of trash…therefore the white trash guess cracked me up! My favorite costume was going as a tube of toothpaste with a corrogated cardboard hat, king-sized pillowcase body, painted like Crest. An unsuccessful idea was to go as a pot of flowers with a box for the pot and two big flowers on broom sticks. Too hard to carry the flowers and the candy bag!

  20. 1. Have you ever frozen a charleston chew? You must.
    2. I used a clear garbage bag to be a bag of jelly beans one year. Tied at the top and filled with balloons. Of course I had to wear a snow suit underneath because of those cold New England halloweens.
    3. Were you raisins? Or bats? Or bat poop?

    1. Ooh, Rachel! Yes, why, yes I certainly have had a frozen Charleston Chew! They are da bomb. I used to love the vanilla ones best. Do they still make those, I wonder?
      Your jelly bean idea is a great one. Much better than our idea (I will post the answer in an update up top in a few minutes….)
      Bat poop! Haha! We did look remarkably like poop of some kind, that’s for sure.

  21. Love the photos! Can you believe there are no Halloween pictures of me? What were my parents thinking? Tragic. I can’t believe there is a kid in that Pac-Man costume. I haven’t a clue as to what you and your friends were. Bags of trash? I’m looking forward to the answer.

    1. Oh, bummer there’s no photos of you! That Pac man costume had to have weighed as much as my brother did. How was his neck not killing him? How did he breathe? I can only imagine what the neighbors thought when they opened their door to see him lumbering up their steps. The answer to the trash costumes will be posted as an update in the post.

  22. melissakoski

    We were too poor to develop many rolls of film, but this is totally what it all looked like.
    I still remember the year one of my brothers got a plastic store-bought UnderDog costume (complete with mask!) My kids even say, “Tell me the story about Uncle Jeff’s Under Dog costume again.” It was a BFD in our house.
    Your post even brought back the smell of those tie-on costumes… like a brand new TWISTER mat.
    Wonderful memories, thank you!

  23. These are great costumes. Especially the one of the donut. And the one of the Apocalyptic Zombie killer was the best. Oh! What? It wasn’t any of those? I guess the Amish Hooker threw my Agatha Christie detecto gene off. (Why isn’t anyone ever Ms. Christie?). You must’ve had a great mom and a fantastic imagination because these were great costumes. I’m guessing you’re continuing the tradition.

    1. My dad was behind most of these ideas and costumes. The Pac-man construction was all him. He really got into the spirit of Halloween. I love your idea of going as a donut. I might have to do that this year……

  24. singleworkingmomswm

    Ha, this post cracked me up! I just LOOOVE that you have these photos and take the time to scan and upload them for us. Wow! I’ve been telling Maycee about the costumes we used to wear and Mom used to make for us. The totally cheezeball costume, but failsafe, that we used to wear was a white sheet with eye-holes cut out so we could be a ghost. I was a whimpy kid and didn’t like Halloween much as far as trick-or-treating because I was always afraid of being afraid! LOL! However, I braved the dark suburbian sidewalks and gathered as much candy as I could before asking to turn around and head home. It is indeed so different today for our kids. In our mobile home park about every fifth or sixth house might hand out candy (if that), so the kids get fist-fulls, instead of every house having a light on like it used to be when I was little. And, don’t forget the numerous Halloween carnivals that go on now so kids can trick-or-treat “safely”. Good grief! XOXO-SWM

    1. It is so different today. We have to take the kids to the next town over as we live on a major road where cars blow by at 55 mph. So we never get trick or treaters at our house. But even when we do go to a nice quiet, safer neighborhood, I’ve noticed that fewer people have their lights on and hand out candy. It’s not like when I was a kid, that’s for sure. Such innocent times back then.

  25. My trick-or-treating years with the grungy ’90s but we had to do the homemade costumes too. I remember the one time my folks sprung for the store-bought duds my mom came home with a clown costume for me, red and yellow, complete with wig and foam nose. The wig itched like crazy and the foam turned my real nose red. Plus there was the shame of feeling like a Ronald McDonald reject…

      1. Hmmm… I’ll have to ask my mom. I know I probably tried to burn them all in a fit of coolness preservation when I was 15. But if any of them survived the inferno, I would just BET my mom has them. 🙂 I’ll see what I can do…

  26. Ha! Those pictures are incredible (you have to say that like Jean K Jean on SNL)! I would give anything to see a slideshow of all of your childhood pictures. Let’s make that happen.

    I’m sure it will shock you to hear my favorite part of Halloween was getting back and organizing my candy into piles by type (hopefully starting with Reese’s p.b. as the biggest pile, followed by Kit-Kats).

    Also, please sit down before I tell you about how Babs made most of costumes – another shock, I know. Not like I need to remind you of this photo or anything.

    1. I have this strange feeling you will be seeing all of my embarrassing childhood photos soon enough, Julsey-Drawers.

      I am shocked your organized your candy. I did the same. Well, the candy my evil brothers didn’t steal from me when I wasn’t looking. I forgot about Kit Kats. Oh those are my fave (after PB cups).

      And how could I ever forget that classic photo? Babs rules. I wish she was my mom.

  27. I’m just impressed at all the halloween costume photos you have!

    I had a costume just a couple years ago that I had to explain all evening. That got old. Once when I was a kid I went has the Hunchback/ Igor, but got tired of hunching so I took out the hump and finished the evening as “Mildly disgruntled, possible hobo-esque, guy.”

    1. Yes, my mom still had all my halloween photos organized all together in a group in her photo album, right after her “Boring pictures of Christmas trees from years past” and “Blurry pics of cutesy cats and dogs” section.

      Next time you’re Igor, just make yourself a little sign, it’ll save you so much trouble.

  28. I can’t remember a single costume I wore for Halloween. I’m pretty sure we just scribbled some of that make-up stuff on our faces, ripped up an old shirt, and ran out the door. Store-bought costumes were a fantasy, but the few I had turned out to be major disappointments — they always seemed to be designed by people who had never actually seen the character you were supposed to be.

    Another hilarious post, Darla. I loved the captions. And we had the giant fork and spoon, too. I bet somebody got stuck with a bunch of those when the fad died out.

    1. I am so relieved you had the mutant fork and spoon! I thought maybe I hallucinated the entire photo and most of my childhood. And..yeah…who ended up with all those forks and spoons? Too bad you didn’t still have yours, you could have brought that fad back.

    1. I was sure you were making that up, but then I googled it and it actually was a costume! I had no idea. (I’ve never been able to sit through five seconds of any Karate Kid movie, my husband has all of them on DVD and busts them out whenever he wants me to leave him alone)

  29. Margie

    You’ve brought back some wonderful memories! We usually had to design our costumes so they would go over top of our snowsuits. Once we were all dressed up, we pretty much looked like the Michelin man, regardless of how we started out.

    1. Same here. Last year we had snow on the ground already, so my kids had to hide their costumes with winter jackets, hats and mittens. This year? Apparently we are getting slammed with a ‘perfect storm’ hurricane Sandy the day before Halloween. Fabulous!

  30. I made a skeleton one year with white fabric bones. I was so impressed with my outfit, until about ten mins in when the bondaweb came loose and one of my leg bones came off. I cried. Sad times!!

    1. Aw, see that’s the only drawback of homemade costumes. They often end up as wardrobe malfunctions halfway through trick or treating. I don’t believe my brother made it far in his Pac-Man contraption.

  31. “Laura Ingalls long lost Spanish cousin” is the funniest thing ever written! Bwa ha ha! And

    I tried to leave this comment 3 times earlier this week but my damn tablet computer kept kicking me out of WordPress. It must have heard me cursing it, because last night it totally died. Yup – 9 months old, $600, and it’s dead. Oh the humanity…

  32. I wonder what your kids are going to say years later when they look back on their Halloween pictures and share their memories. Will they be resentful that they didn’t get to make their own costumes and have as much fun as Mum did?
    Love your pictures Darla

  33. I’m late for the party, but those pics were stellar!! Fruit of the Loom Grapes? Epic costume. And it was recyclable! When you were done, you could duct tape the holes and use it for trash. That Raggedy Ann costume belonged on Poltergeist. That’s the stuff of nightmares.

    The night of trick-or-treat has lost it oomph over here. It’s all about the candy anymore. I’m so done with it all. What happened to the good old-fashioned Halloween parties and garage-haunted-houses? With bobbing for apples and “mystery boxes” filled with veins, eyeballs, and warm blood (spaghetti, peeled grapes, warmed ketchup) for the brave to touch? Perhaps we should rekindle that next year.

    1. Haha! I am shocked you liked the trash bag costume best, Shannon. Truly. 😉 We should have gone as bags of compost.

      I do remember the good ol’ days of haunted houses! My best friend had the best one up above her garage. She had creepy music playing. Bowls of cold, slimy macaroni for witches’s brains etc. It was so cool!

      1. You know I liked it because I’m frugal that way! I can understand why you had to wear a sign. I never would have guessed myself — can’t believe that Speaker7 pegged it.

        I just ruined my kids’ day today. Dad’s gone and I had enough of the sneaked-candy wrappers all over the house. So I confiscated all the candy. My ears are hurting, but at least I have a few less things to pick up around here.

      2. I don’t blame you. My kids’ school takes candy back so today, I loaded up their backpacks with all the leftover candy and they’ll be handing it in to their teachers. It’s just way too tempting (for me, too….)

  34. I never had really good costumes growing up. My dad is a painter, so I usually wore some of his old (immensely cropped) coveralls, a painting cap, and splattered some paint on my face. So original!

    My worst costume was a highway. I dressed in all black, had yellow lines cutting me vertically from my collar bone to my crotch, and stuck some homemade stop signs and “vehicles” on my body. Most people guessed I was a boy scout. 😦

    1. That highway costume is brilliant! I can’t believe people thought you were a boy scout. (shaking head) Well, no one had a clue I was the Fruit of the Loom grapes. They all thought ‘hobo’ and I could see why.

      1. The boy scout thing was a thorn in my tween side! (I can feel the angst welling up inside me again.) I was often mistaken for a boy growing up… must have been the awful mushroom haircut I had (and adored at the time)… so to be confused with a boy scout rather than a girl guide or brownie really made me bitter.

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