Children gathered in their Halloween costumes at Central Elementary School in Riverside County in 1941. Banning Library District

Costumes were creepier in Halloweens of old

Halloween fashions aren’t what they used to be. In bygone California, costumes were often homemade, creepier, and highly politically incorrect. Here’s a photographic tour drawn from the state’s various archives.

Siblings — Aiko, left, and Isamu — showed off their Halloween masks in their yard in Los Angeles in 1925.

Los Angeles Public Library

The Halloween Kiddie Parade in Anaheim, 1968.

Anaheim Public Library

Kids celebrated Halloween at the Shafter migrant camp in Kern County in 1938.

Dorothea Lange, via Library of Congress

An eerie group gathered for a Halloween party in an undated image.

U.C. Berkeley, Bancroft Library

Costumed kids at a Burbank park in the 1950s.

Burbank Public Library

Children received treats at a school in Oxnard in 1936.

Oxnard Public Library

A Halloween party in Kings Beach, Placer County, in 1943.

Center for Sacramento History

Sally and Sue Newland in costume for Anaheim’s Halloween festival in 1946.

Charles E. Young Research Library, U.C. Berkeley

Musicians donned blackface for a Halloween party in Kern County in 1938.

Dorothea Lange, via Library of Congress

Children wore Halloween masks at their home in Southern California in an undated image.

Cal State Dominguez Hills

A Halloween breakfast in Anaheim in 1945.

Anaheim Public Library

The Lone Ranger was the favored costume for boys at a Halloween party in Southern California 1948.

U.C. Irvine

A group of Mexican-American kids showed off their costumes in Los Angeles in 1944.

Los Angeles Public Library

Costumed children in Anaheim in 1948.

Charles E. Young Research Library, U.C. Berkeley

This article is from the California Sun, a newsletter that delivers must-read stories to your inbox each morning — for free. Sign up here.

Get your daily dose of the Golden State.