What Halloween Looked Like in Vintage Los Angeles | Los Angeles Public Library

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What Halloween Looked Like in Vintage Los Angeles

Tina Lerno, Librarian, Digital Content Team,
Judy Aldrich, 8, receives pumpkin treat from Donna Lewis
Judy Aldrich, 8, receives "treat" from Donna Lewis. Members of the Sun Valley Business and Professional Women's Club in background are Mmes, [October 30, 1963]. Valley Times Collection

I'll be the first to admit it, Halloween is my favorite holiday! I love everything about it from the spooky atmosphere and dressing up in a costume, to—I confess—all the candy! As an adult and a parent, it's also been a joy to create costumes for my family and take my little ghosties trick or treating. We have a family tradition of post trick-or-treat; we go out to dinner, preferably somewhere with a big booth, and spread out their sweet loot all over the table. Trades are made, Reeses swiped, and bragging rights on the biggest haul are decided.

How will you spend your Halloween? Take a look at these amazing photos of spooky celebrations from the past to see how Angelenos were spending their October 31.

Trick or Treat!

A man poses in 1903 with an open giant pumpkin, in which a calf lies curled up

A man poses in 1903 with an open giant pumpkin, in which a calf lies curled up. The location is the Kellogg farm in Goleta. Photo credit: Sturtevant, Security Pacific National Bank Collection
Children in costume pose at a Halloween party
Children in costume pose at a Halloween party at Avalon Gardens on October 31, 1950. Photo credit: Leonard Nadel, Housing Authority Collection
Boys in Halloween costumes
Boys in Halloween costumes. Gary in a skeleton suit along with a friend on Halloween on Graves Street in Monterey Park, [ca.1960]. Shades of L.A. Collection
Members of the Burbank Fun After Forty Club
Who said Halloween was only for kids? Members of the Burbank Fun After Forty Club bring out their Halloween decorations in preparation for a club party to be held Halloween Eve, [1961]. Photo credit: Alan Hyde, Valley Times Collection
Flora Shabaviz's family's first Halloween
Flora Shabaviz's family's first Halloween after coming to the United States in Santa Rosa, [1986]. Shades of LA: Iranian American Community
Closeup view of dogs wearing various costumes
Renfro and his trained dogs. Closeup view of dogs wearing various costumes, including hats, [1930]. Security Pacific National Bank Collection
Cut-out photograph of black cat is composited onto photograph of street background.
Photograph caption dated October 26, 1955 reads, "Black cat stalks Lankershim Boulevard in heart of North Hollywood as reminder of Halloween activities going on throughout Valley this weekend and Monday night, [1955]. Valley Times Collection
Oxo the clown with school children
Crime wave? Oxo the clown, Mrs. Grant Wilson, seems to be having trouble keeping her pockets full, [1964]. Valley Times Collection
children in Halloween costumes
Armenian American children wearing Halloween costumes in classroom at Horace Mann Elementary School, [1986]. Shades of L.A. Collection
women in Halloween costumes hold a paper pumpkin decoration
Pumpkin Prance Is the theme of Temple Beth Torah Sisterhood's Nov. 1 Halloween ball in Golden Valley Auditorium, [1958]. Valley Times Collection
Halloween in Panorama City
Linda and Mary Buckley, far left and far right, dressed as nuns and ready to trick-or-treat for Halloween in Panorama City, [1957]. Shades of L.A. Collection
Vampira all set for Halloween
Incomparable Vampira gets ready for Halloween tonight in company with skeleton and a sadfaced pumpkin, [October 30, 1954]. Herald Examiner Collection

 

 

 

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