12 Halloween photos that show how the holiday has changed in America over the last 100 years

georgetown witch of salem halloweenAP

Halloween has an extensive history, dating back to Celtic rituals 2,000 years ago.

In the US, the holiday fuels an entire industry, with millions of Americans spending billions on Halloween costumes each year, according to the National Retail Foundation. Before the 1920s, Halloween costumes were more commonly handmade, and were simpler and more terrifying.

But over the course of American history, Halloween costumes have become more complex, interesting, and (in some cases) tawdry.

Take a look to see how Halloween costumes have changed over the course of the last century.

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In the 1910s, before the mass-production of Halloween costumes, people relied on handmade masks. In many ways, the imperfections made them creepier.

In the 1910s, before the mass-production of Halloween costumes, people relied on handmade masks. In many ways, the imperfections made them creepier.

This photo shows three female students headed to a costume party in the Lakewood, New Jersey area in the late 1910s.

This photo shows three female students headed to a costume party in the Lakewood, New Jersey area in the late 1910s.

The practice of bobbing for apples also dates back to Celtic practices. It's remained popular throughout American history, as you can see in this Halloween photo from 1943.

The practice of bobbing for apples also dates back to Celtic practices. It's remained popular throughout American history, as you can see in this Halloween photo from 1943.

Source: History.com

Superheroes have become popular costumes over the years. Here a young man in parades through Central Park in a Spider-Man costume. The image was taken in 1966, four years after the character was introduced.

Superheroes have become popular costumes over the years. Here a young man  in parades through Central Park in a Spider-Man costume. The image was taken in 1966, four years after the character was introduced.

Face paint has also been a popular component of Halloween costumes for many years. This 1966 image shows many kids with colorful faces.

Face paint has also been a popular component of Halloween costumes for many years. This 1966 image shows many kids with colorful faces.

In 1973, TV networks embraced traditional Halloween characters. Cher, along with Jerry Lewis, Sonny Bono and a group of actors are cast here as Frankenstein's Bride, a mad scientist, Dracula, Frankenstein's Monster, a wolf-man, and more.

In 1973, TV networks embraced traditional Halloween characters. Cher, along with  Jerry Lewis, Sonny Bono and a group of actors are cast here as Frankenstein's Bride, a mad scientist, Dracula, Frankenstein's Monster, a wolf-man, and more.

Halloween costumes have continued to get more elaborate. Here, in 1978 in New York, a man is painted as a pharaoh.

Halloween costumes have continued to get more elaborate. Here, in 1978 in New York, a man is painted as a pharaoh.

As a night of debauchery, Halloween has lent itself to crime, too. Over 100,000 people attended a 1997 Halloween celebration in San Francisco, where five people were arrested for robbery and drunkenness.

As a night of debauchery, Halloween has lent itself to crime, too. Over 100,000 people attended a 1997 Halloween celebration in San Francisco, where five people were arrested for robbery and drunkenness.

New York City's popular Village Halloween Parade started in 1974. It still attracts hundreds of thousands of attendees. Parades are popular across the country — here, a Mardi Gras-like crowd floods the streets of Key West, Florida in 1995.

New York City's popular Village Halloween Parade started in 1974. It still attracts hundreds of thousands of attendees. Parades are popular across the country — here, a Mardi Gras-like crowd floods the streets of Key West, Florida in 1995.

Nowadays, you can find sexy Halloween versions of many characters. The trend isn't new, however — according to Slate, revealing Halloween costumes have been popular since the 1970s.

Nowadays, you can find sexy Halloween versions of many characters. The trend isn't new, however — according to Slate, revealing Halloween costumes have been popular since the 1970s.

Source: Slate

Our love of dressing up hasn't changed much, however. Many Halloween celebrations even come with specific themes — here, New Yorkers dressed up for a Dia de los Muertos Halloween party in 2014.

Our love of dressing up hasn't changed much, however. Many Halloween celebrations even come with specific themes — here, New Yorkers dressed up for a Dia de los Muertos Halloween party in 2014.

Timely costumes abound every Halloween, featuring current figures in news, memes and popular culture. Tonight, you'll likely see many Donald Trumps, Beyonces, Star Wars characters, and references to the Netflix series Stranger Things.

Timely costumes abound every Halloween, featuring current figures in news, memes and popular culture. Tonight, you'll likely see many Donald Trumps, Beyonces, Star Wars characters, and references to the Netflix series Stranger Things.
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