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The most popular Halloween costumes over the past 150 years — and the fascinating history behind how costume trends have changed

INSIDER Logo By Talia Lakritz of INSIDER | Slide 1 of 15: Halloween costume trends follow cultural trends. Before mass-produced costumes existed, people made their own witch and ghost outfits. Popular costumes have included crepe paper aprons, blood and gore, and "sexy" versions of anything.  Ever since the late 19th century, Americans have been  dressing up to celebrate Halloween. The costumes people choose to wear are always changing, influenced by popular culture and current events. For example, bloody, gory Halloween costumes became popular in the 1980s following the release of the horror movie "Halloween," and the  sales of presidential masks have successfully predicted nearly every US election. INSIDER spoke with Lesley Bannatyne, a Halloween expert who has  authored several books about folklore and popular culture, to track popular Halloween costumes through the years.

  • Halloween costume trends follow cultural trends.
  • Before mass-produced costumes existed, people made their own witch and ghost outfits.
  • Popular costumes have included crepe paper aprons, blood and gore, and "sexy" versions of anything.
  • Ever since the late 19th century, Americans have been dressing up to celebrate Halloween. The costumes people choose to wear are always changing, influenced by popular culture and current events.

    For example, bloody, gory Halloween costumes became popular in the 1980s following the release of the horror movie "Halloween," and the sales of presidential masks have successfully predicted nearly every US election.

    INSIDER spoke with Lesley Bannatyne, a Halloween expert who has authored several books about folklore and popular culture, to track popular Halloween costumes through the years.

    © Reuters/Mario Anzuoni
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