“Did you see this, honey?” Rose peered over the newspaper, one eyebrow cocked skyward, telegraphing her interest. “’Costumes for the American Legion’s annual Halloween Dance can be procured at the Armory any time after Saturday noon. Prices reasonable,’” she read. “That would be fun. Art Shook’s old-time orchestra will be there. Can we go?”

“You know I don’t dance.” He hated to disappoint her. But he had a surprise already planned for Saturday. Complete with costumes and everything.

Imagine no Trick-or-Treating. No little munchkins ringing the bell for candy. No bowls of leftover Snickers tempting you off your diet.

That is Halloween in 1929. In fact, Snickers haven’t even been discovered (for surely something as delicious as the caramel nutty nougat is worthy of discovery).

But, that’s not to say Halloween was ignored. Not at all.

Newspapers of the time are full of notices for Halloween themed parties. The Mason City Globe Gazette (Mason City is a proxy for my fictional town of Inglewood) has no fewer than a dozen such notices. Several masquerade dances. Even more church costume parties. I also found a couple of private parties listed, intended, I suppose, to make those not invited feel left out?

All this made me curious about what kind of costumes Rose and Harold might have donned. I can’t imagine Rose wearing this candlestick costume; she loves to dance, so it would be a drawback. But she’d look cute in this witchy costume, don’t you think?

You can look at other costumes of the era here.

Now it’s your turn: Masquerade Party or Trick-or-Treating? And what is your favorite costume?

2 thoughts on “Masquerade

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