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Historical Halloween Costumes

by Cara

English artist Ossian Brown collected a range of historic photographs from US history documenting the history of Halloween costumes for his book Haunted Air. His collection, which spans from 1875 to 1955, shows how sinister the home made costumes of the past were. Popular themes of the era included witches, demons and ghosts.

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The artist was inspired by the creativity of people living in the aftermath of the civil war. He said: ‘I find their haunting melancholy completely absorbing; all of these photographs now torn out, disembodied and forgotten – they’ve now become fully and utterly the masks and phantoms they dragged up as, all those years ago.’

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David Lynch, who wrote the foreword of the book, said: ‘All the clocks had stopped. A void out of time. And here they are – looking out and holding themselves still – holding still at that point where two worlds join – the familiar – and the other.’

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