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Nostalgia Alert:15 Bizarre, Creepy Ben Cooper Halloween Costumes

by Cara

Do you need some inspiration for a Halloween costume. Those joining us for Glasgow Horror Fest – remember there are prizes for the best and spookiest!

Founded in 1937, Ben Cooper, Inc. was originally a Vaudeville and masquerade costume company in New York City, founded by brothers Ben and Nat Cooper. But when the Great Depression forced the brothers out of this business, they had to quickly find something else. They turned their attention to Halloween costumes in the 1930s, and one of the most enduring and memorable Halloween icons was born.

Although there had been mass produced costumes prior to this, Ben Cooper Inc. realized that licencing characters before they became popular was  a good model for success every October. They partnered with Walt Disney to produce costumes based on Snow White and Mickey Mouse. Soon, they were licencing characters from radio and comics, and producing their own original monster costumes.

In the age of FX tutorials on Youtube, the costumes haven’t aged well. They generally consisted of a plastic bag printed with a design, and a rigid plastic mask. But licences for Star Wars and Marvel Comics helped to boost the company profile in the 70s. Many of the costumes were $3 or less, making Halloween fun affordable for many more children.

Sadly, in the 1990s – latex masks and padded costumes became the norm for trick or treaters. Ben Cooper filed for bankruptcy and was ultimately dissolved. In recent years the family has discussed re-launching, but until then enjoy these bizarre, spooky, cheesy costumes from Ben Cooper Inc.

Want to show off your costume to fellow horror nerds this Halloween? Join us at Glasgow Horror Fest.

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