When I was a kid, Halloween costume shopping consisted of going to the local Caldor store and walking through the Halloween section until you found the aisle with all of the costume boxes. Back then, costumes were made by three different companies: Ben Cooper, Collegeville and Halco. These costume boxes consisted of a vinyl smock that you would tie around your body and a plastic mask that had a rubberband to wrap around your face. When you walked, the vinyl smock would make sounds so loud you could hear them a mile away, and your face would sweat from the mask that you couldn't help but stick your tongue through the breathing hole at your mouth. Plus, with the mask on, all sounds you heard sounded like you were in a tin can and your voice seemed to be amplified to you but to no one else. The themes of the outfits were usually TV and movie characters but there were also generic ones like a witch or a ghost or somehting else. If you got to the store too late in the season you would have to settle for what was left that hadn't been picked over (more on that topic later). The first costume that I can remember owning was Casper.
As you can see from the picture, the smock would feature a scene invloving the characters rather than an actual look-a-like outfit. As I was too young to actually remember wearing this particular outfit, I do remember owning the mask and wearing it for a few years after the initial halloween purchase. More to come on these great costumes of the past!