Each year, my mom would dress my sisters and myself in adorable Halloween costumes that she created . . . and I hated it. Instead of appreciating the cute witch, hobo, clown, cowgirl, cat, dog, or bunny disguises she made for me during my childhood, I would throw myself on the floor and have a tantrum. What I really wanted to wear was a five dollar Collegeville Costume. I envied all the children who got to sport one. They were the cool kids; running around in cheap plastic masks that would obstruct their view of oncoming traffic. Their nylon “costumes” were so ill-fitting that had to be worn over their clothes. I was soooo jealous!
Collegeville Costumes was originally a flag manufacturer that was founded over a hundred years ago. The now defunct company started cranking out costumes in the 1920s. Eventually they specialized in all things Halloween from plastic fangs to fake scars. They even produced “spooky” recordings of cats howling, ghosts moaning, and chains clanking. My family would rig speakers in the living room windows to play the ghoulish sounds to delight and scare trick-or-treaters. We purchased the album at Woolworths.
We usually spot several Collegeville Costumes at every large junktique show we attend that date from the 50s to late 80s. A typical children’s costume from the mid-70s through the 80s cost somewhere around five to eight bucks. Now they are valued at most, twenty dollars. But this is one collectible I hate to put a value on. Collegeville Costumes bring back plenty of memories for me along with a hankering for candy corn. Priceless!