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10 unintentionally terrifying vintage Halloween ads you can't unsee

Obviously, Halloween is supposed to be scary. But it’s nice to take a break sometimes and enjoy the fun side of the spooky holiday. Sweet treats, silly decorations and cute kids in costumes all help offset the horror elements. But what if the fun things accidentally turn creepy?

Advertising from years past has a way of making things unintentionally terrifying. Here are ten vintage ads meant to show the fun side of Halloween that are actually creepier than many things intended to be scary!


Scary wizard pumpkin

We wonder how much of the Rheingold product Nancy indulged in before making this pumpkin. From the hair to the teeth to the demonic red eyes, this ghastly gourd is more creepy than crafty.

Image: Rheingold


Toothy Jack-o'-Lantern

Another beer and pumpkin pairing, this Jack-o'-Lantern has approximately ten teeth too many for our liking and the switchblade on the table isn't helping matters.

Image: Blatz


Perilous Post Party

There's so much about this Post cereal ad that's unsettling. The donkey costume with human teeth, the pointing clown and the man with the upset stomach whose mask is made much creepier by the fact that we can only see one eye. 

Image: Post


Demon Donald Duck

The masks on the right are creepy in a fun, very intentional way. The "cute" Donald Duck costume, however, is another story. Those large, unblinking eyes will haunt us for a very long time.

Image: Woolworth


Not feline it

It's hard to put a finger on exactly why this homemade mask advertising Scotch tape doesn't sit right, but something is definitely off. Maybe it's the yellow eyes and eyelashes, maybe it's the whiskers or it could be the long, curved tongue. 

Image: Scotch


Saving face

Comic book characters are as common as ghosts and witches on Halloween night, but these costumes are far from heroic. Why does Superman have a Lone Ranger-style mask and more importantly, why is Batman's whole face covered in a creepy plastic mask? 

Image: Sears


Minty fresh and frightening

We're not sure what's going on with these creepy, pumpkin-dwelling gum elves, but we're too afraid to ask. 

Image: Wrigley


Creepy wizard clown child

Not all clowns are creepy, but this child looks straight out of Stephen King's It. He wants us to try one of his Starburst's but we'll pass. Thanks but no thanks, kid. 

Image: Starburst


Broomstick joyride

The boy and the girl in front are having the time of their lives flying hundreds of feet off the ground while the ghost in the back looks absolutely terrified. He's holding on for dear life to what little broom space he's been given — he must be the youngest sibling.

Image: Curtiss Candy Co.


Tricky treats

There's nothing scarier than getting raisins instead of candy.

Image: Sun Maid

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