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Creepy Old Photos That Give Us Nightmares

Madeline Hiltz
(Photo Credit: Cincinnati Museum Center/ Getty Images)

Usually, we love looking at vintage photos from the past, but these photos have us questioning this hobby of ours. After looking at these old photos, we think masks should be retired forever.

1. Michelin Man costumes

Michelin man, circa 1900s

Michelin Man costumes, early 1900s. (Photo Credit: OldSchoolCool via Reddit)

The idea of the Michelin Man first originated at the Lyon Universal Exposition in 1894. By 1898, the concept of a man made out of tires first appeared as a cartoon on a poster. Here we see two men dressed up as the Michelin Man, but if this was how Michelin Man was being advertised in the early 1900s, we wonder how any tires were sold.

2. Speaking of the Michelin Man…

Horse-drawn advertising carriage for Michelin Tires

Horse drawn carriage advertising Michelin Tires, circa 1911. (Photo Credit: OldSchoolCreepy/ Reddit)

Here we see larger-than-life Michelin Men being pulled by a horse drawn carriage. Although slightly better than the Michelin Men costumes above, we still are confused about how the company was able to stay in business.

3. An early Halloween party

group dressed up for Halloween

Group dressed up for Halloween, early twentieth century. (Photo Credit: Transcendental Graphics/ Getty Images)

We know that these Halloween costumes are from an early twentieth-century Halloween party, and we know that the people pictured here are probably having a great time, but these costumes that they’re wearing really emphasize to us that Halloween is a spooky holiday.

4. Can you see the piano keys in that mask?

Little girl playing piano in a Madame Mask

Young girl wearing a mask while playing the piano. (Photo Credit: creepy via holyteletubby / Reddit)

Here we see a young girl trying to practice piano while wearing one of the creepiest masks of all time. We are wondering how she was able to adequately practice in that mask. Either way, this picture gives us major heebie-jeebies.

5. Feel better soon!

clowns and Santa visiting a sick girl in 1950s

Clowns and Santa visiting a sick girl, circa 1950s. (Photo Credit: OldSchoolCool via Reddit)

It’s bad enough that this young girl was stuck in the hospital over the holidays, but did they really have to bring these clowns in to make her feel better? We understand a visit from Santa, but maybe in the future he should stay away from the uber-creepy clowns.

6. Mickey Mouse clubhouse

Mickey Mouse Club meeting, 1930s

Meeting of the Mickey Mouse Club, circa 1930s. (Photo Credit: Reddit)

The official theatre-based Mickey Mouse Club first began in January 1930. By 1932, the Mickey Mouse Club had over one million members in America. We have got to assume that this ultra-creepy photo is from a meeting, and these kids are just excited to enjoy the magic of Disney. Although this is surely an innocent photo, these old Mickey Mouse masks, unfortunately, live in our brains rent-free in the worst way.

7. Some special guests at a club meeting

Mickey Mouse event, 1939

Mickey Mouse Club event, circa 1939. (Photo Credit: OldSchoolCreepy/ Reddit)

Speaking of the Mickey Mouse Club, here we see some special guests making an appearance at a clubhouse meeting. This photo isn’t affiliated with Disneyland or Disney World, and the Disney Company did not design these costumes. Chances are, these were homemade costumes created for those early Mickey Mouse Club meetings. Because the costumes were not standardized by a single company, results often varied, resulting in the nightmare-fueled get-ups we see above.

8. Meow?

Man dressed as a cat

Man dressed as a cat for Halloween, circa 1920. (Photo Credit: adoc-photos/ Getty Images)

Either you’re a cat person or a dog person, and it’s safe to say this individual is a cat person. This Halloween costume is from the early 1920s, and we hope the costume was retired after only one year of wear.

9. Trick or treat?

Kids getting ready to trick or treat

A trio of kids getting ready to trick or treat, circa 1925. (Photo Credit: Kirn Vintage Stock/ Getty Images)

Here we see a trio of kids getting ready and excited to go trick or treating in 1925. We know these youngsters are gearing up for a fun evening, but if we answered the door and saw these costumes we would run away in terror.

10. A pre-sunscreen world

Woman wearing a mask to protect her from the sun

Young woman wearing a bonnet and mask to protect her skin from the sun. (Photo Credit: OldSchoolCreepy/ Reddit)

Here, we see a young girl wearing a mask and bonnet to stay out of the sun. We know she is just practicing sun safety, and sunscreen obviously wasn’t as accessible, but it still doesn’t help with the creepiness factor.

11. Talk about a sore neck

Department store wax mannequins

Department store Mannequins melting during a heat wave, 1929. (Photo Credit: OldSchoolCreepy via Reddit)

More from us: The Creepiest Halloween Costumes from a Century Ago

In 2021, we are no stranger to rising temperatures, especially in the summer months. This photo was featured in the British Newspaper, The Sphere, in June 1929. We are thankful that these are just wilting mannequins and not women with serious neck issues.