Halloween is just around the corner, and it’s a time fraught with danger. No, we don’t mean the fear or wearing an offensive or culturally appropriating costume, or succumbing to occult influences. No, the real dangers come from wearing costumes that shut off your vision, render you invisible to oncoming traffic and cause you to trip up every few minutes, as shown in these safety films from 1977 and 1985.
Like many safety films, the 1977 Halloween Safety hovers between common sense advice and jilljoy miserablism, but it’s entertaining nonsense nevertheless. The 1985 version mixes animation with social-realism, and expands things to include the dangers of pumpkin carving and dressing as a robot (or ‘robet’, as the narrator calls it). And both emphasise that ‘tricks’ should be wholesome and non-destructive, as well as fretting about treat tampering – was this every more than an urban myth?