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Ghosts of Halloween Past

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The National Geographic post “Halloween Costume Pictures: Spooky Styles a Century Ago” inspired my own photo essay. National Geo credits the first image “photograph copyright DaZo Vintage Stock Photos, Images.com, Corbis”. The other images also come from commercial photo services—now why is that? I visited the outstanding Flickr Commons and pulled up historic Halloween past pics that are royalty free; granted, mine aren’t from a century ago.

I’m a huge critic of onerous copyrights and bigger fan of creative work made available royalty free or through liberal license that supports personal use or creative extension. This site’s content is covered by a generous a Creative Commons “Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0” license. I can only hope that an organization like National Geo wasn’t required to pay for stock photos.

As for my collection gathered from Flickr Commons, please enjoy—oh, and Happy Halloween!

Photo Gallery Sources: 1, 4—US Library of Congress; 2, 3, 8, 9—Florida state archives; 5, Power House Museum; 6, New York Public Library; 7, Library of Virginia

[Editor's Note: Color image of US President John F. Kennedy, taken Oct. 31, 1963, is image 1 in the slideshow.]

Do you have a Halloween story that you’d like told? Please email Joe Wilcox: joewilcox at gmail dot com.

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