In 1941 LIFE staff photographer William C. Shrout joined a group of kids for their Halloween mischief and festivities. His photographs show a night of activities not too different from our modern-day celebrations: pumpkin carving, games, bobbing for apples, and, of course, lots of treats!

Halloween parties increased in popularity during the roaring twenties, and even more in the late 1930s. A number of companies in the emerging party industry started creating party idea books, craft templates, and mass-produced costumes. Yet, as seen in the group photo below, homemade costumes were still the most common. Clown and skeleton costumes were especially popular, as you’ll see in the crowd photo below.

A party isn’t complete without delicious food. Bobbing for apples and eating contests were frequent at early Halloween parties, as well as a table full of sweet goodies like donuts and pies. Shrout’s photos show gleeful children dunking their heads into water and enjoying Halloween snacks together. Delight in this vintage Halloween party and we wish you many sweets this holiday season.

Children wearing costumes at a Halloween party in Zionsville, Indiana, 1941.

(Photo by William C. Shrout/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Children arriving at a decorated house for a Halloween party, 1941.

(Photo by William C. Shrout/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

A boy bobbing for apples during a Halloween party, 1941.

(Photo by William C. Shrout/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Children at a Halloween party standing around a table of Halloween treats, 1941.

(Photo by William C Shrout/The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images)

Children eating Halloween treats, 1941.

(Photo by William C. Shrout/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Children bobbing for apples at a Halloween party, 1941.

(Photo by William C. Shrout/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Girl with an apple in her mouth after successfully bobbing for an apple at a Halloween party, 1941.

(Photo by William C. Shrout/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Children scooping out the guts of pumpkins for a Halloween party, 1941.

(Photo by William C. Shrout/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

A child wearing a pumpkin-head costume and looking through a window on Halloween night, 1941.

(Photo by William C. Shrout/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

A group of girls carrying pumpkins to carve for Halloween, 1941.

(Photo by William C. Shrout/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

A young girl reaching for an apple during Halloween festivities, 1941.

(Photo by William C. Shrout/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

A group of children walking through a graveyard on Halloween night, 1941.

(Photo by William C. Shrout/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

A child wearing a pumpkin head costume during a Halloween party, 1941.

(Photo by William C. Shrout/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

A boy wearing a paper bag Halloween costume, 1941.

(Photo by William C. Shrout/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

A group of children running away after being scared on Halloween night, 1941.

(Photo by William C. Shrout/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Children playing ‘pin the tail on the donkey’ during a Halloween party, 1941.

(Photo by William C. Shrout/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Boy sucking on a lollipop during a Halloween party, 1941.

(Photo by William C. Shrout/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

A police officer catching two boys moving a table during their Halloween night mischief in Zionsville, Indiana, 1941.

(Photo by William C. Shrout/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

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