1980s: "Halloweens of the past"
Zombies, the Rubber Duck and Miley Cyrus may have dominated costume choices in Pittsburgh this year. But those might not have been the spookiest costumes in the city’s history. Well, the duck was cute and brought lots of smiles to Pittsburgh in October. And Miley Cyrus… well, OK. That one IS creepy.
The Post-Gazette photographic archive reveals not only pop culture trends Halloween costumes embodied but the past spirit of the holiday that tested the limits of people’s fears. There were lots of Ghostbusters in 1985. There were Madonnas and Jesse Jacksons, Big Bird, Kermit the Frog … and lots of photos of Pittsburghers getting carried away with their yard decorations.
In mid 1980s zombies became a Halloween classic in Pittsburgh. That’s when the first George Romero fest took place. An article in the 1986 Post-Gazette reported, “Not every city can boast its own world-class monster maker. Not outside Transylvania anyway.” But Pittsburgh had Romero, who graduated from Carnegie Mellon University and started his career in Pittsburgh. He earned his fame for gruesome and satirical horror films about a zombie apocalypse, starting with “Night of the Living Dead.”
— Mila Sanina