Since Halloween has always been a popular holiday that involves costumes, parties, decorations, and trick or treating, it’s no surprise that plenty of companies try to cash in on the whole thing. And it was no different then than it is now. Of course, you have plenty of Halloween ads for food and clothes, but you also see plenty for things you might not expect like antifreeze. Besides, Halloween gives advertisers something to make money off of between Back to School and Christmas with a downtime of November in between. Yeah, I know I forgot Thanksgiving but that holiday is only celebrated in the United States and it’s not a particularly fun one at that. Well, I know it’s a big time for food advertisers. But I mostly wrote a vintage ad post for Thanksgiving because I was bored out of my mind. Still, while I can show some of the best vintage Halloween advertising, I know you’d all be bored to tears . So instead, I’ll focus on the Halloween ads that are unintentionally scary or funny, don’t seem to make sense, and have the possibility of being inappropriate. Some might feature creepy children. Some might imply scary messages. And some might seem like these advertisers would do almost anything to sell you their product. So without further adieu, here are some scary Halloween ads for your reading pleasure.
- Enjoy a scary ghost story with an Edison Phonograph.
For some reason the scariest thing about this ad to me is that chubby naked kid with the mirror. He just looks so evil under the full moon that it’s disturbing.
2. Necco: Everyone’s Favorite Gobblin’ Halloween Candy.
I’m sure the giant jack o’lantern would love kiddies stuffing giant Necco wafers into his mouth. Of course, we should all know that many Necco candies have a chemical composition similar to chalk.
3. Seagram’s Five Crown: the whiskey for wasted witches.
Of course, this ad does shed life on witches like flying their broom under the influence and having people throw pumpkins at them. Of course, you never hear of either on Harry Potter.
4. With Necco wafers, there is no trick to this treat!
Yes, there is. Necco wafers are candies made from a mixture of sugar, blackboard chalk, and food coloring. They are utterly disgusting that they are usually the last items eaten in a trick or treater’s Halloween candy. That’s not my opinion that these are facts.
5. Frankenstein can’t have his Bloody Marys without Smirnoff.
Of course, Frankenstein has admitted in this ad that he has a drinking problem. So when he goes on the rampage at night, he’s not angry. He’s just going through an alcohol withdrawal because he was kicked out of a bar or the bars closed.
6. US Royal Master: The ultimate tire….engineered to meet the unexpected such as slamming on the brakes so you don’t run over a bunch of trick or treaters paying no damn attention to the freaking road!
Of course, this ad runs like the driver doesn’t even know that it’s Halloween when kids trick or treat that time of night. Then again, trick or treaters crossing the street don’t pose as much of a danger as the drunk Halloween partier on the way home.
7. Witchal: From the woods to relieve your pain.
Available at your local witches’ coven near you. Just follow the cloud of smoke in the forest. Except if you live in California or Texas. Then you might need to call 911.
8. When his body was wreaking havoc in Sleepy Hollow, the Headless Horsemen’s head stayed behind to party.
Now this just fucked up. In fact, I didn’t know the Headless Horseman had a head and wasn’t just terrorizing Icabod Crane. Seriously, do you really need an ad like this for M&Ms? If Mars wanted to advertise M&Ms for Halloween, they could just use Yellow and Red.
9. Nissen’s Old Home Bread has vitamins and minerals for extra nourishment.
Is it just me or does this party scene look utterly creepy? The kids on the left seem like they’re about to do something sinister. The girl seems like casting some black magic spell on the apples. And the little girl in the corner appears that she might want to take the stool from under her.
10. Sanka Coffee: the witches’ brew guaranteed to calm your dad’s anger issues.
The last Sanka ad I featured back in May depicted a rather abusive father. This one depicts a rather angry one. So is Sanka trying to say that their coffee clamps down on domestic violence? Because I think it’s a bit extreme to say so.
11. Scare claims fool no one, so trust Old Gold for a treat instead of a treatment!
Cigarette ads fool no one. All they do is trick people into a very bad health habit that leads to respiratory problems, cancer, heart disease, yellow skin, and early death. And if you think that’s scary, they also cause the same problems for people who have to deal with smokers. This is why so many public places have smoking bans.
12. This Halloween treat your kids to undergarments from the Minneapolis Knitting Works.
Now I know people had more kids than usual in those days. However, this fact doesn’t make an ad featuring a bunch of them in their underwear any less awkward. Also, I think the little girl in white might have murder on the mind. She seems to have no soul.
13. Wake up this Halloween morning with Cream of Wheat cereal.
Now this would make a decent ad but Rastah had to show up and ruin it. Go away, Rastah. You’re a stereotypical racist caricature known to offend African Americans. The world doesn’t need you. Also, that girl looks as if she has no eyes.
14. Trust Johnson & Johnson for all your pumpkin carving injuries.
Is it just me or is the mom seem to relish a bit too much in knife usage. “Now this is how I’ll stab the hell out your father next time I catch him with one of those drunk whores at the bar. He’ll learn his lesson.”
15. Raisins: The Halloween fruit treat that makes everybody happy.
Actually children don’t like raisins. Nor do adults in that matter. Seriously, whenever I bite into a raisin cookie, I usually have a bad taste of disappointment that it wasn’t chocolate chip. If I knew it was a raisin cookie, I wouldn’t have eaten it in the first place.
16. Have Halloween fun with Skinless Wieners by making your very own Weeny Witch.
Of course, Skinless Wieners alone incites enough shits and giggles, since it’s a product you really don’t want to Google. Not sure what to think about the Weeny Witch. That’s just ridiculous.
17. Wrigley’s Spearmint Gum comes with a bewitching mint leaf flavor.
And I have to admit that between these two guys, the one in the mask is far less terrifying. The other one looks as if he wants to strangle you and play with your insides. Also, what’s with the arrows? Don’t see the point.
18. With Jello, the Halloween party fun never seems to stop.
Of course, it doesn’t help for this woman that the nieghborhood’s kids are all brats. Yeah, good luck with that.
19. Staying young the vampire way by drinking a full glass of blood every day.
Of course, with a recommendation like that, a vampire might need to rob a blood bank once in awhile. Still, it’s not real blood. Just juice. But yeah, kind of creepy.
20. There are fewer tricks when you treat them with Sun Maid raisins.
Once again, most people don’t like raisins, especially children. Remember what I said about raisin cookies.
21. With such shades, send monstrous shivers down his spine and make his blood run hot and cold.
I’m sure you don’t want to attract guys like these at your Halloween party. Well, Frankenstein’s monster is all right. But the vampire might stick his fangs in you, which wouldn’t be good.
22. There’s nothing on Halloween like carving a pumpkin alongside a nice glass of beer.
Not sure if you should drink alcohol while carving a pumpkin for little Sue. Yeah, I know her dad is overseas but still. Sharp objects and alcohol don’t really mix.
23. Enjoy drinking with an 18th century ghost with Mount Vernon Whiskey.
Then again, if you’re sharing a toast with a 18th century ghost, you might what we call, “drunk.” The ghost might be an hallucination. Of course, it’s been said that George Washington actually drank whiskey for breakfast.
24. Of course, ghosts always love to haunt places that serve Schlitz beer.
Yeah, I can totally see why ghosts would love to haunt bars. I’m sure they can appear as much as they like while patrons who’ve seen them might wonder whether they had too much to drink. Why go to haunted houses when they can mess up with drunks?
25. With colors by Cutex, bewitch him by day and make him mad for you under the moon.
From what I’ve learned in horror movies, you really don’t want to attract mummies and werewolves (save Remus Lupin). Seriously, ladies, I know how this goes and you will not like it. I mean these women look like they’re totally asking for it.
26. Get your Ben Cooper Sesame Street costume for Halloween at Plaid Stallions.
For some reason, I don’t think Big Bird likes Ernie too much. Seems like Big Bird has a seething hatred for him that he wants to murder him in his sleep.
27. Break tradition this year with Runrico Rumkin.
And I thought that the pumpkin spice craze was new thing. Turns out I was wrong. Seriously, pumpkin flavored vodka? That’s ridiculous.
28. Nothing makes families happier on Halloween than good clothes from Kuppenheimer.
From Waylou: “Something about this whole scene makes me think of Tim Burton’s ‘Batman’ and the scene when the Joker finds out what the chemical plant accident turned him into.”
29. Munching on Milky Ways while trick or treating is always sweet stalkin.’
Yeah, sweet stalkin’ really? Is this because it’s a stalk munching? Or is it because the one dressed as a stalk is watching the object of their desires get in the shower. If the latter, there might be prison time.
30. Are your guests upset by the “Ghosts of the Past?”
Of course, if you were that woman, you’d freak out, too, if you looked in the mirror and saw a ghost with an outhouse. In fact, anyone would. Except maybe old people who might musingly think of their childhoods.
31. Put on a happy face this Halloween by getting Masquerade Makeup at Don Post Studios.
If you don’t understand why some people are afraid of clowns, you need to see this. Seriously, that clown is just simply terrifying if you ask me.
32. With Sylvania flash bulbs, it’s easier to flash a picture than ring a doorbell.
Boy, that kid’s costume is so creepy. I think the guy should at least not take a picture. Yeah, that might not be a good idea.
33. For grown up trick or treating, Dutch Masters cigars are no trick and all treat.
“Guess we should get these cigars for all the neighbors next year, assuming that all of them don’t die of lung cancer first.” Seriously, tobacco products kill 1 out of 3 users a year.
34. Morton Salt has the magic touch for Halloween.
Is it just me or does the Morton Salt girl seem to scare the freaking bejesus out of me in this? Seriously, that girl looks so creepy.
35. Gibbs style knit underwear gives only the best for your baby.
I don’t think having children flying brooms unsupervised is my idea of aviation safety, let alone in their underwear. Also, I don’t think kids typically hang out in their underwear anyway.
36. Kellogg’s Snack Pak is sweet Hallow eaten.’
Is it just me or does this little blond boy look really menacing with a mustache and goatee? He just looks incredibly evil with his grin for some reason. I don’t know.
37. Treat them to delicious Halloween candies straight from Brach’s.
Seems like this kid is desperate for candy that he’ll eat basically anything. Seriously, Brach’s makes candy corn which is made from food coloring, sugar, and wax. It’s disgusting. Also, I have a bad feeling about that kid.
38. For your Halloween cuisine, grease your pans with Crisco.
From PopSugar: “Look, mother! Doesn’t this huge bowl of trans fat look delicious?” I think the Crisco is used for greasing pans while baking. Not food. For God’s sake, lady, get a clue.
39. For this Halloween, go happy with Lucky Strike.
Is this just me or does this woman not seem altogether there? Yeah, I’m sure if her boyfriend cheats on her, she’ll probably slit his throat in the dead of night and chop it off into a bunch of tiny bits she’ll feed to the sharks.
40. This Halloween, be bright, be light and have a Pepsi.
Because nothing makes you look more fabulous in a skin tight leotard than a major contributor to obesity and Type II Diabetes. Yeah, because nothing helps you lose weight faster than a bunch of empty calories (sarcasm).
41. Remember that no Halloween mask scares of a man as much as “morning mouth.”
Actually I think waking up next to a pumpkin headed woman might freak out a man more than halitosis. Seriously, would you want to be married to the Headless Horseman? Neither would I.
42. Don’t let budget troubles scare you with Spun-ls lingerie.
From PopSugar: “Oh hey, I’m just using a sharp knife to carve a pumpkin in my underwear.” Seriously, who the hell carves pumpkins in their underwear? That’s crazy! I mean why?
43. Don’t let medical claims scare you from smoking Old Gold.
Well, at least the jack o’lantern knows that smoking is bad for you. But still, the medical claims about smoking being bad for your health, they’re pretty legit. Seriously, cigarettes kill people all the time.
44. Remember this Halloween sit back and relax with a Coke.
From Waylou: “Even though we should be focusing on the uplifting Coca Cola message here, the way the couple in the ad look suggests something “dirty” is going on while shooting this one.” Also, I don’t think she looks “relaxing” to me, given the guy’s creepy smile.
45. Remember, America, even the Great Pumpkin is voting for Nixon-Agnew.
Okay, I guess the Great Pumpkin cared more about supporting Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew than showing up for Linus in the pumpkin patch. Seriously, Great Pumpkin, can’t you just show up for Linus for once on Halloween? He really believes in you despite being constantly disappointed by your absence. Don’t break his heart.
46. Make Ted Nugent a part of your Halloween tradition this year.
God, are those kids dressed up as Ted Nugent freak or what? And that’s when he was considerably less scary than he is now. Seriously, the guy’s on Fox News and is a total gun nut. Really don’t want to go to any of his concerts.
47. Of course, pull off the neatest trick or treat this year with Microsheen shoe polish.
Hey, who knew that sexy Halloween costumes were a new thing? Seriously, this lady puts today’s slutty witch to shame. Then again, I may be wrong.
48. When children see a house that has Brach’s, they will always ring the doorbell.
Actually, children hate Brach’s Candy. This is particularly because they sell candy corn, you know inedible Halloween sugar wax. Also the kid in the cat costume gives me the creeps.
49. Treat your family to a Halloween vegetable beef loaf this year. They’ll love it.
Okay, this looks really disgusting. You know, like the kind of stuff you dog vomits after being freaked out by a ghost. Yeah that.
50. Buy your trick or treat candy with Brach’s.
And by “candy” we don’t mean a sexy witch on a broom. She’s just posing on this ad to appeal to a male demographic. If you want candy like her, go to a strip club.
51. Crest is here to remind you that tonight’s treats can turn into tomorrow’s tricks.
And this little witch is currently plotting to put her parents into a hot brick oven. Yes, she’s about as evil incarnate as they come.
52. No elegant ghost would settle for less than Dan River sheets.
Basically this company is saying: “Go ahead, use our product for your Halloween ghost costumes. We don’t care if you ruin it.” Something tells me this company was desperate for buyers that year.
53. Take Halloween flash shots and enter into the General Electric picture contest.
Seems that kid really has other things on his mind than just taking pictures. Then again, to him it’s an alternative to murder.
54. Nothing makes better syrup for Halloween breakfast for the Dionne quintuplets than Karo.
Of course, after these kids are done with their waffles, they plan to kill their parents, put them through a wood chipper, and throw their remains in the river. Of course, the real Dionne quints were exploited by their publicity seeking parents by the way.
55. You’re never sticking your neck out with a Litronix calculator.
You’d almost think with all the vampire references here, this one was catering to Count von Count. Of course, the Count should’ve been used in this ad anyway. But the vampire seems to show no interest in the blond just the same.
56. “Show me a filter cigarette that delivers taste and I’ll eat my hat.”
Go ahead. Eating your hat would be much better for your health than smoking a Lucky Strike or any cigarette for that matter. At least eating a hat won’t increase your child’s chances of suffering an early death from lung cancer.
57. Get all the jack o’lanterns looking at you with Hanes hoisery.
For some reason, jack o’lanterns can be such perverts. One is even looking up that woman’s skirt. Yeah, kind of disturbing if you think about it.
58. Karo is a syrup enjoyed by the Dionne Quintuplets on Halloween night.
These were real girls by the way. But by how they’re drawn, I wouldn’t trust them with a sharp carving knife if I were their parents. I’d be afraid of them killing me in my sleep.
59. Trick or treat with Roxbury candies, the bargain choice.
I’ll keep that in mind, clown of my nightmares. Seriously, that clown looks as though he wants you to buy these candies so he can murder trick or treaters during the night.
60. Treat your trick or treaters to a box from the Post Treat Pak.
Is it just me, or is this little Frankenstein even creepier without the mask. Yeah, I’m sure a small box of cereal will keep this boy from murdering your cat or setting your house on fire. Not.
61. Cracker Jack makes is the perfect trick that makes the perfect treat anytime.
You mean the carmelized popcorn that contains a lousy sticker prize in the box. Yeah, I’m sure (sarcasm). Still, if it keeps the demonic children away the rest of the night, then I have no complaints.
62. Actors’ faces are extra sensitive to shaving cream. That’s why Boris Karloff uses Williams.
Of course, remember don’t tell Boris Karloff that he looks like Boris Karloff when he’s in Jonathan Brewster mode (his character in Arsenic and Old Lace hated being compared to Karloff so much that he killed people over it). Of course, he did originate the role of Jonathan Brewster on Broadway but he wasn’t available for the movie. So Canadian Raymond Massey was cast in his role instead.
63. Elvira recommends to cut through paper based CASE products with LBMS.
Of course, sex sells as we know in advertising. Even when it comes to unsexy things like computer and office products. Still, I think Elvira would’ve made a less ridiculous ad if she appeared one featuring a chainsaw.
64. Olin batteries are great for trick or treaters’ flashlights.
However, they also allow trick or treaters’ costumes to appear more visible at night. Sometimes scaring the hell out of the neighbors.
65. Can’t get enough of peanuts? Have a Pay Day.
And it looks like this guy will probably have to make a run for the store after he’s done with this trick or treater. He might also need to get some outdoor cleaning supplies and air freshener as well.
66. Refresh yourself this Halloween with the great taste of Coca Cola.
I don’t know about you, but I’m wondering whether the little blond boy might be a spawn of Satan. I mean look at him. Never mind that he’s trying to get a jack o’lantern to drink pop.
67. This Halloween grab a Snickers and you can win $200,000 in their Be Home for Herman contest.
Of course, Herman Munster isn’t himself when he’s hungry. Believe me, I saw The Munster’s Thanksgiving episode when he tried to go on a diet. And he basically broke into a neighbor’s house eating everything.
68. Make Budweiser the beer for your Halloween party this year.
From PopSugar: “When was the last time you saw a modern ad with a woman eating cheese and drinking beer? This ad says to me: hey, it’s OK to enjoy the finer and fattier things in life every once in a while!”
69. When you know your beer this Halloween, it’s bound to be Bud.
From PopSugar: “When you drink Bud all night, you won’t even need a mask to have a creepy drunk face!” Exactly. After all, your drunk face is probably much scarier. Or will be when it becomes a hangover face.
70. Reddi Whip: The perfect partner in the perfect pumpkin pie.
From PopSugar: “Whipped cream: the perfect way to have your kids bouncing off the walls and sticking their heads in pumpkins.” Wonder how that kid’s going to get his head out of this one. Yeah, I think he might need to wait. Mummy’s baking and must not be disturbed.