A retro Halloween desktop background of bats flying past the moon.
POR666/Shutterstock

At the turn of the millennium, websurfers celebrated Halloween with lots of animated GIFs, gaudy repeating backgrounds, and creepy MIDI music. As an homage, we combed through the GeoCities archives to find some nostalgic Halloween websites from the late ’90s and early ’00s. Each of them is a priceless time capsule of the past.

The Chavtur Family’s Halloween 1998

Two photos of a father and son carving a pumpkin on the "Halloween 1998" GeoCities website.

In the ’90s, many people created personal websites for family photo albums. Pre-social media, this is how people shared family events with friends and relatives online. This GeoCities page documents the Chavtur family’s 1998 Halloween celebration in pictures, complete with pumpkin carving and costumes.

Mark’s Haunted Garage

"Mark's Haunted Garage" GeoCities website featuring an image of his 2001 event..

Mark Allen has hosted a haunted house in his Penfield, New York garage for nearly 30 years. His personal GeoCities site documented in photos the layout of every single one, all the way back to 2001.

Amazingly, after GeoCities shut down, Allen (who is a computer programmer) continued to update his site via a different host through last year. Sadly, 2020’s haunting has been canceled due to COVID-19.

Haunting Sounds

Links to Halloween songs on the Haunting Sounds website.

It was common in the ’90s to deck out your website with some MIDI theme music. It played in the background while visitors browsed your site (although, many people found it annoying). The Haunting Sounds site has a collection of Halloween-themed songs, including the themes from Beetlejuice and The Addams Family, as well as some creepy WAV file sound effects.

Halloween 1998 at the Police Department

An update from a police department's website featuring an employee dressed in a clown costume for Halloween.

At the end of the 20th century, even local police departments hosted their own websites on GeoCities. They posted updates, just like a modern Facebook feed, and sometimes, these were unintentionally creepy.

For example, the Halloween update from 1998 features Dita Virtuoso, a law enforcement support technician, dressed as a clown. So cheerful and fun. Not!

Happy Halloween with Mom Graphics

"Halloween: A Brief History" on a GeoCities site, featuring a graphic of trick-or-treaters standing next to a cauldron.

Many Halloween-dedicated sites back in the day included information about the history of the holiday, costume tips, and advice on which kinds of candy to hand out.

That’s just what you’ll find on this cute site decorated with 1990’s mom graphics, complete with an animated sparkling background. As the kids say today, it’s an aesthetic.

Haunted Mansion 3D

The HM-3D website featuring a map of the Disney Haunted Mansion ride on GeoCities.

If you’ve never ridden the famous Haunted Mansion ride at Disneyland, you’ll be pleased to know someone re-created it as a downloadable map file. It was for the most cutting-edge 3D simulator available at the time, Duke Nukem 3D.

Luckily, someone filmed a tour of this “cyber-space” version of the ride.

Halloween Graphics Collection

A Halloween Graphics website on GeoCities.

If you’re itching for some ’90’s-style animated GIFs or creepy banners for your Facebook page, look no further than the nostalgic collections on GeoCities.

There are a ton of vintage collections on there; to find them, just type “halloween graphics site:oocities.org” in the Google Image Search. You’ll have a spooky good time browsing the past.

Happy Halloween!

RELATED: Remembering GeoCities, the 1990s Precursor to Social Media

Benj Edwards Benj Edwards
Benj Edwards is a Staff Writer for How-To Geek. For over 14 years, he has written about technology and tech history for sites such as The Atlantic, Fast Company, PCMag, PCWorld, Macworld, Ars Technica, and Wired. In 2005, he created Vintage Computing and Gaming, a blog devoted to tech history. He also created The Culture of Tech podcast and regularly contributes to the Retronauts retrogaming podcast.
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