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October 28, 2015

Fantastic Candid Photographs That Capture New Yorkers in Their Halloween Costumes in Subway During the 1980s

For a few fleeting hours on the night of October 31 New York's subways turn into a waking dreamland.

And not just any waking dreamland. On Halloween night, the New York subways are transformed into the literal realization of many people's fevered dreams of subways past.

A few decades ago New York's subways were widely regarded as some sort of urban inferno. Those memories of the 1980s have largely -- but not entirely -- receded. And they do come back to life from time to time (like any good monster).

Even on good days, the subway is not for the faint hearted. After all, the anxieties of close urban living take their most tangible form in the subway. There is no other place where one is required to so completely surrender control over one's personal space. We all fear the loss of control. We all sometimes fear the company of strangers. We all sometimes fear being trapped in a confined space. These are fears that go the very core of our being. For many, the subways continue to be a delirious melange of these elemental phobias.

Meanwhile, in recent years Halloween has become an enormous social, cultural and commercial phenomenon devoted to the celebration of fear. In New York and other large cities, Halloween night has become a time to celebrate the anxieties of urban living. And what better place to celebrate these anxieties than in the subway?

New Jersey-based photographer Steven Siegel shot fantastic photos of Halloween in the New York's Subway in the 1980s, and here are some of our favorite shots.

(Photos from Steven Siegel, via Shooting Film)

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