By Sandra Gonzalez
Updated December 10, 2016 at 08:17 PM EST

I remember thumbing through my mom’s boxes of pre-me photos a few years ago and stumbling across a photo that still haunts me every year around Halloween: my then-8-year-old older sister wearing the most terrifying Strawberry Shortcake costume known to man. (Photo of the mask at left.)

I can’t pinpoint which part of this plastic horror scares me the most. Is it the fact that Strawberry Shortcake appears to have gone toe-to-toe with the eye-carving Santa Muerte killers from Dexter? Is it the lips — that appear to be dripping blood? Or is it the contrast of the mask’s creepiness with the fact that there’s a smile plastered across her face? Take your pick.

Against my better judgment, I went searching for more vintage costumes today. It turns out that they’re all grinning, eye-less terrors. There’s a special place in hell for the person who turned Bionic Woman Lindsay Wagner into the Nick Nolte of my nightmares, and it baffles me that anyone thought this Beany number was a good idea. (You’re welcome for the nightmares.)

In all seriousness, PopWatchers, I don’t recall seeing any costume recently (adult- or child-sized) that has put as much fear in me as these. This year, there will likely be no shortage of people in lingerie and animal ears, celebrity impersonators, or people dressed as a common phrase taken literally — and I’m rather glad for that. If I ever witnessed a child wearing one of these vintage costumes, I might never recover. Agree?

I’m off to watch Mean Girls — my go-to Halloween movie. Yeah, not a movie about ghosts, not a paranormal thriller, and nothing featuring any of the people in our Psycho Killers Bracket game. Mean Girls.

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