Every year come the month of October we are bombarded with Halloween specials but there is only one that became a staple in pop culture for over 40 years. It’s a Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown is a cult classic that is appropriate for people of all ages no matter how old or young. This peanuts TV special first aired way back in 1966 and was the follow-up to the other huge comic strip success, A Charlie Brown Christmas.
The special revolves around Linus and his quest to discover “The Great Pumpkin”, a personal fantasy he has created. There are so many great scenes and “firsts” for the peanuts characters in this episode. It was the first time Lucy pulled the football gag on Charlie Brown and also the first time we see Snoopy’s flying ace adventures. All and all it brings us back to a simpler time when Halloween was just about kids and trick or treating.
Here are all the characters to appear in It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown along with some facts and tidbits about their Halloween night. Also, scroll to the end as we try and discover who are the mystery costume characters.
Linus is the main character of this Halloween special and is in search of the Great Pumpkin much to the despair of his friends.
Halloween Costume: Did not dress up
What He Got Trick or Treating
1) One piece of candy thanks to his sister Lucy asking for an extra one
Lucy is the main critic of The Great Pumpkin and is constantly mocking Linus for his belief. She does show her soft side at the end of the special when she wakes up to bring Linus home from the pumpkin patch.
Halloween Costume: Witch, wearing a green mask and red hat
What She Got Trick or Treating
1) 5 pieces of candy
2) A package of gum
3) A popcorn ball
Snoopy is in his own world on Halloween night in his Flying Ace Costume. He goes to his imaginary world where he battles the Red Baron. He also has a great dance scene while Schroeder is playing piano and displays his talent for dramatics.
Halloween Costume: World War I Flying Ace
For being the star of the comic strip Charlie has a lesser role in The Great Pumpkin. His noteworthy moments are cutting too many eye holes in his ghost costume and getting nothing but rocks when trick or treating.
Halloween Costume: Ghost Sheet with multiple holes
What He Got Trick or Treating:
1) A Rock
2) A Rock
3) A Rock
Patty has a very minor role in the show. She appears when Linus is writing his letter to the great pumpkin and tells him he is wasting his time and that The Great Pumpkin is fake.
Halloween Costume: Ghost Sheet (?)
Sally is the only one to give Linus a break during the special, mainly because of her affection for him. Although wanting to go trick or treating she decides to give in and stay with Linus in the patch. Ultimately, she turns on Linus after the Greta Pumpkin fails to appear.
Halloween Costume: Ghost Sheet
Violet has a few scenes throughout the show and is a part of the gang that goes trick or treating. The main question with her is whether or not she is the one in the green goblin mask.
Halloween Costume: Ghost Sheet or Mr. Hyde Goblin Mask
Frieda makes a few minor appearances as a part of the gang. She is seen at the Halloween party when they go to bob for apples and at the very end of the night when the gang confronts Linus after Halloween. The question is whether she is the one in the green goblin mask.
Halloween Costume: Mr. Hyde Goblin Mask or Ghost Sheet
Poor Shermy never makes an actual appearance in the TV special but he is credited as having a speaking role. This leads us to believe he is one of the trick-or-treaters wearing a ghost costume. Whether he is the one with the Davey Crockett style hat may always remain a mystery.
Halloween Costume: Ghost Sheet with or without coonskin hat
Pig-pen is his usual messy self in the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown but this time it’s his ghost costume that’s super dirty. He also appears at the Halloween party wearing glasses which is somewhat unusual for his character.
Halloween Costume: Extremely Dirty Ghost Sheet
Schroeder has his usual starring role on piano but this time featuring Snoopy as his dancing sidekick. Schroeder plays 4 songs in total. He is also one of the possible trick-or-treaters wearing the coonskin hat over the ghost sheet.
Halloween Costume: Ghost Sheet with or without coonskin hat
A character that appears to be 5 makes a brief cameo when all the characters are getting ready to bob for apples. He is not seen again after this.
Who Are The Trick Or Treaters?
If you have seen It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown multiple times you might start to notice some inconsistencies in the show that might leave you with some unanswered questions. The big mystery that may never be fully solved is, Who Were The Characters Under Each Costume?
Once you dig in and try and analyze the possible candidates it starts to get pretty frustrating (in a fun way). The number of trick-or-treaters changes from scene to scene, the voices do not appear consistent and there are no real identifying characteristics to differentiate between the costumed characters. Luckily we do know 3 costumes for sure, Lucy, Charlie Brown, and Pig-Pen are all clearly identified and consistent. The main mystery costumes are the Mr. Hyde Mask (Green Goblin) and the Ghost Sheet with the coonskin cap.
Let’s have a fun look at what we know and don’t know to see if the mystery can be solved:
Costumes We Know For Sure
The Witch Costume
Who It Is – Lucy
This one is a no-brainer, we see her put it on while claiming, “You should choose a costume with direct contrast to your own personality”.
Ghost Sheet With Many Holes
Who It Is – Charlie Brown
We see Charlie put his costume on and discover he has cut way too many eye holes. He claims he had a little trouble with the scissors.
Dirty Ghost Sheet Costume
Who It Is – Pig Pen
Much to his amazement the gang quickly realizes it’s Pig-Pen in his costume. Why? Obviously, the messy, cloud of dirt surrounding him always makes him easy to identify.
Costumes With Unknown Characters
Mr. Hyde Costume (Goblin)
Possible Candidates – Violet, Freida
Eliminated Candidates – Lucy, Charlie, Pig-Pen, Patty
The Mr. Hyde costume also referred to as the Goblin Mask is the most mysterious one of them all. We never see who puts the costume on so we are left to guess who it may be. Let’s look at what little clues we have.
Clue #1 – When the goblin mask first enters the scene they ask Lucy in her witch costume, “Is that you Patty?”. That means the person asking the question is not Patty and she can be eliminated.
Clue #2 – The voices for the goblin costume are not consistent unfortunately leading us to believe that maybe they really never had anyone specific in mind for the costume and just cycled through different voice actors. When we first hear the Mr. Hyde mask talk the voice certainly sounds deeper, more male in tone. That being said the remaining scenes when we hear the goblin talk, the character definitely sounds like a female. The one scene in particular where the goblin asks where Snoopy is sounds to me a lot like Violet. However, the voice actor who does Violet also does Frieda, so she is still on the table as well.
Clue #3 – The shoes may hold the final answer. One consistent trait of all the peanuts characters is the shoes they wear. The males all wear a certain style and the females another. In the very opening credits, we see a montage scene with all the costume goers. They are being scared by ghosts and this is when we get to see their shoes.
The Mr. Hyde mask is clearly seen wearing shoes which all the female characters wear and the most telling clue is that they have green socks on. Who wears a green dress and socks throughout the special? None other than Violet.
Despite us seeing Violet try on a plain ghost sheet costume before going outside for trick or treating I think the goblin mask is meant to be her when the gang actually leaves the house. Besides the green socks and voice, Violet is close friends with Lucy and it would make sense that they had similar matching costumes as they are considered a clique together along with Patty. The only other option would be Frieda who is credited as having a speaking role in the show. Since we don’t actually see her speak in dress clothes it is possible she was speaking as the goblin.
Conclusion: I think it’s Violet in the goblin mask. We have to ignore that she initially tried on a ghost sheet costume but there are many goofs in The Great Pumpkin and I think that was one of them. My number #2 guess would be Frieda who is voiced by the same actor as Violet.
Ghost Sheet with Coonskin Hat
Possible Candidates – Schroeder, Shermy
Eliminated Candidates – Lucy, Charlie, Pig-Pen, Patty, Violet
All the ghost sheet costumes are the exact same except for one mystery sheet. One of the characters has a coonskin cap on over his ghost sheet and is never identified.
This costume is a little more straightforward forward and the possible candidates come down to two characters in my mind. First off, the voice of this character is consistently male so that narrows us down considerably. Second, looking at the opening montage scene again you can see the Davey Crockett ghost has male shoes on.
The biggest clue would be the voice when we first meet this costume and he asks, “Where is Charlie Brown?” To me, it sounds a little too high to be Schroder so I lean that it is likely Shermy. Of course, the same voice actor does both Shermy and Schroder so you can make the case for both as they would be similar in tone.
Conclusion: This one will forever be a mystery I think. Both Shermy and Schroeder have voice credits but we never see either one speak, in fact, we don’t ever see Shermy at all. This means he was either a plain sheet ghost or the Coonskin hat one. Shermy was one of Charlie Brown’s closest friends and the ghost initially asks where Charlie is upon arriving, which is what a close friend would ponder. He also walks in with the goblin mask who we have decided was Violet. Shermy and Violet were often linked together and were depicted holding hands many times. This would make sense that they would then arrive together.
My best guess is that the Coonskin Hat Ghost is Shermy.
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