If you’re not doing a classic Halloween costume–ghost, witch, devil, et cetera–I’d prefer you do something clever. If you’re doing a film reference, make it a weird and funny one. If you’re being topical, don’t just make a reference, play on it (for instance, if you must be Ken Bone for Halloween, do it with a skull face, so you are literally bones).
But the best thing you can do? Go as something spooky and in keeping with the holiday, but which I might not immediately recognize. Be clever, but strange and weird. That way, you don’t have to sacrifice the holiday’s unique flavor the sake of being something uncommon and uninteresting.
Here are five interpretive Halloween costumes off the top of my head. Feel free to use them, but make sure to send me pictures.
The Bermuda Triangle
Relatively easy. Put on an Acapulco shirt, cargo shorts, and sandals with socks; sunscreen on the nose and shades could help. Then, print and cut out a picture of the illuminati triangle, glue it to some cardboard, and hang it from your neck like bling. Carry a suitcase with homemade travel stickers of fictional places–Shangri-La, R’Lyeh, Brobdingnag. You could also wear Amelia Earhart goggles, should you see fit.
Take a brown T-shirt and draw (or sew, if you’re talented enough) a black square around the neck and chest, and the lines 0f the head clasp around your belly. Then tape a normal mask to your stomach, to act as the soon-to-be-victim. Make a blade out of tinfoil and cardboard, cut a half-circle in it, and tie it around your head as sort of a hat or headdress. Bonus points if you walk around with a basket of other heads or masks with you.
Wear a white robe or shirt/pants combo and draw a huge ’12’ right beneath the collar. Then attach hour and minute hands to your belt, both pointing straight up. Carry a bell and a striker, and ring out twelve every so often (not too often, or you’ll piss off your party guests). Wear a witch hat or a hat with a witch doll of some kind on it, to signify the witching hour.
Make or buy a frilly neck collar, a frilly skirt, and a top all the same color. Draw or sew candy logo or Halloween graphic on the top. Then, using cardboard and tinfoil, create a giant half-razor blade, and use an unraveled coathanger to make a harness so that it sticks out of your back.
Dress in all green and use green basket-filling confetti to make yourself shaggy and grassy. Then, similar to the guillotine blade, create a cardboard headstone around your head. For added effect, make your shirt a button- or zipper-open one and wear a shirt with skeleton drawn on the inside, so you can open yourself up and show off your resident. A shovel completes the look.