The Most Insane Halloween Costumes (My Family Has Ever Come Up With)
By Amanda Rossenrode
Halloween is here again, and with it, countless guides and articles about Halloween costumes. I figured, why not join the lemmings and write one myself! Off the cliff I go, chased by the producers of Disney!
They’re many choices when picking a Halloween costume. Do you go down to Target and shell out fifty bucks for a polyester cape and licensed mask? Do you decide you can make it yourself and spend eighty bucks on fabric and sewing equipment before you realize you weren’t born in the 17th century and making your own clothes is pretty hard? Should you be lazy and just put some ears on a sexy dress or, for the fellas, bad zombie makeup? Perhaps something pun-related or so pop culture you spend the entire night painfully explaining your costume.
Or you could be like my family: mix a bunch of decades-old pieces of dress-up clothes and old wedding attire in a trunk, pick items at random, and then give it a name.
My family was never big on drugstore costumes. I think my sister got to be the Pink Ranger once, and I was Minnie Mouse when I was two. Beyond that, we were left to basically our own imagination and the “costume trunk”--a chest filled with odd articles of clothing dating back to my older brother’s childhood. It looked like an ancient pirate chest and sat at the foot of my parents' bed for years. If any of them were ever whole costumes, I wasn’t aware of it. Here are some of the weirdest costumes we managed to come up with and tips on how to recreate them yourself!
“Amanda” - When my little sister was in fourth grade, she decided to be me for Halloween. To my knowledge at the time, I was not a zombie or a vampire. I still am not positive if this was a compliment or an insult. She wore my favorite striped shirt and sunflower-embroidered jean shorts, and since this was the mid-90's, I did her hair and makeup in full Wet N Wild junior high glory: brown lipstick with dark liner, too much eyeliner, and crunchy hair. Unfortunately, she basically looked like a little kid who had another kid give her a bad makeover, and spent much time explaining her costume.
Tips to DIY - Have a sibling. It’s incredibly hard to dress as a sibling if you don’t have one. Furthermore, should you choose to dress as an imaginary sibling, you will only draw attention to the fact you are angry at your parents for some reason no one wants to hear about.
“Uncle Sam Pirate” - This was a clear case of a child not really understanding the concept of either character. My brother found a pair of striped tattered pirate pants in the trunk and paired it with a tailed Uncle Sam jacket. He lacked the top hat and bowtie that would distinguish Uncle Sam. Also missing was the eyepatch, parrot, or anything else that would hint as to piracy. He just looked like a really patriotic hobo.
Tips to DIY - Completely disregard everything you know about Uncle Sam. Uncle Sam is the personification of the American government and a pirate is typically a British dude interested in booty. Maybe just dress as me and hang a sign around your neck that says “Uncle Sam Pirate.” It makes just as much sense and people will avoid you the same amount
“Girl from The Blair Witch Project After She Died, But She’s Not a Zombie.” - Perhaps the problem was my sister didn’t bother to think up a Halloween costume until trick or treaters were already knocking at the door. The year was 1999 and The Blair Witch Project had shocked the world and bankrupted the camping industry. Never before or again would we be so fascinated with foul-mouthed people arguing with one another on a shaky handheld camera. NEVER AGAIN, Hollywood; please stop making shaky cam movies! My sister donned a parka and a beanie and trudged through an eighty degree Halloween night. Eventually she got hot and was just a kid in regular clothes with black eyeshadow.
Tips to DIY - Invest in a flux capacitor and some plutonium. Make sure to stay cool with the Libyans. Locate a DeLorean. If you can’t find one, an 87 Honda CRX will suit your needs just fine. Travel to the year 1999, where people will understand that you aren’t dressed as Jesse Pinkman from Breaking Bad. Or just be Jesse from Breaking Bad; it will save you the trauma of messing up the space time continuum.
“Rockstar/Courtney Love” - I must begin this entry with the exact Courtney Love era I’m talking about. I am not referencing her Kurt Cobain years, but her comeback with Hole’s Celebrity Skin. This was the same year my sister dressed up as the Blair Witch girl and we went about town puzzling our less pop-savvy neighbors. My costume was a conundrum even to me, as I modeled it after Ms. Love’s look at the time: rhinestone clips in my hair, ripped up undershirt, and glitter jeans. But I did not resemble her in anyway, most notably not being platinum blonde. So, I was a generic rockstar, lacking in props such as a guitar or microphone that would make this more apparent.
Tips to DIY - Rather than build yet another time machine, pick a more recent pop star with an iconic look and totally mess it up. Madonna would be a great choice. Rather than pick an easier look, like her “Like a Virgin” era or “Vogue,” dress as her during her “Ray of Light” period. Everyone will think you’re a slutty cowgirl. But they will give you candy anyway and not ask foolish questions like, “Aren’t you in your mid-twenties? Do you even have a child?” and the classic, “Don’t you know Halloween was a week ago? What has happened in your life to force you to beg candy from neighbors?”
“Disco Mermaid” - Ladies and gents, I can’t stress to you enough to throw out your old club clothes now. In the years to come, your children will mock your ridiculous fashion choices, turning your skinny jeans and YOLO t-shirts into insulting parodies of what they think you were like you when you were young. Especially if you are a mythical creature.
What do you get when you combine your mom’s aqua marine paisley halter dress circa 1977 and some glitter? Why, a disco mermaid of course! I did absolutely nothing else to convey the mermaid aspect of the costume, if memory serves me correctly. I was basically a disco dancer, but that didn’t stop me from insisting I was a mermaid, much like Darryl Hannah in Splash. I hadn’t seen the movie at that point, but I think that’s who I was dressing up as.
Tips to DIY - Bust into your mom’s house. Go through her closet and just start laughing. Pick one of her old dresses and tell her you're dressing up as her before she had kids and used to go out with her friends on a Tuesday, back when her life wasn’t just you rotten kids and your ridiculous Halloween demands. Back when she wanted to be a painter and travel the world. Then tell her you’re going as a Sasquatch Belly Dancer.
Other notable costumes include:
Barbie Biker Ninja (with no ninja accessories)
Whatever the Hell My Sister was in the Red Sequined Dress and Wolf Puppet
Beach Bum (Island shirt and a bath towel)
Zodiac Killer (Which my mother told me was stupid, because no one knows what he looks like and aren’t you in first grade, you little weirdo?)
Hopefully I have inspired you with some truly great Halloween costumes. They will confuse your friends and worry your loved ones. If not, well, do what you want. Be a stupid vampire again. Just don’t come trick or treating at my door on Halloween night. Really, don’t. I give out pennies and toothpaste, I’m the absolute worst.
Happy Halloween! Muahahahaha!