Halloween is just around the corner – time to start conjuring up costume ideas. And it being 2020, it seems rather fitting to embrace the ‘scary’ theme doesn’t it?
If you’re in search of scary Halloween costumes for kids or adults, you’ve come to the right place. We love the idea of giving family, friends and maybe some of the neighbours a good frright on All Hallowe’s Eve!
Whether you want to embrace a scary character from pop culture or go with a classic ‘creature’, we’ve got costume inspiration to suit your spooky style. Continue reading for our top scary costume picks for kids and adults. And, take a read of our tips for choosing the right Halloween costume at the end of the article.
Fantastically Frightening Costumes for Kids
If you need a ghoulish getup for your little trick-or-treater, here are seven of our top choices for kids’ Halloween costumes.
Awaken the living dead with this gruesome zombie ensemble. Rips and tears in the shirt and pants reveal scary bones, while layers of green canvas fabric make your little zombie look like they rose up out of a swamp. The bony gloves and mask complete the outfit for a creepy, undead look.
2. Glow-In-The-Dark Skeleton
This spooky skeleton costume is sure to be a hit among your kids and their friends. The one-piece unisex outfit fits toddlers and kids up to age 10, and the bones glow in the dark for an extra-eerie look at night.
3. Indominus Rex
This Jurassic World Indominus Rex costume will turn your youngster into a ferocious beast to be reckoned with! The polyester jumpsuit includes a half-mask, shoe covers, and a stuffable tail to help finish the transformation from human to dinosaur.
4. Glow-In-The-Dark Grim Reaper
Your trick-or-treater will definitely spook some neighbors when they go knocking on doors in this Grim Reaper outfit. The creepy skeleton mask, gloves, and robe all glow in the dark for a ghastly effect, and the costume even includes a scythe to complete the look.
5. Vampire Bat
Specially made for animal lovers, this Vampire Bat suit is an official Animal Planet costume. The stretchy, breathable material keeps your kids comfy while they’re out hunting for candy, and the quick-release Velcro hood is easy to take off when eating sweets.
6. Hairy Spider
Watch your young one transform into a creepy-crawly critter with this Hairy Spider costume. Two fuzzy sleeves for the arms plus six attached spider legs and a hood create an eight-legged monster that’s sure to give anyone goosebumps.
By Party City
This lovely witch costume will make for a magical Halloween night! A black and green dress and a matching hat create a truly spellbinding outfit. Broomsticks and hocus-pocus are not included.
Costumes for Adults
Just because you’re not a kid anymore doesn’t mean you can’t have fun on Halloween, too! We’ve got you covered with seven spooky outfits for grown-ups.
1. Plague Doctor
by Party City
Venture back to the Middle Ages with this chilling Plague Doctor costume. The full-length textured robe, pointed hood, capelet, gloves, and beak-shaped face mask cover your entire body for a genuinely ominous effect. With this outfit, you’ll be ready to party like it’s 1349! Or, well, you know, 2020….
2. Headless Horseman
This elaborate Headless Horseman outfit lets you re-enact the spookiest scenes from The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. The inflatable shoulder unit sits on top of your head, and a see-through grey collar allows you to sight your enemies. Ichabod Crane, beware!
3. Killer Clown
You’re practically guaranteed to give your friends, family, and neighbors some nightmares with this Killer Clown costume. With that in mind, you may not want to wear this terrifying getup around little ones. The costume includes a jumpsuit, mask, collar, and oversized gloves.
by Fun World
Dress up as a ghoulish spirit with this Scream ensemble. Along with a spooky ghost mask, the costume includes a black full-length robe with draped sleeves and a belt that cinches around the waist.
With its huge eyes, rounded head shape, and skinny facial features, this Alien mask will transform you into a visitor from another planet. The latex mask covers your full head for an even more realistic effect. Pair it with a grey jumpsuit and three-fingered gloves and you may convert some of your friends into ‘believers’.
by Party City
Turn yourself into the evil serial-killer-doll Chucky with this scary getup. The outfit features a jumpsuit with attached overalls and a long-sleeve shirt, and a full face mask is included for an extra bone-chilling effect.
7. Grim Reaper
by Party City
Bring Death to life with this Grim Reaper costume. With the glowing red LED eyes in the mask, you’ll give an icy glare that others won’t soon forget. A robe, belt, and gloves also come with the set — but you may want an ax or scythe (not included) to complete the ensemble.
Common Questions About Scary Halloween Costumes
With so many options, you may be wondering how to choose the right costumes for yourself and your family. Here are our answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Halloween costumes, as well as a little history about this unique day.
Why Do People Wear Costumes on Halloween?
Halloween comes from a Celtic holiday called Samhain, which is a celebration of the harvest and the beginning of the Celtic new year. Many believe that spirits and fairies visit the world of the living during this time. Historically, people would leave offerings of food and drink to appease the spirits in hopes of receiving their protection during the cold winter months.
People may have started wearing costumes or disguises to mimic the visiting spirits. Costume-wearers would go from door to door, reciting poems in exchange for food. This tradition is most likely how trick-or-treating began.
Which Halloween Costumes Are Traditional and Why?
In keeping with the Celtic roots of Halloween, traditional costumes resemble spirits of the dead or supernatural beings, such as:
Dressing up as a pumpkin is another popular choice since Halloween is closely associated with fall and the harvest.
Which Costumes Are Right for My Family and Me?
For kids, the best costumes are ones that would be appropriate both for wearing to school or while out trick-or-treating with friends. Many schools have a Halloween celebration on or near October 31, and they may allow kids to wear costumes to class. You may want to check with your kids’ school about what celebrations they have planned and any guidelines or rules they may have about appropriate dress.
Keep in mind that while trick-or-treating, your kids might be outside for an hour or two. Depending on where you live, October nights can get cold. Plan for the weather and make sure your little ones have what they need to stay warm and comfortable. Ideally, costumes should cover most of their bodies, but it’s a good idea to send kids out with an extra warm jacket or gloves just in case they get cold.
Grown-ups usually want costumes to wear to a Halloween party at a friend or family member’s house. For these parties, as long as you’re respecting the host’s rules and preferences, pretty much anything goes! Check with them beforehand if you’re in doubt about any potential costume. If you’ve got young ones at home and are thinking about going with a scary costume, make sure it’s one that won’t be overly frightening for them.
How Can I Modify a Costume to Be Less Scary?
Full-body costumes with masks are often the scariest ones because nobody can see the “real” person behind the costume. If you’d like to make a creepy costume a little less intense, avoid hiding your face behind a full mask. Even face paint can make you a lot harder to recognize, so if you’re looking to make your outfit more kid-friendly, you may want to keep your face visible.
How Can I Make My Kids Easier to See in the Dark?
By the end of October, the days are short, and the sun can set early, so kids may be out hunting for candy well after dark. Choosing glow-in-the-dark or reflective costumes and accessories can help you keep an eye on them while they’re out trick-or-treating. If nothing else, you can have them carry a flashlight.
Be Scary, Have Fun
Once you find the perfect scary costume for your kid or yourself, spend some time practicing your scary voice effects and body movements to really enhance the scare factor. And remember that at the end of the day, or rather at the end of Hallow’s Eve, it’s all about having FUN … and maybe eating a bit of candy!