Give me 5... Original Halloween costume ideas


By El Barnes / 24 October 2019


Halloween is just around the corner and this year it falls on a Thursday, which basically means we've got an extra long weekend of playing dress up! In the UK's capital there are hundreds of spooktacular events occurring throughout the week, such as The Glory's Halloween Ball at Hackney Empire and The End of the World Brexit Party. If you're in Manchester for ghostly weekend then venues like Hidden and 42's are the place to be. Most events in Leeds are happening on the 26th, including INZOMBIFEST at Beaver Works and PROJEKT Halloween Pt. 1 at O2 Academy, but there are a fair few happening on the 31st, including PROJEKT Pt. 2 and the Donuts Halloween Special at The Wardrobe, and even some the weekend after, like Gravity at Beaver Works (which promises to combine Halloween and Bonfire Night) and The Dirty Disco at Mint Warehouse. If you’re attending more than one of these events and don’t want to outfit repeat, or if, like me, you have work or university deadlines approaching rapidly and therefore haven’t had much time to think of something to fun and inventive to wear, or if, again like me, your monthly budget has dried up and you need to dress up on the cheap, there will definitely be something for you on our list of original Halloween costume ideas.

1. A minor character from The Mighty Boosh

I went as Milky Joe for Halloween 2017 and it required minimal effort (a XXL £3 stripy t-shirt from a charity shop, a shit tonne of black eyeliner and an even shittier tonne of hairspray), made for some hilarious pictures/videos, and didn’t make me feel like I was stepping too far out of my comfort zone. There are plenty of non-recurring characters, like Mr Susan, Old Gregg and Nanatu (you get to wipe the smirks off people’s faces when you tell them you’re not just a little old lady; you’re actually the ‘evilest demon known to man’) as well as minor recurring characters like The Hitcher and Tony Harrison (although good luck with that one) that would make for some hilarious and original costumes.

2. The Pale Man from Pan’s Labyrinth

Granted, this one would take a bit more effort. You’d need a flesh-toned catsuit – not as scary as it sounds when it’s dark but could be a disaster when the lights come on – and some liquid latex to get the texture of your skin looking right (you can get it cheap from Hobbycraft or make your own using Vaseline and flour), but you’d get bonus points for doing something this scary and original.

3. A Doctor Who villain

Everybody talks about how scary statues became after watching ‘Blink’, but what about scarecrows after watching ‘Human Nature’ and ‘The Family of Blood’? A Weeping Angel costume is definitely an option, although to get the proper effect you’d need to do a lot of standing still with your hands over your eyes, which isn’t ideal on a night out (but would definitely provide plenty of opportunities to scare your mates, so swings and roundabouts I guess?). There are the obvious villains like the Daleks, the Slitheen and the Cybermen, and some more minor ones like the Krillitane – which could be achieved with the same materials as The Pale Man, so you could tag-team with a friend to save money – and Jamie from ‘The Empty Child’ and ‘The Doctor Dances’, whose catchphrase is sure to send shivers down the spines of your fellow partygoers.

4. Sideshow Bob from The Simpsons


This one has the rarity of being, in equal measure, terrifying, hilarious and easy to achieve. You can get a handmade crochet wig fairly affordably on Etsy or, if you fancy doing the hair yourself (warning: your hair won’t thank you for it), backcombing combined with firm-hold hairspray and temporary red dye will do the trick. After that all you need is an absurdly tight green polo (another charity shop job) and a pair of blue jeans that you probably already own. Bonus points to anyone who learns the lyrics to the entire score of H.M.S. Pinafore…

5. Boris Johnson

We all know there’s a beautiful but terrible irony in dressing up as political figures for the funnies on the scariest night of the year, whilst the state of politics is veritably terrifying on a daily basis. So, okay, this one isn’t exactly original, as we’re sure there will be plenty of students up and down the country dressing up as BoJo this year, but that’s what makes it so wonderful.

Happy dressing up and don’t forget to send pictures of your outfits to us on Instagram!

Words by
El Barnes

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