October 23, 2006


Halloween, the most sacred of all holidays, is fast approaching. This year will be a bit different for me: for the first time in my life, I will be on the giving end of the candy. I’m now a homeowner and I see it as my duty to keep tradition alive by welcoming all the ghosts and ghouls to my abode for candied treats.

In the past, I managed to go trick-or-treating long past most people’s “acceptable” age as a way to keep the holiday fun me. Later in college (after the annual Kutztown Halloween parade was cancelled), I found working at a haunted house thoroughly fulfilling; giving people a healthy scare seems mutually beneficial. I really need to try that again sometime, as I do believe I was quite gifted at it.

Liz and I have discussed running out this week to gather supplies to Halloweenify our house so the kids will know we are open for business. We also need to get some candy, but decided it would be best to wait until the holiday is a bit closer, lest we eat it all. It’s probably a good thing most Halloween stores are open one month out of the year, or I would be a regular. It dawned on me this morning that I haven’t given any thought to a costume yet. I always appreciated the candy-givers who not only gave out good candy, but who also took the time to dress-up. I’ve often thrown together costumes for functional purposes (like mischief), or donned store-bought readymades when I was younger, but what to do this year? Perhaps I should delve into my makeup kit and bloody myself up a bit. After all, those extra pints of fake blood aren’t going to use themselves.

What about you? What’s the best Halloween costume you’ve ever had or seen?

Commentary (23):

1. Matt O. says… oct 23, 2006 | 12:01 pm

Austin is notorious for the Halloween parade that happens down on 6th Street every year. I haven’t been in a few years, but the last time I was there, there was a dude dressed in a homemade Optimus Prime costume that was insane. He must’ve invested at least a grand into it. I think he could’ve actually transformed back into a semi-truck with the looks of that get-up. On the other end of the spectrum, another memorable costume was seen on this guy walking down 6th St. barefoot, with nothing but his tighty whities on and what must’ve been an 18” purple strap-on dildo fastened to his crotch, leading the way. Good times.

2. Adam Spooner says… oct 23, 2006 | 12:28 pm

Some would say I was a deprived child growing up. We didn’t have a lot of money, and my mom made quite a bit of my wardrobe. This sucked most of my life, especially during the school year. But it was an amazing gift when Halloween rolled around! I don’t know why, but I always wanted to be a vampire, maybe I have some insatiable urge to suck down other people’s blood? Anyways, backed by a seamstress mother and an uncanny desire to be a vampire, I usually paraded the streets on All Hallow’s Eve in the most respectable attire. Most of my peers were dressed in the usual cheap plastic dress found at your local Wal-Mart and, though it hurts to lump them in the same category, Target.

Strutting my stuff in a full-on vampire costume, custom-tailored from only the finest of linens a Piece Goods could provide, where the best of my memories of Halloween. Not to mention, the hoards of paper-wrapped goodness that the evening’s bag delivered.

3. Ryan Romero says… oct 23, 2006 | 12:38 pm

This year, I was thinking of dressing up as either Zach Morris from Saved by the Bell (cuz who doesn’t want to be) or Weird Al Yankovic. I always tend to find Halloween as not just a way to scare people, but to have an excuse for being people you admired while growing up. =)

4. Nate K says… oct 23, 2006 | 12:56 pm

I can’t say a particular costume was great, but I must agree that buying candy weeks in advance is probably not a good idea. I have been eating snickers and peanut (butter) M/Ms for the past few weeks. he.

5. John Arthur says… oct 23, 2006 | 1:00 pm

Last year I was really struggling to come up with anything. We had a party to go to, and the night of, I was still without inspiration. Then, I looked to my bookshelf and found the perfect costume. I went to Target, bought a huge bathrobe. I put on some pajama pants and a non-descript t-shirt, and grabbed a towel. A little mussed up hair, and I had it.

Of course, when people asked, only one or two knew who Arthur Dent was, so too bad for them. I was proud of myself, and I knew a few friends found it highly respectable, so that was important.


6. Jason Beaird says… oct 23, 2006 | 1:03 pm

Last halloween was our first in our new house and we decked out the front porch and carved some awesome pumpkins but didn’t dress up. Giving out candy at your own house for the first time will make you feel like an adult…which is pretty scary in and of itself. In 2004, Ames and I decided to go to a couple parties as extreme versions of ourselves. She’s was a mad scientist and I was VanGogh. The best costume that night though had to be this one. Finally, back in 2003, the year we got married, we were a lock and key. My favorite costumes from that year were Aunt Jo’Mamma and Funkle Sam.

I don’t know how it happened, but this year we’ve been so busy that Halloween snuck up on us. We don’t have plans to go to any Halloween parties, we haven’t thought up any costumes or carved any pumpkins, and we haven’t even bought any candy yet. Man, we’ve got work to do.

7. Natalie Jost says… oct 23, 2006 | 1:20 pm

My best, cheapest, and most fun was taking my old prom dress and tearing it apart to make it a zombie costume. My boyfriend even took it out in the street and drove over it a few times for good measure. Then we covered my showing skin in dark green, gray and black paints and tangled my hair all up, and some black circles around my eyes completed the look. The kiddies were terrified.

It’s tough to dress up so much now though because our daughter was born on Halloween night, so it’s all about her birthday now and she wants to be a ballerina and pass out candy (not so interested in getting as in giving). Sometimes I wonder if she’s mine at all. :)

8. Colly says… oct 23, 2006 | 1:33 pm

Yay! It is that time of year again!

I reckon our vampire and vamp outfits were pretty good last year. We wowed the dullards in the pubs of Nottingham that night. Lots of fake blood!

9. Rob L. says… oct 23, 2006 | 3:11 pm

No costume story, but a recollection from my first Halloween “on the other side of the door”:

Towards the end of the evening, I answer the doorbell to find two brothers, aged about 8 and 4, both wearing Spider-Man costumes. “Oh no!” I exclaim in mock horror and confusion, “but which one is the REAL Spider-Man?!?”

The eight-year-old rolls his eyes and deadpans, like I’m the dumbest person he will ever meet in his life, “We’re just kids, sir.”

10. niff says… oct 23, 2006 | 3:19 pm

My brother and I always had the BEST costumes. We always placed first in the halloween parade judging, and it is a little hard to be all grown up and not have that crowning glory anymore.

My mom always made WHATEVER we wanted. This includes me being corn on the cob, miss piggy (full stuffed mask and all) a 8 legged spider, a red ant, a haunted house…and I could go on for at least 10 more.

Thanks mom.

11. Brody says… oct 23, 2006 | 4:01 pm

A few years back my brother, a friend, and I dressed up as the blue man group. We went to 6th street here in Austin and passed out blue condoms to everyone and ended up getting 2nd place and $200 in a costume contest. It was good times.

12. Kate Bolin says… oct 24, 2006 | 5:36 am

My best costume, I think, was the Clown Of Death. I was 18, obsessed with Oingo Boingo, and wearing a clown suit and skull-style makeup seemed the greatest idea ever to me. And it was rather terrifying-looking, judging by the looks I got as I strolled through the French Quarter.

This year, I’m going as Gertrude Yorkes from Runaways, which isn’t at all scary, but incredibly lazy, since she has the same hair colour, clothing style, and eyeglasses as me. All I’m missing is the dinosaur…

13. Terry Tolleson says… oct 24, 2006 | 10:46 am

My best costume (and one I wore for the last 3 years) has got to be this one. It made me close to 9 feet tall. I won contests with that bad boy. Scared the kiddies too - good times.

14. Luis Perez says… oct 24, 2006 | 12:41 pm

I’m a KU student here at the Comm. Design. college (saw you the other day) and the wierdest costume I’ve seen was another KU student at an anime convention as the most impeccable Jack Skelton EVER. You may remember him from The Nightmare Before Christmans movie, and he really was frightening when he was actually about 6’4”!

15. Shane says… oct 24, 2006 | 2:32 pm

One year my mom made us all black ninja outfits, and so we spent the entire day at Sea World running around as ninjas, but then we visited the Sea Lion show which took place at the Cookey Spookey Castle and before the show began the crowd was entertained by a mime. For me and my three brothers it was our first experience with a mime, and so we all thought he was so hilariouse we got home took off our ninja masks, had my mom paint our faces white and did our best to immitate the mime as we picked up candy…

16. Jason Santa Maria says… oct 24, 2006 | 9:30 pm

Wow! Great costume stories everyone!

And Terry, that photo just made my day. I laughed out loud for about five minutes. I love the way you are just standing there, all tall and lurched. Beautiful!

*sigh* I love Halloween :D

17. G. Jason Head says… oct 25, 2006 | 11:22 am

I spent the last 2 years collecting pieces of a Tim Horton’s uniform off of EBAY. I finally finished off the costume with an official shirt in February. But now that I moved to Pittsburgh I’m afraid no one here knows what Tim Horton’s is.

Unless anyone knows of any Canadian Halloween parties going on here, that is.

18. Jason Beaird says… oct 25, 2006 | 12:41 pm

On Monday I said that I didn’t have plans to go to any parties and that I hadn’t thought of a costume. Well, later that day my wife and I were invited to a costume party and then yesterday I found my inspiration. Now I just need to find my wife a nun outfit.

19. Jared says… oct 25, 2006 | 3:58 pm

I think my best costume was one that I called “Jesus Gone Wild.” Underneath my Jesus robe, I wore a foam muscle chest. From time to time, I pulled down the robe to reveal my large, foam nipples. Oh, blasphemy…

I have no idea how to top that and I’m running out of time. I think I’ll just wear a Batman suit designed and sized for an 8 year old.

20. Siri says… oct 26, 2006 | 7:07 am

First time visitor to your site and I must compliment you on how amazing it looks!
In India we dont have much of the Halloween concept but read about them all the time from Archie comics to blogs :)

21. Joel says… oct 27, 2006 | 3:22 am

My personal favorite costume of my own was when I was an exchange student in Japan back in college. I was short on materials, as well as time, and I realized that with a small purchase of string, I could strap my futon pad to my back and still be able to walk around. A little duct tape later, and I was Man in Bed. My fellow students were indeed impressed, and all it cost me was the ability to sit down for an entire evening…

22. Wilson Miner says… oct 27, 2006 | 2:01 pm

I’m sitting at my desk today in a bad suit and a fake mustache. For cultural learnings of U S and A!

23. Terry Tolleson says… oct 27, 2006 | 2:33 pm

I just read on a forum that one gentleman is going to dress up as Waldo (of Where’s Waldo fame) and whenever he spies someone about to take a picture, he’ll jump into the background of the shot.