13 Secrets of Halloween Costume Designers

People spend over $9 billion on Halloween every year, and a big chunk of that will be for Halloween costumes. Keeping us supplied with scary, funny, creative, sexy, and trendy costumes takes teams of designers busy all year long. But they swing into high gear when a new meme pops up just before Halloween.

3. THEY CAN DESIGN AND PRODUCE A COSTUME IN A MATTER OF DAYS.

A lot of costume interest comes from what’s been making headlines in the fall: Costumers have to be ready to meet that demand. “We’re pretty good at being able to react quickly,” says Pilar Quintana, vice-president of merchandising for Yandy.com. “Something happening in April may not be strong enough to stick around for Halloween.”

Because the mail-order site has in-house models and isn’t beholden to approval from big box vendors, Quintana can design and photograph a costume so it’s available within 72 hours. If it's more elaborate, it can take a little longer: Both Yandy and Weeks had costumes inspired by the Cecil the Lion story that broke in July 2015 (in which a trophy hunter from Minnesota killed an African lion) on their sites in a matter of weeks.

11. DEAD CELEBRITIES MEAN SALES.

It may be morbid, but it’s a reality: The high-profile passing of celebrities, especially close to Halloween, can trigger a surge in sales. “Before Robin Williams died, I couldn’t sell a Mork costume for a dollar,” Weeks says. “After he died, I couldn’t not sell it for less than $100.” This year, designers expect Hugh Hefner to fuel costume ideas—unless something else pops up suddenly to grab their attention. “Last year, when Prince died, that was almost trumped by [presidential debate audience member] Ken Bone,” Berman says. “He became almost more popular than Prince.”

Another thing about selling trendy costumes is that a customer won't want to wear the same costume a year later, so there's another sale coming. Read more secrets from Halloween costume makers at Mental Floss.

(Image credit: MVASCO)


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The Best Vampire and Zombie Movies of All Time

For most horror movie fans, one of two movie monsters will always reign supreme -vampires and zombies. Fortunately for those who just can't get enough of these two terrible creatures, Collider has taken the time to rank the best films that feature each of the creatures. The vampire list includes the classic Dracula (of course) as well as more modern classics like Fright Night and Blade -but sorry Twilight fans, you'll have to look elsewhere for your validation. 

The zombie list has all the George Romero films you'd expect as well as some more clever takes on the genre -like Sean of the Dead and Paranorman (though I felt Fido deserved a place on the list as well).

So visit Collider to see their ranking of the best vampire movies and the best zombie movies and then come back here to debate their choices.


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The Whale's Halloween Costume

Webcomic artist Liz Climo always has a great time dressing up her animal characters for Halloween. I think the whale's idea is pretty clever, even if he does have to explain it. I love the banana porpoise and Superotter, too. Then there's Batman and his psychic, and the witch and her cat. Be sure to check back for more critters getting ready for Halloween at Hi, I'm Liz.


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The Year of the Witch

The Salem Witch Trials get all the publicity, but it was far from the only witch panic that invaded colonial America. In Hartford, Connecticut, witch hysteria gripped the community in 1662 and 1663, so much that it came to be known as "The Year of the Witch." It all started with the death of eight-year-old Elizabeth Kelly, who died of an unknown ailment. Suspicion instantly led to Judith Ayres, who nobody liked anyway. She was arrested for witchcraft, and for good measure, they arrested her husband, too.

Judith and William were subjected to that indispensable part of any good witch trial: the "water test." The couple were bound hand to foot and tossed into a pond. If they floated, that was proof positive they were witches. If they sank, well, at least Judith and William would have the satisfaction of knowing that they would die vindicated.

To no one's real surprise, the pair floated like a pair of corks. A ghastly death at the gallows awaited them.

Luckily for the Ayerses, there were a few people in town who had not come down with the prevailing hysteria. These supporters managed to arrange a jailbreak, and the couple fled to Rhode Island, leaving behind their two sons, ages five and eight. One wonders what sort of lives those boys went on to have.

Unfortunately, the departure of Judith and William did not signal the end of the Hartford witch panic. In truth, it was just getting started.

The young girls of Hartford started talking about witchcraft, and accusing others of the practice. One suspect named an entire coven, including her own husband. Read the account of the Year of the Witch at Strange Company.


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Maybe an Anne Frank Halloween Costume Isn't the Best Idea

Every year Halloween stores release a shockingly tasteless costume to the public that ends up getting pulled before the big day even arrives. This year that costume is an Anne Frank costume that was sold on HalloweenCostumes.com before they pulled it after wave after wave of customer outrage. While it would be one thing for a young girl to take inspiration from Anne Frank's story, it's entirely different for a company to try to capitalize on a Holocaust victim for cash -especially when they seem to think the appropriate pose for the costume model is a sassy little troublemaker. 

Of course, the costume wasn't just limited to HalloweenCostumes.com -it was also for sale on other Halloween websites as well (though it does get pulled pretty quickly from most sites as soon as angry Twitter users have found it). Most of the other sites are labeling the costume as "World War II Evacuee Girl" instead of saying outright that it is Anne Frank. Either way, the result is a pretty tasteless way to cash in on a tragic historical figure.

Via The Daily Dot


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Full-Size Candy Bars

Trick-or-treating as a kid in a small town, I always knew which houses were going to give out the full-size candy bars. I also knew which houses had homemade popcorn balls, peanut-butter fudge, and cookies. One old lady would invite us inside to select our treat from a huge table of candy she made. No one gives out homemade treats anymore, due to the fear of being accused of tampering. But does anyone give out full-size candy bars at Halloween now? Since candy manufacturers started offering "fun size" candies, that's what kids get. I don't even hand out chocolate. For one thing, chocolate is too tempting to save for Halloween. For another thing, I figured every parent is going to confiscate the chocolate from their kids' treat bags, just like I did. This is the latest comic from Chris Hallbeck at Maximumble.


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Alien Facehugger Pudding Cups

Tye Lombardi (previously at Neatorama) went to great lengths for a special effect Halloween recipe. These Alien Facehugger Pudding Cups have edible Alien eggs and facehuggers, they fizz, they glow in the dark, and they taste good! The instructions are pretty involved, because it's an art project as well as a food recipe. These eggs are made to impress. At least she uses instant pudding and pre-made pie crust. You can use cooked pudding and make your own crust from scratch if you want. If you make these, be sure to take plenty of photographs before you let anyone eat them!

If this recipe is too complex for your lifestyle, you can just enjoy the images of the finished product. However, the components of the recipe will be handy to learn, like how to make pastry glue, the techniques for sculpting pie crust, and the magic of B-2 tablets. Check out the entire process at the Necro Nom-nom-nomicon.


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Rathtar-O’-Lantern

'Tis the season …that everyone is re-watching the movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens to brush up on the narrative before Star Wars: The Last Jedi hits movie theaters. I used that as an excuse to watch it last night. But if you are a serious Star Wars fan, you'll easily recognize this pumpkin as a Rathtar, the large carnivorous creatures Han Solo was smuggling when he first encountered Ray and Finn.

Now these aliens can be part of your Halloween! Put this Rathtar-O’-Lantern on your porch and you'll be able to distinguish dedicated Star Wars fans from the casually-costumed by their reaction. However, if they think it's  Audrey 2 from Little Shop of Horrors, that's okay, too. You'll find complete instructions for making this jack-o-lantern at Star Wars.  


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Father-Daughter Halloween Costumes

It had to happen sooner or later. It is now easier to find a Link costume than it is to find a Peter Pan costume. So redditor jay_roo modified a Link costume, because that's what you do when your daughter wants you to play Peter Pan to her Tinkerbell. The picture was taken last night at the Goblin Gathering in Bradenton, Florida. They make an adorable family. And when jay_roo admitted he is a single father, commenters piled on to volunteer to be his Wendy.  


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12 Halloween Traditions From Around the World

In the US, Halloween is a fun holiday centered around costumes, horror movies, and candy. Countries around the world celebrate either Halloween or other holidays commemorating the spirits of the dead, because the end of the growing season in autumn reminds us of our own mortality. Some of those traditions are a bit like the American Halloween, such as the Kawasaki Halloween Parade in Japan.     

At the end of every October for the past 21 years, nearly 4000 costumed Halloween enthusiasts from all around the world have gathered in Kawasaki, just outside Tokyo, for the Kawasaki Halloween Parade, which is the biggest parade of its kind in Japan. However, not everyone can simply join in the festivities. The Kawasaki Halloween Parade has strict guidelines and standards, so you have to apply for entry two months before the parade begins.

While the party aspect of Halloween is spreading, many places mark holidays that are more somber, or even religious, as they pay respect to the departed. Read about the widely-varying traditions of Halloween or Halloween-like holidays at Mental Floss.

(Image credit: Flickr user Hideya HAMANO)


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The Best Halloween News Bloopers

What could be more tempting than to startle a news anchor or reporter, especially when they've been primed by a spooky report already? It happens every Halloween, and it's recorded on video for posterity.

(YouTune link)

News Be Funny has a mega-compilation of newspeople who couldn't stay calm and cool while reporting on Halloween shenanigans. There are also clips of pranks and silliness and unexpected weirdness that happens when you do Halloween live on the air.   


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Sexy Sexy Halloween Costume Costume

We've seen sexy vegetables, sexy Gandalf, and sexy fake news Halloween costumes. Since it's obvious that you can make a "sexy" Halloween costume out of anything, why not make a costume out of the costume itself? That is, the Halloween costume kits as they appear hanging on the store shelves this time of year. That's what Jamie Kruger did. You can see more photos at the link. The biggest problem I can see is lack of hands, because you must have a way to break a fall if you're going to wear those heels, or at least hold a cocktail. Is this overly meta, or just stupidly clever? -via Boing Boing


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Every State's Favorite Halloween Candy

Does your state like chocolate, bubble gum or fruit candy for Halloween? CandyStore.com compiled a cool interactive map to help visualize each state's favorite flavors. It's worth noting that the data is based on sales, not consumption because there's no way enough people from any state actually like to eat candy corn that much.

So do you like your state's favorite and if so, is it actually your favorite? As a Californian, I like M&M's, but they're certainly not my top choice and I don't know many other people who would choose them above all other candies either.

Via Thrillist


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Simon's Cat in Spider Cat

The new animation from Simon Tofield is this year's Halloween cartoon. The cat is up in the attic, and he doesn't want to leave. I've dealt with that situation. You don't want your cat to climb the ladder to the attic- you'll never find him again!

(YouTube link)

The attic can be a scary place, especially when the lights go out. It's full of spiders! After the new cartoon, there's a couple more classic Simon's Cat stories in this video.  -via Tastefully Offensive


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10 Clever Halloween Pun Costumes

A great costume that looks exactly like some pop culture character might win you first prize at your local costume contest, but will only take you so far on the internet. To be both viral and memorable, it takes a clever joke. The drawback is that you will spend all evening on Halloween explaining your costume to the many folks who just don't get it, especially after a few drinks. Here are some pun costumes that may make you groan, but you'll laugh a little, too.  

1. Morticia and Gomez

SavioSega and his wife went all out with their couples costume for Halloween last year. The comments they got said that he has a cigar, but she's smokin'. In case you are wondering why they are wearing hula hoops with tennis balls, surely you recognize the Atoms Family.

2. Sister Testa and Sister Norris

Puns can became a habit -a bad habit. As if two dudes dressed as nuns wouldn't be funny enough, they had to wear name tags to make sure everyone knew they were nun Chucks. It would have been funny if they had a chain linking the two of them together, but I'm sure they already had enough to explain that night.

3. Your "Date"

Continue reading

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Halloween Costumes for the Pregnant

If you've got a baby bump and a Halloween party to attend, you'll want to put some extra creativity into your costume this year. This opportunity doesn't happen all that often. Check out a roundup of clever pregnancy costumes you might want to try. Most of them are a product of thinking about what spherical object one's belly might resemble, and then going with it. Instagram user isthatcarolyn went with a wrecking ball, specifically the one in Miley Cyrus' video for "Wrecking Ball." Some went in another direction. I kinda love this one.

And the winner is... #happyhalloween #costumecontest #crossfit #crossfitmom #pregnantcostume

A post shared by Elite Progression (@crossfit_mahopac) on Nov 1, 2016 at 9:27am PDT

You'd be forgiven if you thought this was just a guy who didn't want to dress up for the occasion. See 20 Genius Halloween Costume Ideas For People Who Are Pregnant at Buzzfeed.


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Monster Bundt Cake

The person who invented edible googly eyes should win a Nobel Prize. They are the secret to making any kind of food extra fun for kids -and adults get a kick out of them, too. Googly eyes and food coloring make this everyday bundt cake into a hairy Halloween monster! It's got three colors inside, three colors of drippy icing, and plenty of eyes all around, enough so that everyone gets at least one. See, while you look at your dessert, it will be looking back at you! Check out the recipe and icing instructions for the Monster Bundt Cake at Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons.  -Thanks, hearsetrax!


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The Charming Halloween Costumes of PawsomeCrochet

It's always fun to dress up in costume for Halloween, but dressing up pets is even more entertaining. Aegean Drawn of Etsy's PawsomeCrochet makes some of the most delightful pet costumes around and they're all made of cozy crochet. 

From the big dog dragon mask above to the tiny pooch taco (which also fits kitties), there's a lot to love about the shop's selection -even if you don't intend to buy but just want to look at cute pets in costume.

So see the whole inventory here.


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Plan Your Halloween Film Festival

If you are a horror movie fan and subscribe to one (or more) of the many streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, or HBO, you are in for a great October. The hard part is deciding how to want to use your embarrassment of riches. You can select a new movie (or two) for every evening. You can spend a weekend (or two) smuggled up with your significant other binge-watching until you are a quivering mass of fear. Or you can plan a Halloween party with a film festival theme and invite all your friends! Check out the list of the 31 Best Streaming Horror Movies at Den of Geek.


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How to be Pennywise for Halloween

The movie It is officially the top grossing horror film of all time now, and is expected to the the number one film again this weekend. Going into October, it's becoming clear that the It clown character Pennywise will be the most popular Halloween costume of 2017. The look can be easy or difficult depending on how much work you want to put into it. The character will be recognizable with just white face, red hair, and a couple of well-placed red lines. A mouth full of sharp teeth is a bonus, and a red balloon is an easy way to complete the look. But there's so much more you can do with it! If you want to go with illusion makeup, like artist Jordan Hanz does here, you can dispense with fake teeth, but remember you won't be able to turn it off around small children. She has a Pennywise tutorial at YouTube.

Uproxx has a gallery of Pennywise cosplayers, costume tips, and links to tutorials that will help you put your best It forward for Halloween.


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How to Get in the Halloween Spirit Even if You're a Huge Scaredy Cat

Halloween is a great time to get spooked, but if you don't like feeling scared there aren't quite as many fun options since you probably don't want to go to any haunted houses. That doesn't mean you're out of options if you're trying to get in the Halloween spirit though. Fodors has rounded up 13 fun ideas to celebrate Halloween even if you're kind of a wuss. Some of the ideas might still be a little scary for the meekest people out there -like going on a walk in the woods or a cemetery, but a trip to Disneyland or your local zoo is pretty scare-free for just about everyone.

So check out the full list of ideas here


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David S. Pumpkins Gets a Halloween Special

Last October, Tom Hanks starred in a Saturday Night Live skit called "Haunted Elevator" as a character named David S. Pumpkins. It was exceedingly silly, made no sense at all, and starred Tom Hanks, so of course it became an instant meme, and one of the more popular Halloween costumes last year, despite airing only a week before Halloween. This year, David S. Pumpkins returns with his own Halloween special. The half-hour show will be animated, and will feature the voice of Tom Hanks and special guest Peter Dinklage. It will be a parody of other Halloween specials.

Set in a small suburban town on All Hallows’ Eve, the special centers on David Pumpkins and his skeleton sidekicks who show a young boy and his sister the true meaning of Halloween, answering none of their questions along the way.

In case you need a reminder, here's the original sketch.

(YouTube link)

The David S. Pumpkins Halloween Special will air on October 28. Any questions?


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Terrible Trend Alert: The Avocado Toast Costume

Avocado toast might be one of the most annoying food trends from the last five years -and the fact that Millennials are buying it rather than homes doesn't help. As if avocado toast wasn't bad enough as a food (not that it's bad, just its whole trendiness), it's even more obnoxious as a Halloween costume.

But this year, avocado toast is catching on as the trendy new costume as well. Brit & Co has instructions to make your own, while Parents Magazine can tell you how to make this obnoxious hipster version complete with a child's own "cold brew" chocolate milk.

Worst of all, you can even make your in-bread cat into avocado toast with this Etsy costume by Miss Maddy Makes.

It's only a matter of time until you see crummy lycra costumes in a bag at all those generic Halloween stores out there.


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Sexy Fake News Halloween Costume

It is becoming obvious that 2017 will be a really strange year for trendy Halloween costumes. The company Yandy provides many of the super-specific meme costumes that you see each year, always in a "sexy" version. This year, one of them is "fake news." How do you make a concept into a costume? Just print it on a sexy little dress. The mini-dress sports a newspaper print, with the word "fake" splashed across the front in red. It's a one-joke costume that your grandchildren will be scratching their heads over when they see it for the first time when your possession are distributed. Let's hope this is the lamest of the year's trendy sexy costumes, but I would bet there are more to come. -via Mashable 


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The Scariest Dolls In Horror Movie History

There's something inherently creepy about a lifeless, realistic-looking doll, which is why they make such great monsters in horror movies. But like most things, some of them are better than others. Thrillist recently took the time to rank the seven scariest dolls in movie history and while the expected ones are on there like Chucky from Child's Play and all the creepy puppets from Puppetmaster, there are also a few that are less popular but equally deserving of a place on the list like May from the film of the same name. 

So if you find creepy dolls to be the best horror movie leads, don't miss the full list.


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Real Haunted Houses in the US

Most people don't believe in haunted houses. Those that do are either terrified of such places or want to actively visit them. If you're in the later group, you don't want to miss this Travel and Leisure article featuring some of the creepiest haunted houses in America -like the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast pictured above.

You might be surprised by at least one property on the list -that's right, the White House itself is said to be haunted. 

So see the rest of the list over at Travel and Leisure


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A Chillingly Awesome Serving Suggestion

You don't really need a spoon for a shot glass in most cases, but when the spoon and shot glass compliment each other as well as this crawling hand glass and bone spoon do, practicality certainly gives way to aesthetics. 

The creations, by artist CTCordingly, come in a multitude of colors and are 3D printed in porcelain. They're perfect for any creepy party, especially a creepy dinner party with a tasting menu that includes a soup course (since it's the perfect excuse for a tiny amount of liquid that still requires a spoon).

So check out the glasses and spoons here.


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This Epic Sauron Costume Looks Ready for the Big Screen

Halloween may be over, but there are certain Halloween costumes that are so epic you want to look at them even if it's Christmas day. This amazing Sauron costume is absolutely one of these types of costume. Best of all, Instructable user jdgrosky actually wrote detailed instructions on how to make your own version of the costume -of course, part of what makes this one so lovable is the fact that this Sauron is actually a little kid so you're probably never going to beat this one.


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Tyrannosaurus Cheerleader

 

The Denver Broncos cheerleaders put on their Halloween costumes for Sunday's game. You see a lot of superheroes, princesses (with short skirts), pop culture characters, and a classic spooky skeleton, all rendered in the "sexy" style. But what's this?

 

Romi Bean performed wearing an inflatable T. rex costume!

(YouTube link)

Bean managed to execute every move perfectly, despite the famous short T. rex arms and the oversized inflatable costume. She was the hit of the halftime show! -via reddit


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Mind-blowing Halloween Costume

(Facebook link)

Matt MacMillan had a Halloween costume that you never saw coming. He's a cute girl wearing a pumpkin bag. Or is he? He was looking forward to greeting trick-or-treaters wearing this. I hope he had video running to catch their reactions. If that's not scary enough, look what's on their roof! -via Buzzfeed


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