36 Scary Halloween Costumes Ideas For A Night of Fright
It's almost time to ramp up your best ghost, goblin, and ghoul expressions with your next scary Halloween costume. Whether you want to spook out your friends, or just look good for Halloween, these scary costumeideas from pop culture, movies, TV shows, and beyond will send everyone's scream-o-meter into overdrive. Become a classic slasher movie villain for the night, or try something a little more obscure, like Dr. Facilier from The Princessand The Frog. The world is your very scary oyster!
Disney's The Little Mermaid is a beautiful tale of longing, regret and love wrapped into one. But instead of dressing like Ariel for Halloween, step out in this Ursula costume to solidify your undersea bad b*tch status.
Dressing like Winifred Sanderson from Hocus Pocus is a great idea for those who believe watching the beloved Halloween flick is mandatory each year.
To make your Hocus Pocus dreams really come true, have your best friend or partner dress as Billy alongside your Winifred costume so you can terrorize your neighborhood for candy.
Although Dr. Facilier looked like an ordinary man, his sinister intentions quickly revealed themselves in The Princess and The Frog. Step into his dapper suit and make sure you bring along your "friends from the other side."
Ah, if it isn't our favorite villain we secretly love. The stylish yet sadistic Cruella De Vil makes for a great Halloween costume for those who can't get enough of watching a stylish woman tear things down.
Hades may not necessarily look scary but his sheer jealousy and bitterness sure were in Hercules. For a quirky costume, dress up like this snarky character for Halloween.
Oogie Boogie is the original Boogie man IMO. Make adults and kids scream as you creep around in the shadows.
'80s & '90s Horror Costumes
One, two, Freddy's coming for you...three, four, better lock your door. The iconic character from Wes Craven's Nightmare on Elm Street series is recognizable by his burned and disfigured face, tattered red and green striped sweater, fedora, and trademark metal-clawed right hand glove.
A Freddy costume is a great way to celebrate the legacy of a true horror icon. Whether dressing alone or as part of a couple, this costume will be sure to strike fear into the hearts of anyone who sees it. Pairing a Freddy costume with another iconic villain like Nancy Thompson or Jason Voorhees can add a fun and suspenseful cat-and-mouse dynamic to any Halloween party or convention. For the truly devoted, an official Freddy Krueger mask is available to complete the look.
Jason's backstory is heartbreaking once you learn what drives his motives. Give this grossly misguided horror villain a chance at redemption when you dress like him for Halloween. Pair it with Jason's signature hockey mask and bloody machete for a truly terrifying costume.
Or walk around spooking people by whispering his signature "shh shh shh...ah ah ah" ever so often. Just don't tell anyone where you got that idea from!
Michael Meyers, the ultimate maniac of the Halloween franchise, is always a great choice for scary Halloween costumes. He's a relentless killer who doesn't just kill people for no reason, but rather stalks his victims and only pounces when he's ready to take them down.
She's also another misunderstood character that people deemed 'scary' but she didn't run from that label. She instead embraced it and leaned into the sexiness of it all. If you're not into the horrific Halloween costume ideas, let this Elvira costume lead you to something more obscure.
Poor Carrie was a victim of her environment. Raised by an abusive and devout religious mother — and mocked by those at school — it was only a matter of time before she snapped. Still, her infamous blood-stained prom gown deserves to be worn as a scary Halloween costume.
Chucky still has the power to freak people out because he's incredibly unhinged and tells you exactly what he's going to do. If you love an honest villain, walk around in this scary costume.
Edward Scissorhands didn't have a mean bone in his body - if he even had bones at all. But, his appearance still struck fear in the hearts of others. Honor his memory by wearing this scary Halloween costume.
Pinhead is a cult classic horror villain who believes pain can induce sweet pleasure. He may have given you nightmares as a kid but don't let that stop you from wearing this costume.
I like to say that fictional horror characters aren't as bad as knowing real people are capable of being monstrous. That's why wearing a Hannibal Lecter costume is the scariest thing you can do on Halloween.
Ghost Face is yet another case of what happens when real people murder others. It's something about the mask that sends chills down our spine. To make your costume really sinister, pair it with the voice changer to throw loved ones off.
The pretty pageant contestant didn't give herself a chance and wound up servicing others in the afterlife in Bettlejuice. Her brief scenes are still enough to remember so give her costume a chance for Halloween.
2000's Horror Costumes
This bunny haunts my dreams to this day which is why it makes an excellent choice for a scary costume.
Let's take a moment to appreciate Bill Skaarsgard's uncanny way of making Pennywise darker in nature than original version. Yeah...he really did that! This costume includes the mask, so no need to buy one!
If you don't want to spook anyone or yourself, wear the sexy version of the Pennywise costume and pair it with the matching orange wig!
Who knew nuns could have the ability to make the hairs of our necks stand up? This evil nun costume, that's who.
Dress up as the tethered version of yourself with this costume inspired by Jordan Peele's Us.
This may not be a fully costume but it's only because this mask is the main character. All you need is a brown fedora, leather trench coat and heavy black boots. People will get the hint once they see your face...er mask.
Speaking of Annabelle, you know you want to dress like her for Halloween. Remember to put your mask away at night so you don't scare yourself when you get up for your nightly bathroom break.
Just Generally...Spooky Costumes
A mummy costume is as classic as you're going to get. We're not sure if you should walk around barefoot but be our guest if you're up for the task!
This Frankenstein costume looks like it's meant to be a goofy version of a beloved character but staring at the face for a long period of time makes us think otherwise. Your neighbors will either get a kick out of this costume or feel weirded out.
This costume is perfect for a night of haunting others at a Haunted House. If you're volunteering this year, ask if this can be a part of your costume.
Beware of The Walking Dead with this scary kids zombie costume.
The wolfman can't control his animalistic nature and that's terrifying when you know the person underneath doesn't portray themselves that way. If you want to let your inner self run free, wear this scary costume!
Jesters are supposed to be funny but not your version. Let this costume transform you into an evil jester that doesn't have mercy on its audience.
The reaper doesn't come to be bargained with — it just comes to collect. In your case you'll be collecting loads of candy and no-bake Halloween treats.
Dress head to toe in this demonic costume.
If you don't want to dress like Winifred Sanderson, you can choose your own name and persona for this costume and cast spells on your Halloween party's guests.
And for your final act — let your skeleton queen costume connect the dry bones of Ezekiel so the dead can walk the earth. Okay, not really. We hope you don't actually conjure anything in this scary costume.
Which scary Halloween costume are you going to wear this year? Let us know in the comments!
Lead image via Halloween Costumes.
Editorial Intern, Jasmine Williams, covers a variety of topics from home decor to beauty and everything in between. She has bylines at Motherly, The Everymom, and Byrdie where she wrote about motherhood, beauty, health and relationships. Jasmine knew she wanted to be a writer when she realized she was actually interested in reading the articles in her mom's favorite magazines — and she may or may not have ripped her favorite articles out to study them later. When she's not working, you can find Jasmine playing make-believe with her toddler, spending an undisclosed amount of time in Target or TJ Maxx, and searching for a family-friendly puppy to add to her family.