From the Day of the Dead in Mexico to All Saints Day across Europe, there are many different spooky traditions centered around celebrating the incredible nature of our mortal lives. One tradition that seems fairly consistent involves costumes—don’t come as yourself, you wanna trick those spirits into believing you’re one of them. This is the night where the veil between us and the great beyond is thinner than ever. This is the night where anything can happen.
Y’know what, between school and politics, it may be a stressful season, but get out your phones and open up Instagram. We’re gonna make the most of this, b*tch.
1. Student Debt
There’s nothing spookier than the looming threat of tens of thousands of dollars we can only dream of paying off. It really packs a painful punch, so why not let it show? Wear a little gauze around your temple where the interest rates really gave you a headache, put your arm in a cast to let it rest after it was twisted into needing to take out money so you could get a future job… lean on the crutch of your parents generosity when they let you move back in after graduation.
To really pull the whole look together, get out some nice shimmery purple eyeshadow and really contour that bruised ego that’s highlighted every time someone asks what you’re going to do with that English degree.
2. Anxiety Prime
Hey-o anxious friends, do I have a costume for you. These shirts only like $15 on Redbubble, and really all you need to complete the look is to carry around a taped-up box that says “DO NOT OPEN,” or “CAREFUL: FRAGILE” on the side serving as a sign of your shaken mental health the closer we get to the next round of elections and whenever your next exam is.
Some people will say you shouldn’t make light of a situation like mental health, and on the one hand, they’re right. On the other, if you do suffer from anxiety, why not also have a little fun with it? If anyone asks, say it comes with a student discount.
3. Live-Action Disney Movie
Now that Disney owns everything but the intellectual property that (as of yet) still exists only in your mind, there’s no limit to the potential future live-action remakes you can dress up as.
“They’re not live-action,” your beleaguered film student friend sighs.
“Well, they are now,” you say sweetly when you show up in full lion’s mane, elephant ears, and genie tail.
“Nostalgia is all I have in this cruel world,” you say over the loud remix of “This Is Halloween” blasting on your friend-of-a-friend’s speakers. “It’s the only thing that makes me feel alive again.”
It’s only a matter of time before The Nightmare Before Christmas is released in full live-action technicolor, completing the last of Tim Burton’s Horcruxes.
4. What Does It Meme?
There’s nothing that really highlights a moment like the current meme you use as a coping mechanism, so why not throw together a costume that reflects that?
“I’m baby,” you laugh when someone asks about your bib.
“Ohhh,” they’ll say, taking a step back. “Haha. Nice.”
Don’t worry about it. People will definitely remember where that reference is from in the next few years. Remember left shark? Good luck figuring our tinted polaroids, future grandchildren.
5. Youtuber Apology Video
There’s something definitely #Cute about how influencers love to muss their hair and get into some cozy clothes when they know they’ve screwed up. Like “Haha so relatable right???” Heck, you’ve probably had several breakdowns this year and they weren’t even over something that got you canceled on the internet! Sounds like you’re already qualified for any version of these Halloween costumes! They come in messy sad girl and stoic regretful boy but feel free to mix and match. If you’re feeling bad for exploiting others for clout, just remember that you didn’t hit your dog or film a dead body and that just might make you feel a little better.
How could we have a list of Halloween costumes if we didn’t have a single ghost? An outrage, I say. Almost as outrageous as when you find some cutie on an app and plan a date only for them to disappear right before you meet. Spooky. Its almost like they never really existed in the first place.
This dress costs considerably less than your ego and can be found, like many Halloween costumes can, at Party City. #notsponsored
7. Only 90s Kids Remember
This is for all you 90s kids out there. It’s time to crack open your closets and look for stuff that reminds you of the things you loved most from that crazy decade, whether it’s based on stuff you used to wear or characters from your favorite show. The only thing more disputable than if Friends was actually as good as nostalgia serves is who exactly the 90s belong to, anyway.
Are you a 90s kid if you were a kid in the 90s or if you were born then? Does it count if you were a 90s fetus? And who is gatekeeping things that didn’t even go away after the 90s anyway? Anyways, here’s a haunted costume of Lisa Simpson that all you 90s kids won’t be able to forget.
8. Your Favorite Dead Avenger
Harkening back to that tradition of honoring the dead, why not consider showing up as your favorite dead fictional character this year? There are so many to choose from! From Marvel to Game of Thrones, you have a wide array of options for Halloween costumes when it comes to what crushed your soul and left it in tiny tattered pieces on the floor. Why not take it a step further and dress as them after they died? Zombie Tony Stark has a ring to it. Too soon?
9. Your Horror-Scope
Listen, we wouldn’t be a buncha drifting Millenials and Gen-Zers if we weren’t also obsessed with checking Co-Star before we make our decisions for the day, y’know what I’m saying? When thinking of Halloween Costumes, why not but a cute and creepy twist on your star sign for your and drift around making ominous predictions?
“You’re gonna meet a handsome stranger on a Thursday,” you say in a shaky voice, Cancer claws clicking together. “B-b-but!! He’s a Virgo!!”
If all else fails, just tell them Mercury is gonna be in retrograde. That one never fails.
10. Existential Dread
Climate change, gun control, the crisis at the border and potential nuclear warfare loom over us all on this slow march towards death and that’s not even talking about all the average stuff we gotta worry about like money or getting a job after we graduate or wasting our lives doing something we never really wanted to do or if we will ever really find love or if life’s all just really a big cosmic joke that Mr. Rogers never really prepared us for.
But you know what’s really cute?
Haha. Aw. Now that’s one of those classic Halloween costumes we can all get behind.