Halloween is just days away. Maybe you’ve been planning a costume for months, maybe you’re putting on the finishing touches, but if you’re a costume procrastinator (ahem, like me), I bet that right about now you’re scrambling to pull something together. And if you’re a literature lover, then a book-themed, favorite-character-driven guise is probably your go-to.
But let’s be real—you want something other than your typical literary costume: Alice and the Mad Hatter, Dorothy and the Scarecrow (or the Lion, Tin Man, or Toto), Harry Potter, Red Riding Hood, Frankenstein. So over the past couple of days, I’ve browsed my Ecotone collection, and here are the results—five costume ideas that jumped out at me from the pages of my favorite issues. I hope to see some of these on Halloween—and if we’ve caught you a little too frighteningly close for this year’s All Hallows’ Eve, then go ahead and bookmark one for next year!
- Why not go as Granna, from Clare Beams’s story in issue 17? Sure, her knuckles are swollen and pearly as knobs, but all you really need in order to pull of this illusion is a nightgown—one that reflects a certain kind of ageless glimmer, like a moth’s wings.
- If you’re in need of a little comedy on the spookiest night of the year, then perhaps a good choice would be Amy Leach’s Modern Moose. Dress in rich shades of brown and decorate your antlers with one of the following: a pill-box hat or trinket horns, party horns, flirty horns. Or go all out and dress in sleek Armani horns.
- Maybe you like something a little more on-the-nose. If that’s the case, then do some quick research on Egyptian mummification. Dress as Lee Upton’s “participatory mummy” and let someone unravel you. Don’t worry—if they look confused, just surprise them by saying “Hello! I am saying hello! Because that is what I do when I say hello!”
- With the primaries just around the corner, and no opportunity for an Andrew Tonkovich–inspired Reelection Day, get a group of fellow citizens together and go as ghostly voters. Any combination will do—a female soldier, four bikers, a lost father and his children, a band of cyclists. Just be ready to show proof of residency, or some other evidence of eligibility, as you and your crew hit the town.
- Perhaps you’re taking your pet to the local pet costume parade, and you’re feeling a little guilty about stuffing poor Fido in that polyester hot dog for the fourth year in a row. Why not make it feel like a brand New Animal, courtesy of Douglas Watson? With just a few tweaks, your pet could be looking like a winner as a miniature racehorse with a jet-black coat and a docile nature—an idea you can feel good betting on.
Have another freakishly delightful costume idea from the Ecotone archives? Send it our way!
–Ryan Kaune, Ecotone Fiction Editor