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Dark Halloween Costume Ideas For All Ages

Are you looking for some dark Halloween costume ideas to scare the living daylights out of your friends and family? The more thought you put into your costume ahead of time, the better it will likely turn out, so it's a good idea to start with a bit of planning. For truly scary costumes, classic themes are usually the best way to go, because they are time-tested in their creepiness and are guaranteed to disturb and delight the people around you. Keeping that in mind, take a look at some of these dark costume ideas that you can put together fairly easily this season:

Grim Reaper Costume

What is creepier and darker than death itself? A truly scary Halloween costume should not only disturb people visually, but it should ideally touch a part of their deeper fears and leave them feeling...unsettled. The symbol of the Grim Reaper is that morbid reminder of the impending doom that each and every one of us will one day have to face—but in a fun way! There are several different approaches that you can take when it comes to your embodiment of death. Some of the major costume ideas include:

· Classic Faceless Death

This is a Grim Reaper that is draped in the classic cloak and hovers around with the stereotypical scythe. The key to this style of reaper is his lack of obvious identity; this is what really creeps people out. He appears to have no face, doesn't speak, and is hardly expressive with his body movements, instead gliding around the world of the living, looking for his next victim. For this costume, you can find a jet black robe that will cover your whole body—even your feet—and that includes a hood that can cover your face.

You can find these kinds of costumes at party stores, but the material is often kind of cheap, so you may want to hit up a thrift store and see if they have anything gloomy and black that you can make into your reaper robes. Heck, even your old graduation outfit might work if the color is dark enough. Add a scythe (that is fake or unsharpened) and you're ready to stalk the mortals.

This is probably the simplest kind of reaper costume, and actually is a very simple and easy Halloween costume in general. Think of it as a step above wearing a white sheet and calling yourself a ghost. If you're looking for something that will make a bit more of an impression, you might want to try one of the more elaborate reaper styles below.

· Dark Skull Reaper

This is when things get scarier. We don't really know for sure what the reaper's face looks like, but usually the image in most of our minds is of a skeletal figure. Like the classic style reaper without a face, you can achieve this look fairly easily by throwing on a robe that covers your whole body and includes a hood. Instead of leaving things up to the imagination, however, you'll wear a skull mask so that when trick-or-treaters peer into your ghostly face, they will see something eerie staring back at them. Alternatively, you can also paint your face in a skull pattern or use latex prosthetics, but a mask that covers your whole head and hides your humanity completely is probably your best bet.

· Movie Reaper

If you want to get even more elaborate, you can try to imitate a specific depiction of the reaper from any number of dark movies. This can get more expensive, though, but if you really want to make an impression and freak people out, there's nothing like taking a cue from Hollywood. Some choice movie reapers may be hard to achieve, like the Angel of Death from the Hellboy series, for example, but you might be able to go with some classics like Death in The Seventh Seal. If you want to be clever and subtle, you can just dress as the main character from Meet Joe Black, but that only counts as a Grim Reaper costume on a technicality.

Mummy Costume

If your looking to put together a costume that you can write to your mummy about this season? Well, why not take a cue from the ancient Egyptians and go to your next Halloween party as an undead king or even the queen of the Nile.

Mummy costumes, along with ghost costumes, are some of the easiest to create, even if your funds are limited. If you're really hurting for cash, you can try wrapping yourself in paper, but obviously this would come apart much too easily. Instead, look for some old white or off-white T-shirts, something ratty that you don't mind tearing up. From there you can slowly link the pieces and have a friend wrap them along your limbs and torso.

Just be careful not to do it too tightly! Make sure that you're able to walk around and wave your arms more or less freely. You're going to need to be able to ladle some juice from the punch bowl, after all. When it comes to your head, you're going to want to wrap it up extra loosely and leave openings between layers for your eyes and mouth.

Alternatively, you can use nicer fabric from the fabric store, or you can buy actual gauze bandages (though this can become costly very quickly). Regardless, you can wrap yourself just as you would when using the cheap approach. Another idea is to buy a commercial mummy costume for Halloween.

Once you're all wrapped up, add some finishing touches: A little bit of blood, some loosely hanging bandages, and an ankh or two should do the trick. Have fun scaring your friends with your mummy costume

Skeleton Costume

Another costume classic is the skeleton. One could say that it is related to the Grim Reaper in that it serves as a reminder of our deepest fears, but it is a little more generic and can be played a little bit more for fun. Here are a few dark Halloween costume ideas on how to make your skeleton costume:

· Full-Body Skeleton

You can buy these costumes at party stores or online, but they basically cover you from head to toe. The outfit may be little more than a zentai suit that has skeletal features painted on, or it can feature fully 3D plastic bones that line your body, from your toe bones to your skull. Some of these suits also glow in the dark, which makes them extra creepy when you're prowling around at night.

· Ghoul From The Grave Skeleton

You can also opt to have a bit of a story behind your reanimation. If you want to look like a fully-decomposed corpse, grab a skeleton mask, but cover the rest of yourself in tattered clothes. For added effect, pick clothes that aren't from your current time period. If you want to add an extra touch of creepy, they sell chest plate rib cages that secrete fake blood, that way people have something to look at when you rip your shirt open.

Vampire Costume

In the past few years, vampires have kind of lost their luster, unfortunately. These days, they're seen as more sexy than scary, so why not do your part to bring back the image of the evil, powerful dark vampire that people should actually be afraid of? In a world that has forgotten Dracula in favor of Twilight, you can bare your fangs and hiss at strangers like vampires were meant to. Here are a few approaches that you can take with a dark Halloween vampire costume that is actually scary:

· Bloody Dracula

Sure, Dracula is supposed to be as seductive and alluring as he is scary, but he's probably more the latter when he's covered in the remains of his last meal. Put together a classic Dracula costume with elements that you can buy at a party store, and get some fake blood. After you've finished doing your creepy makeup, squirt the blood everywhere, all over your costume. Have it dripping out of your mouth and down your chin.

Gross? Disturbing? You bet, but this is what vampires are supposed to be. They are blood-thirsty creatures of the night and nobody should forget this. These are dark Halloween costume ideas that we're going for here, so there's going to be some bloodshed.

· Giant Vampire Bat

Have your ever run screaming down the streets at night while bats swooped down all around you? It can be an unsettling experience, even if they are usually more interested in mosquitoes than they are in you. Lots of people are creeped out by these "rats with wings," and so dressing up as a vampire with no human consciousness—one that exists in real life—may just be what the occasion calls for.

There are a few different routes you can take with this costume. One is the minimalistic and less scary one, and one is the more expensive and creepier one. For the cheaper version, you'll need some latex bat ears and some basic skill with makeup. After you paint your face, add some fangs and a pair of black wings from the party store.

For the more expensive and creepier version, you'll have to do some searching. Find a bat mask—the more detailed, the more disturbing—and especially go for one if it includes hair. Next you will need a furry body suit and some brown wings, both of which you should be able to find online.

· Edward From Twilight

Nothing scares some people more than the prospect of having to watch Twilight. Trigger these deep-rooted fears of teen vampire novel-based chick flicks by dressing up like Edward Cullen. All you have to do is make your face look slightly too pale and have the same brooding look on your face all the time.

Werewolf Costume

A mask is going to be the centerpiece of the wolf costume. It is possible to get a wolf-like look from gluing on some prosthetics, but it will probably be easier and more convincing to get a mask that will cover your whole head and face instead. They even sell masks with movable jaws that will wiggle the wolf head's mouth in time with yours when you speak. This adds an extra later of authenticity and creepiness. Since you're a werewolf, try to find a mask that is well covered in dark fur that can blend into the night.

Since werewolves are usually humans who suffer from lycanthropy, you're going to want a set of tattered clothes to wear. Have some average, casual threads, but make sure they look a little messed up from your transformation. Perhaps they are split at the seems because your growing beast form burst through them. If you have holes in your clothes, stuff some fur in there that is the same color as the fur on your face; this makes for good continuity.

To finally pull everything together, find some wolf hands and feet that are made of fake fur and latex that you can wear like gloves. You can often find these at a party store, but you might want to look online to match exact fur colors with your mask. While you're looking, find a furry tale as well that you can stuff into the back of your pants.

Witch Costumes

Which witch is which? For Halloween this year, you can't go wrong with a tried-and-true classic like this. Witches come in all kinds, from the mild-mannered good witches like Glenda from The Wizard of Oz, to creepy, barely-human monstrosities with haggard faces that fly on their broomsticks and steal children from the bedrooms. If you're looking for a scary dark halloween costume, you're probably going to want to go with this latter style of witch. Let's get a little more specific, though:

· Mountain Hag Witch

One of the extraordinary things about human nature is the way that similar themes pop up again and again in the mythology of cultures that spent countless generations completely separated. One of those common myths that exists is both Western and Eastern cultures is the idea of an evil mountain hag that casts spells on innocent people. Why not embody that hag this Halloween?

Whether you are male or female, this witch is achievable, since her distinctive feature will be her wrinkled and wart-ridden face. For this style of which, you have a few options: You can go with a combination of makeup and prosthetics, or you can go with a mask. Unless you are particularly skilled with latex prosthetics, you might simply want to go with the creepiest mask that you can find.

As far as clothing goes, you'll definitely want to go with rags. For authenticity, avoid the party store and instead visit a thrift shop. Find something that drapes the way a robe does and rip it up. You might even want to get some paint to make it look aged.

· The Green Witch

Lots of people are traumatized from watching The Wizard of Oz, and it's one of those dark fantasy movies that never quite leaves your mind after you've finished watching it. For your interpretation of the Wicked Witch of the West, you're going to need green makeup and lots of it. Top it off with a latex nose prosthetic and maybe even a hairy wart.

A black dress that fits in the right way might be hard to find at a thrift shop, but a part store is sure to have a classic witch outfit. While you're there, pick up one of those pointy hats and a broom.

· Bellatrix Lestrange

Are you a Harry Potter fan? Why not dress up as the much-beloved, yet much-despised Bellatrix. She is a Death Eater, she likes to torture people, and she has just about no conscience. What's not to love?

For a Bellatrix costume, you can buy a pre-made one or make one yourself. To make a DIY costume, you're going to need a frizzy, messy wig. You can either buy a decent curly wig, such as one with lace that will make the hairline appear natural, and mess it up by combing it the wrong way, or you can buy a cheaper wig from the party store that is likely already a bit messy. Next, you're going to want to get a bodice and a lacy black top with long sleeves to go with it. Her ankle skirt is simple and black, with a velvety look to it. Finally, she's going to need her signature necklace.

Zombie Costume

In the mood for some brains? Maybe a dark Halloween zombie costume would be right up your alley. Zombies have been getting more and more popular lately, what with The Walking Dead and other franchises stirring people's post-apocalyptic imaginations. There are lots of dark Halloween costume ideas that you can put together based around zombies, and just about everyone finds them creepy. Here are a few ideas on how to put one of these undead creatures together:

· Simple Zombie

Maybe you don't want anything fancy, just a dead guy who drags himself around and moans with a disturbing look on his face. In this case, most of what you will need is makeup. Get some costume makeup at your nearby costume shop or party store and make yourself look as pale as possible. Try for a subtle, corpse look, like you are freshly dead and just arose to become one of the walking zombie masses. Add some ripped up clothes, and you'll be ready to hunt down your first living victims.

· Blood And Guts Zombie

Sometimes just simply being undead isn't enough, and people need to see exactly how you died in the first place. Over the years, the trend with zombie movies has been to get more and more graphic, so you can serve as a perfect modern example of what this genre has become. For this, you're going to need some latex prosthetics. These are fairly inexpensive for our purposes, and it's not hard to source a fake wound kit.

As with the simple zombie outlined above, give yourself a pale foundation that makes you appear dead, but this time add some gashes on your face and body. Have some fake blood dribbling from your wounds as well for added dramatic effect. If you really want to get into it, you can also make some fake guts out of red play-doh or even rolled up strips of dyed paper and have them hanging out of your shirt.

For your clothes, make sure that they are ripped and covered in blood. Besides that, just use your imagination. What kind of person were you before you joined the ranks of the undead? Were you an office worker? A baseball player? A housewife? Being the zombie version of any of these things is extra disturbing exactly because they are so mundane.

· Historical Zombie

If you want to pay homage to a certain time period—for example, World War II—you might want to give the historical zombie costume a try. You can be an undead prince or lord from feudal times, or you can try your hand at being a zombie soldier that rose from the dead years after being gunned down.

If you're going with this option, follow the usual pattern of giving yourself a corpse-like makeup job, but be sure to make yourself look a little more decomposed. Add some clothes that are typical of the time period that you're going for, and make sure they look a little bit old and tattered. This kind of costume goes especially well if you and your family are trying to keep to a particular theme. For example, if your theme is "the 1960's," you can be a zombie hippie or something similar.

So, what will it be? Are you going to dress up as a ghoulish skeleton this Halloween, or as an evil haggard witch? Maybe you're planning on trying your hand at putting together a zombie costume and biting a few of your neighbors? Regardless, any of these dark Halloween costume ideas are sure to creep out your friends when it's party time.

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