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  • Sarah Muhlbaum

Literary Inspired Halloween Costumes

Not sure what to dress up as for Halloween? Try these simple and fun costumes sure to scare your friends!

Lady Macbeth

Seeing your role model (because what girl’s hero isn’t Lady Macbeth?) unravel into is always a fright. Try emulating the somniferous sovereign in the sleepwalking scene.

You Will Need

  1. a long, white nightgown (preferably bloodstained, actual blood is good for authenticity)

  2. A flickering candle

  3. A hysteric sense of guilt

You Should

  1. Constantly wring and wash your hands from “damned spot[s]”

  2. Mutter incriminating rhymes as you stare vacantly before you


Specifically, John Gardner’s Grendel. What’s scarier than seeing the monster version of an emo teenage boy who lives with his mom discovering off-brand nihilism?

You Will Need

  1. Angst

  2. A half-eaten Geat

  3. A printout of threads from r/Philosophy

You Should

  1. Grunt

  2. Complain

  3. Scream

  4. Eat people occasionally


No, not the monster. The creator. Hubris in science is far more ghastly than stitched-together limbs.

You Will Need

  1. A willingness to rob graves

  2. An ingénue wife for your science fair project to kill

  3. A god complex

You Should

  1. Abandon your only son, who just wants to be loved

  2. Find a group of arctic explorers willing to listen to your whining as you die aboard their ship

A Handful of Dust

This one is open to sartorial interpretation. Consider holding a ball of dirt, covering yourself in dust, embodying the decay of Western Civilization, or just becoming a body decomposing in a forgotten foxhole.

You Will Need

  1. The ghost of T.S. Eliot (to show your friends the fear in your costume)

  2. A hat that looks like a red rock

You should

  1. “Stop and drink/Among the rock one cannot stop and think”

Rodion Raskolnikov

Worthy and honorable ideas of greatness taken to extreme and violent measures? Dostoyevsky knows how to send a chill down his readers’ spine (and not just by setting scenes in Siberia!)

You Will Need:

  1. Lots of dirty socks

  2. An axe

  3. A pawnbroker and her half-sister

  4. A love of Napoleon

  5. A crucifix from your super-religious ex-prostitute girlfriend

You Should

  1. Isolate yourself to a dirty apartment

  2. Cycle between episodes of guilt and righteousness as you come to terms with the consequences of your actions

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