Halloween Ideas 10/21/19

Costume Ideas by Richard Bleil

Halloween has got to be my favorite holiday, but as socially awkward as I am, the reality is that I never spend it with friends. I should probably make it a habit to start going to public Halloween Party events, but depression and my shy nature keeps me from going.

Yes, I’m kinda pathetic.

But I am an idea person, and through the years I have thought of various costumes that I’ve always wanted to try. I’ll give you a few of them here. Should you choose to try any of these, please take necessary precautions to keep them safe. You get to assume all responsibility for anything that might go wrong, and in the act of attempting these costumes you inherently agree that you won’t hold me liable.

Ugh, lawyers. Am I right?

One of my favorite ideas is for my puppy. She’s a hundred pounds, black lab/German shepherd mix, and as sweet as they come. Or she was. Sadly, she is no longer with us. For this to work, her kennel would have had to be visible from the door. I would not have been dressed at all, as hers would have been the costume of the day. It’s a very simple idea. It begins with a shirt sleeve, stuffed so it looks as if there is an arm in it. On the cuff side, I would attach a latex glove, also stuffed so it looks like a hand. I suppose you could use a little art to put on fingernails and knuckles, but I don’t think you’d need it. On the other side of the sleeve, attach a pork shoulder. Probably cooked so it doesn’t make the puppy sick. Put the sleeve with her in the kennel, so when trick-or-treaters come to the door, this sweet adorable puppy can be seen gnawing on shoulder.

Here’s a variation on a vampire costume. The vampire costume itself isn’t such a new idea, but for this to work, you’d need to start with a very high-quality vampire costume, with a long floor-length cape. The idea is to sew mesh pockets into the bottom of the inside of the cape that can be filled with dry ice. You would have to be careful to wear long pants underneath, and perhaps add extra padding to the mesh pockets because dry ice can cause serious freezing burns if it comes in contact with skin, but, with enough pockets, and enough dry ice, the “vampire” would be walking around in her or his own fog. There’s the new twist.

Finally, an idea for a kinetic (that is to say changing) costume. The costume begins looking plain, and ideally, as if no costume is being worn at all. It would require some kind of jacket or overcoat of some kind that can hide a small gas bottle. It would also require a rubber inflatable head. With a hose, attach the tank of gas to the rubber head, and crack, very very slightly, the tank valve so it bleeds gas into the head very slowly. Remove the stitching on the shoulder of the shirt under which the rubber head is hidden, and maybe use just plain tape to hold the shirt together. It is important that as the head inflates, it can break through the shirt. This way, as the evening progresses, you would slowly grow a second head.

One costume I did use was pretty simple. The first year I had an apartment, I handed out full-sized candy bars (as I usually do). I donned a white lab coat (chemist!), and put red food coloring in my mouth. I filled my cheeks and squeezed it out so it looked like blood running down my chin, but, don’t do this. As it turns out, food coloring stains, and I was pink the next day at work. Use non-staining stage blood instead. Stage blood is mostly Kayo syrup, and is either plain or mint flavored, but either way, it’s not so bad tasting. I had a life-sized ceramic skull from a vacation I took to Walt Disney World (the pirates gift shop) and took a red candle and lit it on top of the skull, allowing the red wax to run down the candle and over the skull. As the evening wore on, that was how I answered the door. It was quite fun hearing the kids yell “TRICK OR TREeeehhhh…”

Halloween is probably my favorite holiday because of the whimsy. The joy and fun of coming up with costumes, the youthful feel of the candy, the fun of the kids…but, it can also be a true horror with reckless and drunk driving. Kids are out. Please, be careful, and have a safe, fun, and creative Halloween!!!

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