Halloween is THE season for most of us into the paranormal realms of study. In fact, in Julie Ferguson's and my book, "Paranormal Geeks," there is a whole chapter on how geeks celebrate the season and we spoke to lots of geeks about how they do up All Hallow's Eve.
I have always enjoyed special effects makeup and costuming, romance and the colorful moody season of autumn, so costume-designing is my happy place. In fact, I start planning months ahead to piece together just the right look, to either live out a fantasy or put a creative bend on horror.
Some costumes are born from your "look." I have red hair and an autumn leaf tattoo, so the concept of being one with the autumn forest is a costume that is appealing. Look at your hair's texture and color, your tattoos, your general fashion look and evolve something that is second nature to you.
Here is a prop-oriented costume. Dale the Doll needed a companion and who better than The Human as a fellow doll? Most of us are scared of ventriloquist dolls and also scared of the people who give them voices. Is the doll possessed by them, or are they possessed by the doll?
Classic Halloween characters include ghosts, Frankenstein, Wolfman, vampires and witches. In this case, some smudgy haunted eyes, pale skin and cheesecloth made for a deathly impression.
One of the most popular Halloween costumes involves being pretty while nodding to the season. Lots of women wear busty nurse outfits and men wear superhero costumes. It is a time to socialize, as well as party, so some like to keep their faces more accessible to get a sense of each other. I called this one my Stevie Nicks Witch costume as it was a bit rock singer and magical.
Any costume can become steampunk. This is the easiest way to style it up and look a bit more hardcore. In this case, I took a ghost costume and steampunked her so the only colors were my lips and hair. All it takes is some metal gears, gadgets, welding goggles, leather gloves....
Nearly every Halloween we see people dressed as celebs of the moment. In this case, I chose a character I greatly admire, Elvira (Cassandra Peterson). It's funny, but the moment you put on the makeup and wig - you feel like you're channeling the character.
Extensive makeup or masks can be a dream for Halloween because you suddenly are not yourself. You might become more bold. You might feel a confidence you don't normally have. And, you will unsettle the guests. In this case, I was one of those creepy old porcelain dolls everyone is uncomfortable around.
Consequently, nearly anything can become a zombie with zombie makeup and attitude. You can take any ordinary uniform or bathrobe, or bathing suit with floatation devices and become a zombie.
The fantasy costume is too attractive to deny. At least once, you should dress up as a fantasy. In this case, a pirate wench!
I'm already piecing together ideas for this year's costume - a Viking! This would be in the category of exaggerating self/look - My father came from Norway with the last name Thorvaldsen, changed it to Day later on.
I plan to make it very post-apocalyptic looking in dingy brown tones and many materials from furs to leather to linen and braided items, a quiver and arrows or perhaps an axe, hair wild and parts of it braided, war paint makeup....
It's never too early to start considering if you want to be frightful, delightful, a personal fantasy, a classic character or something hilarious.