The Best Scary Halloween Costumes

Do you prefer haunted houses to bobbing for apples? How about fake blood over candy corn? If you know what Halloween is really about (scaring people!), then we’ve got some super-spooky costume ideas for you. We’ve compiled a list of the most terrifying costumes imaginable with you in mind. We know even the biggest horror junkies among us like to look amazing when we go out, so we’ve put together a bunch of costumes that are scary but still tasteful!

1. Zombie

This Halloween, undead is the new black. The zombie look is easy to create if you don’t mind applying a little makeup! The best part about zombie costumes is that you can make them out of practically any outfit. Want to show some school pride? Dress as a zombie cheerleader and rock some undead school spirit! Maybe dancing is more your style? Try dressing as an undead ballerina!

No matter what outfit you choose, the makeup is what’s going to sell the costume. Make yourself pale and sickly looking (think gray and pale-green face paint), then add fresh bite marks, bruises and rotten wounds all over your body. You can find makeup to create the perfect zombie costume at any halloween costumes stores. Don’t forget to get creative with this one—we can’t wait to see a zombie professor or an undead barista!

2. Vampire

Vampires are some of the hottest monsters around. This costume has the added benefit of being one where you can dress in a fun, sexy outfit and not have to give up dressing as a blood-sucking creature. Play up on this unique balance of sexy and scary—make sure to pair dark, dramatic clothing with tons of fake blood. Wear a complete purple lace gown, or stick to a tight burgundy shirt or black corset-style top and leather pants if you want to go as a more modern vampire.

You’re going to need some fangs, a bunch of fake blood and maybe even a victim! Don’t forget dramatic makeup to finish off the look. Remember, vampires are dead, too, so go pale and sunken on the face, and make your eyes really pop with lots of dark, smokey makeup. For an even spookier look, you can try some purple colored contacts!

3. Bloody Mary

Remember when you used to scare yourself silly at sleepovers when you and your friends tried to summon Bloody Mary in the dark? There are a ton of different versions of the legend, but most involve a mirror, a murder and a ghostly woman covered in blood. No matter what version you whispered about as a child, there is no denying that Bloody Mary was one of the most terrifying things you could think of.

If you don’t mind the sight of fake blood, this could be the costume for you. Dress in all white, including white face paint, to make yourself look as ghostlike as possible. Then, it’s time for the blood! Splatter fake blood over absolutely every piece of clothing you’re wearing, and add some blood to your face as well. Finish the look with a handheld mirror and a plastic knife covered in fake blood, and you’ve become every preteen girl’s worst nightmare.

4. Medusa

Channel your inner femme fatale with this costume! Medusa is a legendary woman with a glance that was said to turn men to stone. According to legend, Medusa’s hair was full of snakes, so there’s some really cool potential with this outfit.

Try dressing in gauzy shades of green and gray to evoke a statuesque feeling, and wear dramatic makeup in similar shades. The most fun part, though, is the hair! Section your hair into lots of tiny ponytails, and use temporary hair dye to make your whole head green. Spray dye will work great because it gives your hair good hold. Shape each section into a little twist, and soon you’ll have a head full of snakes. You could even get some little toy snakes and weave them in, too!

5. Siren

Digging the reference to Greek mythology (hey, classics majors!) but not sure that Medusa is your style? Dress as a Siren! The Sirens were infamous because of their haunting, enchanted singing voices, which they used to lure men to their deaths. Although they sounded like beautiful women from afar, legend says that they were actually huge, terrifying half-birds. That just means that your costume has to include feathers and maybe a beak!

When doing your makeup for this outfit, make sure you add some eyeliner wings to get a bit of an avian look, or think along the lines of the eye makeup from Black Swan. Wear some fitted clothing to up the sex appeal—a shell bra could be perfect here—and stick to blues and greens since these creatures lived on cliffs overhanging the ocean. Find a way to work in feathers, whether that means creating your own wings via a hot glue gun or just adding a feather boa to the outfit. Carry a small musical instrument, like a toy harp or lyre, that you can use to lure in men and finish off the look!

6. Headless Anything

If you feel like going for a slightly goofy approach, try going as a headless person! There are many variations on this costume, and they’re all pretty hilarious—and terrifying! Most of them involve stuffing a fake body that rises above your shoulders with your head peeping out from somewhere in the middle. Arrange the arms of the shirt as if you’re holding your own head, and you’ll be sure to get a lot of horrified looks!

This womens halloween costume gives you tons of creativity, too. Go as a headless waitress, a headless sorority girl, a headless bride, a headless soccer player… or release your inner history major with a headless Marie Antoinette! If you name it and can imagine the costume, then go for it.

7. Graduation Day

Let’s be honest, collegiettes, all the scary costumes we’ve suggested above pale in comparison to this one! It’s hard to imagine something scarier than graduating from college. All that free time, and no more dorm sleepovers and frat parties? Terrifying. Prepare yourself for the big day now by dressing up in your cap and gown this Halloween. Get creative, too, and look a little further than graduation. A great group costume is to dress as what you want to be when you grow up. You and all your friends can dress as your dream (or nightmare!) professions.

So collegiettes, are you ready to let your scary side loose? Let us know what you think of these ideas.

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