Your Halloween Costume Disasters

Illustration for article titled Your Halloween Costume Disasters
Image: Joseph Prezioso / AFP (Getty Images)

Look, Halloween is going to be very different this year. But there’s nothing stopping anyone from dressing up, binging on candy corn and Hocus Pocus, and scaring the crap out of neighbors. Frankly, I find that beautiful.

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Except, you know, it is reeeeeeeally easy to feel nostalgic for spooky holidays past, all those weird walks of shame and courageous polyester get-ups. To curb that, this week, I want to hear all about your Halloween costume disasters. Did you get too drunk at a party and light your Tigger tail on fire? Was your skirt too sheer? Were there two Hanging Chad puns at the function? Let us in on the mortification in the comments below, please. And if you’d rather go into detail about the worst Halloween disaster you’ve ever seen—that which did not happen to you, but happened around you—I’ll take that, too. What are friends, family, and drunk strangers at parties for if not to embarrass later down the line?

But first, let’s take a look at last week’s winners: these are the dumbest ways you’ve gotten scared.

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BreezeIntheDeez, I would be equally as scared/embarrassed. You win!:

This happened when I was around 13 or 14. My dad had recently passed away, so it was just me, my mom, and my 5-years-younger brother. After my dad died, my mom became really adamant about always keeping the doors locked all the time, even though we lived in a safe, quiet neighborhood in a safe, quiet Alaskan town. I grew up in a modest two-story home (bottom story was a basement), in the middle of a spruce forest, surrounded by tall trees.

One day, my mom took my brother to town to play with some friends and I was home by myself. As usual, I had locked the doors after them when they left and was just hanging out in the living room, reading a book.

Suddenly, I heard a sound like one of the cupboards in our bathroom closing. If you opened the cupboard door and then let it fall closed, it would kind of tap a few times before settling back into position. BONK bonk bonk bonk bonk bonk.

I froze, because there shouldn’t have been anyone else in the house. Then I heard it again. BONK bonk bonk bonk bonk bonk.

Okay. It didn’t sound like it was in the main part of the house. We had the same type of cupboards in the kitchen, and in the two bathrooms towards the back of the house….and in the bathroom in the basement.

BONK bonk bonk bonk bonk bonk.

I checked the lock on the front door. There was a staircase that could access the basement from inside, but the door into the actual basement from the living room should be locked, so I should be okay, even though you can also access the basement from the outside.

BONK bonk bonk bonk bonk bonk. By now I am really freaking out. Someone is in my basement just opening the cupboard and letting it fall closed. Obviously they know I’m here and they are trying to scare me, and HOO BOY are they succeeding. I creep down the basement stairs to test and make sure that the door is still locked. It is.

I hear the noise again while I’m at the bottom of the stairs…only now it doesn’t sound like it’s coming from the basement anymore, but upstairs!

I ran back up the stairs in an almost-panic, and that’s when I hear the sound one more time. BONK bonk bonk bonk bonk bonk. At the same time, out of the corner of my eye, I see movement outside the window!

…….It was a spruce cone rolling off the roof. A goddamn fucking squirrel had been tossing spruce cones out of the tree nearest the house, and they would hit the roof (BONK) then roll the rest of the way down (bonk bonk bonk bonk bonk) and that’s what I’d been hearing. I was so embarrassed I didn’t tell my mom about it when she got home.

CambridgeChameleon, you are goofy and I appreciate you:

This was very dumb and still makes me laugh. It was a few years ago, right when the first Jurassic World film had come out. I went to see a late showing with my then boyfriend and thoroughly enjoyed the thrill of seeing Chris Pratt almost get eaten (Chris Pine 4eva). We got out of the cinema at about 11.30pm, and decided we were a bit hungry. There was a 24 McDonalds across the car park from the cinema so we walked over and my boyfriend went to order at the counter. I had to pee so went straight to the toilet. I’ve always had a very active imagination and whilst I was about 21 at the time, still got a bit nervous imagining dinosaurs wandering around the car park in the darkness. I managed to be brave enough to pee in the bathroom all by myself and importantly kept my coat on because it was a cold English evening. As I went to dry my hands with the hand dryer, the air went straight up the sleeves of my coat and flapped them against my arms. For some reason, I thought this meant I was being attacked by a velociraptorfrom behind. I screeched like a banshee, very loudly, and tried to kick out at the air to protect myself from the dinosaur(?). Thank god there are no cameras in public toilets! My boyfriend later told me that he and all the other people in the restaurant heard me shrieking but no one came to check as they were all incredibly British and didn’t want to cause a fuss!

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Pink Everlasting, LOL:

I’m in my late 30s and for the past few years, my husband and my best friend and I go to a haunted house before Halloween. This is because the majority of our friends now have kids (we do not) so there’s no Halloween parties but we’re too old to want to just go to a crowded and loud bar on Halloween.

The first year we went, we bought VIP tickets and found out only as we’re about to enter that this means instead of going with a larger group, they’re sending the three of us in on our own. The haunted house is set up in an old abandoned 19th century factory. And we hear the other groups inside screaming in terror. This totally gets in our heads and we begin to regret coming to the haunted house. We go in and we are holding onto each other so tight and just anticipating the worst. Most of it was just creepy with random, sudden loud sounds, so we keep getting startled but nothing too bad. Then we come into a place where one hallway meets another, and just as we’re talking about whether we’re supposed to go left or right, this guy swings open a door right in front of us. The three of us jump, cower and scream at the top of our lungs.

It was just a maintenance guy dressed in completely regular clothes who was just trying to fix a light. We scared the shit out of him when we screamed. Then we all just stood there laughing so hard we couldn’t breathe.

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IRegertNothing, Deep State Public Relations, this has also happened to me:

Maybe I should cut myself some slack since I was 12, but here’s my entry:

My older brother was away at a boarding school. We had always shared a bedroom, and I now had a spare bed close to mine. I woke up in the wee hours one night when there was a full moon. Trying to go back to sleep, I rolled over towards the empty bed. Then I froze in terror.

There was a person in the bed. Lying on their side, facing me, with a deathly pale face and sunken eyes. Staring right at me.

I can’t describe the level of terror I felt. I wanted to scream, but I was afraid the ghostly figure would attack before my parents could get down the hallway. I decided not to move at all and hope it hadn’t noticed I was awake. I didn’t even try to breath. Then the logic part of my brain managed to break through the lizard part of the brain that controls primal fear. I closed my eyes for a few seconds, and slowly reopened them. I stared at the ghostly face. Then I noticed the odd color all over it.

My brother’s empty bed was covered in laundry. Laundry I had piled on it, because I was a lazy kid who saw an easy way out of putting it in the dresser. The shadows from the moonlight made a few shapes that my brain initially interpreted as a human face. So yeah, I scared myself breathless because I was too fucking lazy to put my own clothes away.

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Drop those costumes in the comments below.

No. Senior Writer, Jezebel. My debut book, LARGER THAN LIFE: A History of Boy Bands, is out now.

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DISCUSSION

davehasbrouck
Dave Haaz-Baroque

When I was 9 years old, I decided that I wanted to be the alien queen from ‘Aliens’ (Don’t ask me how a nine-year-old managed to see aliens when it came out, I literally don’t remember the circumstances. Although I do remember that I distinctly had the goal of watching it out of spite, because I was so angry that it won the best special effects Academy Award over my favorite movie ‘Little Shop of Horrors’. I... I was a weird kid).

But I digress. I’m 9 years old and I want to dress as the alien queen from Aliens. you couldn’t exactly just go out and buy an alien queen costume, but I figure I’m a crafty little kid and I can make my own after school at latchkey with whatever supplies were lying around. Well, the supplies that were lying around were pretty much garbage bags, cardboard, construction paper and masking tape. Not to be deterred, I spent the three weeks before Halloween attempting to replicate the work of special effects master Stan Winston using children’s art supplies.

I did... well, not a good job, but I certainly made something. I was weirdly proud of myself for my costume, and was thrilled when it came time to do the elementary school costume parade on the playground.

Sadly, masking tape isn’t the most enduring of adhesive materials, and as we’re walking around the blacktop to ‘danse macabre’, the masking tape starts to give way and my costume begins to fall apart bit by bit, starting with the construction paper leg armor. I spent the entirety of the parade alternating between hopping on one foot and rushing off to the side trying to furiously retape and hold my costume together.

Fortunately, I have documented evidence of this 35-year-old costume masterpiece: