Literary Halloween Costumes

07 Oct 2015

Halloween is nearly here! Now is the time to drag out cobwebbed decorations, stab pumpkins, and purchase large amounts of candy. And what of the big day? Do you have your costume planned out? If you’re visiting this page, there’s a fair chance you don’t. Well, no worries, you like books and want to show your passion to the world. Only… what costume should you go with? Will anyone appreciate your “A Clockwork Orange” costume? Or will your Jack Torrence go over people’s heads? We’ve decided to compile a list of well known works, by genre, with costumes that match them. Get ready to bookworm your way through your weekend work party!


The Scarlet Letter:

-Hester Prim: Conservative long dress, with a scarlet A sewn onto the left breast.

The Great Gatsby:


-Gatsby: Wear a suit, carry a cane, call everyone ‘Old sport,” and thank them for showing up to your party (even if it isn’t your party), while distractedly looking around for Daisy.

-Daisy: Wear the traditional flapper get up, a blonde wig (if you’re not naturally golden haired), and a far off look in your eyes as though nothing that’s going on is real.

Lord of the Flies:

-Dress like a scantily clad jungle hunter, carry a sharpened stick and run around the party screaming “Kill the Pig!”

Atlas Shrugged:

-Walk around with the weight of a globe on your shoulders (metaphorical or literal, it’s your choice), then, when someone asks who you are, unburden yourself by standing up and letting the world fall from your back.



Sherlock Holmes:

-Wear one of those goofy hunting caps, an overcoat, carry a magnifying glass, and tell everyone as you leave that “the game is afoot!”

Nancy Drew:

-Wear traditional 60’s clothes, a conservative sweater and a plain skirt, while you take down notes in your “Clues” notepad.

And Then There Were None:

-With such a large set of characters you can choose from a reckless driver, a housekeeper, a General, a Butler, a spinster, a doctor, a PI, a mercenary, a Governess, or a judge. Make a whole party of it if you can!


Science Fiction

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy:


-Arthur Dent: Wear a bathrobe, carry a towel, grumble about tea

Ender’s Game:

-Ender Wiggin: Wear a jumpsuit (preferably gray with orange accents) and tell everyone “the enemy’s gate is down.”

Fahrenheit 451:

-Dress as a firefighter and confiscate books, exclaiming they give rise to “bad thoughts.”



Harry Potter:

-Harry Potter: wear a lightning scar across your forehead, circle rimmed glasses, and carry a 11″ long wand made of holly with a phoenix feather core.

-Hermione Grainger: wear your hair long, carry a stack of books, and maybe hang a time turner around your neck (you know, in case that last house had the BEST candy).

Lord of the Rings:

-a Hobbit: wear your hair long, your feet bare, and a nice vest as you snatch up the nearest pint and belt out your favorite bar songs from the Green Dragon.

-an Elf: wear pointy ears, generally green clothes, and carry a bow, walking as though you were light as a cloud above the mere mortals that surround you

-an Orc: wear hours worth of make up, dark clothes, and carry a scary looking blade as you express your delight at the crowds of “manflesh” in a barking voice

Game of Thrones:

-Khalesi: wear a fine, yet simple flowing dress, your blonde hair long, as your dragons fly about you (if you can find them). For added effect, yell “DROGO” sporadically through out the night.

-John Snow: wear black clothes, a great beard, don’t brush your hair for weeks, and bring your dire wolf along with you (or, if you’re sick of dressing up, just show up as your dire wolf. We recommend wearing a onesie).

-Iron Throne: wear all gray, tape sharp objects to yourself, and sit quietly in a corner. Wait for people to attempt to sit on you and inevitably cut themselves in the process (proving that they are unworthy to rule).



50 Shades of Grey: You’ve all seen the guy with the 50 different paint samples on his chest. Didn’t that look like a lot of work? Just take down some slated shades in your apartment, paint them gray, and voila! Just throw them over your head on the spooky day.


-Jamie Fraiser: wear a kilt, an open white shirt and devilish good looks.

-Claire Randall: wear a 1940’s style white shirt dress, act out of place and don your best British accent.

The Notebook: 

Find a large cardboard box, cut it to fit you, add a spiraling wire to the side and write “College Ruled” in the bottom left hand corner.

Have your own literary costume ideas? Share them with us on twitter @newinbooks!

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