5 Halloween Costume Origins




5. Vampire
The vampire costume are now so diverse everyone can be one by just putting on fangs, applying pale make up and by tweaking the costumes with a bit of glitter or a full on tuxedo and a cape. Of course don’t forget the fake blood near the lip area or some drips on the clothes. It has become a favourite for many years and is still a must during Halloween as it is very easy to pull of.

So before Twilight, before The Underworld, before Buffy the Vampire Slayer and even before Dracula, the notion of vampirism has existed for thousands and thousands of years as recorded in most cultures but only around the 18th century were the term vampires used.

The stories of vampire-like creatures have been around for so long, that there are different versions of them in different cultures as old as the Mesopotamian times which over the decades pops out all around the globe.

The common features they have are that they are the undead, have a grayish or purplish complexion you know, from not being alive and the act of drinking blood. Apparently early vampires don’t necessarily have fangs which is a must for modern vampires, at least sharp teeth.

There are a lot of folklore on vampire like creatures around the world and in different cultures but The Dracula definitely made the standard for today’s vampire but even that appearance is currently changing.

4. Sexy Costumes
You’ve seen the sexy devil, sexy nurse or even the sexy watermelon. Literally anything can be made sexy as long as the costume designers have a crazy imagination. But ever wondered when it became acceptable to wear things like this for costume parties or Halloween?

No, they didn’t come from porn or rather, could costume porn came from this? Could be, because the sexy costume phenomenon has been around since the late 18th century, but it does seem to be getting skimpier by the decade.

So masquerade balls where the latest fad during the 18th and 19th centuries and this was the start of it all. People were getting daring and showing one’s bare legs was considered out of the norm.

Since everyone was wearing masks, it acts as a form of escapism where people could act outside normal behavior. Thus the costumes gave people an opportunity to indulge one’s self to their desire, may it be sex, booze or even gambling without social or official sanction.

But only until the 1970s were an explosion of adult costumes occurred. Its the age of freedom and change. Hippies, social movements and more. So people were becoming bolder and so did the sexy costumes.

3. Zombie
The idea of a zombie apocalypse is scary or exciting to some but like the vampire, the zombies characteristics are slowly changing on how the media portrays them with an exception that zombies are usually violent and just wants to eat.

The idea or even the English word zombie was first recorded in 1819 which came from Africa. In the Haitian zombie folklore, zombies are dead people that are physically revived by using necromancy of a Bokor. A Bokor is a sorcerer or priests which uses Vodou. The zombies are used as a personal slaves and has no will of its own.

So we can say that the first zombie was caused from the fear of the dead moving on its own. Which got reanimated using magic and after decades goes by and people are starting to think differently, now zombies are usually caused by some chemical or virus which makes people into mindless beings that attack just for food.

2. Bed sheet ghost
Before I talk about the bed sheet ghost. Most ghosts that we know of are those that have no physical body, no feet, floating about, dull and are mostly or fully transparent. These are the common appearance that we call a ghost.

Also, call me crazy but I’ve seen white misty ghosts when I was a kid even before I knew the concept of ghosts. So it wasn’t scary until I was told what a ghost was.

So where does a bed sheet fit in all of this? There’s a possibility that they came from the burial shroud which are usually a white cloth that bound and covered the corpse from head to toe. But during the renaissance, which was the time when plays were a very big form of entertainment, they had to find something to depict a ghost on the stage.

They started off with heavy armor but as time goes on, it became funny as the sound of armor always made it impossible to jump scare the audience thus actors began appearing draped in white cloth to portray ghosts.

It became a thing because it is the easiest form of costume someone can make. But it is scary, if you imagine something just materializing under the blanket, not moving, not saying a word, just a bump in the blanket. Exactly like that one Dr. Who episode called Listen because the unknown is always scary.

1. Witch
We always see the witch every Halloween. We know witches are someone, usually female, that practices witchcraft or should we say magic?

There’s different varieties of witch costumes to choose from as well. May it be the sexy kind or the ugly kind or everything in between.
Witchcraft have been practiced in different cultures since forever.

People that are witches do not look any different from any other human being but where did the green skinned and ugly witches came from? It was mostly just from story tellers of folklore which usually depicted evil as ugly. I mean, which is more scary, an old crooked woman with boils on her face or a homely woman with fair skin?

Then came The Wizard of Oz. That’s the start of the green skinned witches that we know today.

But witches and Halloween always come hand in hand. This is because, during the ancient festival of Samhain which is a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season celebrated from the sunset of 31 October (yup during Halloween), witches were thought to always have this ritual of lathering ointment on their skin to give themselves an ethereal appearance.

During that time as well, people believed that on Halloween night, the spirits of the dead could roam freely and so people believed witches were doing no good during Halloween and thus Witches are always associated with Halloween.


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