Halloween Costumes: More Thriller Than Tradition?


Tomorrow night will see countless people – kids and adults alike – dressing up to celebrate All Hallows Eve. Miniature witches, vampires, ghosts and goblins will roam the streets, all with one goal, to get as many sweets as they possibly can.

Halloween however, originated as a Celtic festival, one which marked the end of the harvest and welcomed the possibility that this transitional period acted as a link to the world of the dead.

Each Halloween custom as we know it is steeped in history. For example, people used to visit each other and beg for soul cakes, if they received such cakes they would pray to dead ancestors of the house. (Personally, I’d prefer the sweets and Taytos) Likewise, turnips were carved with demonic faces and were used to make lanterns in the hope that this would frighten away the evil spirits that were likely to come back on this night.

wonder-woman-poster-how-i-would-have-made-a-justice-league-movie-in-the-90-sAs we get older we still partake and buy into the spirit of Halloween. I’m a 22-year old (well, for another few weeks at least) and I love the festivities of Halloween. I love dressing up, the spooky films and I’m even partial to the odd skeleton and pumpkin decoration. Last year, I dressed up and for the first time in ten years went trick-or-treating to my sisters’ house. My nieces aged 8, 6 and 5 thought I was the coolest adult they had ever seen and found it hilarious that I had dressed up. (I was Wonder Woman, tights and all in case anyone was wondering)

Despite this, I’m not ok with the trick-or-tarting that goes on with a lot of my peers. Yes, there are traditions that say people dressed up as the dead to bewitch the spirits (pun intended) to go back to their graves, but there are no traditions to justify a sexy policewoman, or a slutty pumpkin. On a personal level, I have more respect for people who purposely stay away from the trick-or-tramp look. Costumes that make me laugh not shield my eyes will always be better. Costumes that show ingenuity and creativity rather than just skin is what we should aim for.

The late Michael Jackson describes my horror at those girls: “Under the moonlight you see a sight that almost stops your heart. You try to scream but terror takes the sound before you make it. You start to freeze as horror looks you right between the eyes, you’re paralyzed.”

Orla Prout


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