I've been a huge fan of all things horror all my life. There is no safer way to get that feeling of dread or disgust than horror. I love it!
Trying to come up with a horror cosplay costume that everyone else isn't already doing is not the easiest thing to achieve, especially if you're in a time crunch. A few years ago, I was invited by a group of friends to dress up for Monsterpalooza for the first time. I eagerly took advantage of the invite and vowed to wear something different and unique. After brainstorming for a day or two, I came up with the perfect costume idea: The Crow. I quickly found out that my costume idea was not that creative—my friend snapped a photo of me with twelve other people (men and women) dressed up as The Crow at the event to prove it. That story is the inspiration for this article.
While I can't guarantee that you'll be the only person at a Halloween party or horror convention cosplaying as a certain character, I can say that the characters below are a little more uncommon, so the likelihood of duplicates are lessened. Enjoy, and good luck coming up with a cool and unique costume that will "wow" all the other horror fans.
Dressing Up As Your Favorite Horror Movie Monster Can Be A Lot of Fun
Horror Cosplay and Costume Ideas for Guys
- Bitores Mendez is the tall-bearded scary guy from Resident Evil 4 that you have to deal with at the front of the game. If you ask me, he's a lot more scary when he's in his human form, which is why he's on this list.
- Blacula requires a bit of animal magnetism to pull off but looks awesome if you can play the part. A deep, mellow voice is half the costume.
- Cosplaying as Barnabas Collins from the 1960's show Dark Shadows won't require a large investment but does require you to stay in character.
- Captain Kronos from the 1974 film Captain Kronos Vampire Hunter—if they ever re-make this Hammer classic and do it well, this cosplay idea will explode.
- Deadman is one of the founding members of the Justice League Dark from the DC universe of comics.
- Evil Ed is a character from the 1985 movie Fright Night. There is a scene where the hero places a cross on his face to protect himself. Being a vampire, an image of the cross is burned into his skin. I would love to see a costume like this in person.
- Peloquin from the 1990 horror film Nightbreed. He's the monster with the dreadlocks and red face. The cool thing about him is that he talks quite well... and quite often.
- The Gill-Man from Creature From the Black Lagoon (1954) is still one of the best looking classic horror monster movie make-up jobs to have ever been done.
- The Shrunken Head Guy from Beetlejuice at the end of the movie in the waiting room. This costume could work for anyone, as the witch doctor who does it, will seemingly do it to anyone who does him wrong.
Horror Cosplay and Costume Ideas for Girls
- Annie Wilkes from Misery is always looking for new people to worship. It'll be up to you if you carry around a real sledgehammer or not.
- Asami Yamazaki is the disturbed young girl from the controversial 1999 horror film Audition. If she becomes obsessed with you, you're in trouble.
- The faceless nurses from the Silent Hill series of games have always unnerved me, no matter how sexy they looked.
- The killer mom from Serial Mom (1994), played by Kathleen Turner, might be tough for people to figure out unless you carry around a fake butcher knife and some pussy willows.
- The other mother from Coraline (2009) is creepy as hell (as long as your costume has the button eyes).
- Princess from the twisted horror flick The Loved Ones (2009)
- Spriggans from Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, while seemingly sexless in the game, were always more feminine in nature to me. While some may not think this suggestion belongs in a horror cosplay article, I say to them, "Would you ever want to meet one at night?"
- Trash from Return of the Living Dead (1985)—she's the one who did the sexy dance in the graveyard.
- Scully from the X-Files; don't forget the latex glove.
Don't Forget the Other Hellraiser Characters
I see a lot of people rocking the Pinhead costume/cosplay, but not a lot of love is given to the other characters from that series of films. There are a lot of really cool looking monsters that would look great as cosplay, but they do probably require a little more time and preparation to make them work. They are worth it!
- Butterball Cenobite
- Chatterer Cenobite (my favorite)
- Channard Cenobite
- Derelict Bum (eats crickets in pet store and takes box at end of 1st movie)
- Female Cenobite (The attractive one with the wire around neck.)
- Frank the Skinless Monster
- Julia could work if you carry around a bloody hammer with you all the time.
Tips for Beginner Cosplayers
Make Your Cosplay Experience More Unique
- If your character is in several sequels and has different looks, pick a movie and dress like that to stand out from the crowd. When Friday the 13th Part 7 came out everyone dressed up as "rotten Jason", so I dressed up as the Jason from Friday the 13th Part 3.
- Gender reversal is a great way to produce some interesting outfits (Freddy Krueger as a female, a Banshee as a man, etc.) Women really have the advantage in this type of cosplay, but I have seen good examples of guys cosplaying female characters (not many, but a few).
- The amount of dedication you give to staying in character will either add to or detract from the authenticity of your costume. While it's hard to have fun while in character, it adds so much to the overall costume. Whenever I do a convention, I try to stay in character for the first few hours each day and show my lighter side as the day goes on.
Creepy Halloween Makeup and Costume Ideas
Another Batch of Scary, Cool, and Unique Costume Ideas for Cosplayers
- Abomination is an undead ogre-like creature from World of Warcraft. One of its more unique visuals is that its guts are about ready to fall out of its stomach. Ewww!
- Blade, the white-faced doll from the 1989 film Puppetmaster (not the vampire hunter) is a great costume idea that I hardly (if ever) see at horror conventions or haunted theme parks.
- Cousin It (You've got to nail the voice, though.)
- Ludo from Labyrinth (1986). You could even have fake rock tied to you to make it look like they're following you around.
- Mervyn Pumpkinhead from the Neil Gaiman-written comic series, The Sandman, is visually striking and not too much of a job to create.
- Pyramid Head from Silent Hill 2 gave me nightmare the first time I saw him in the game. I'm sure the right cosplay costume of the character will illicit a similar response to onlookers.
- The Terror Dog from Ghostbusters would be a wonderful thing to see at a horror convention, but I don't know if anyone could pull off making this costume work in a realistic way.
- The gentlemen from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV show (the "silent episode"). You don't have to worry about looking like someone else, because these creepy monsters all looked different from each other anyways.
Last-Minute Costume and Cosplay Ideas That Everyone Knows and Loves
Pennywise the Clown
Critters / Crites
Wicked Witch of the West
The Sanderson Sisters
Evil Nurse or Doctor
Scary Halloween Makeup Ideas
© 2019 Don