With Halloween firmly behind us, it’s time to pick out the very best costumes this year. The crème de la crème of creativity, spookiness, and awesomeness if you will. To help you decide, Bored Panda has compiled this list of the most impressive outfits that would help any trick-or-treater bring back a massive haul of candy any night of the year.
From people dressing up as celebrities to our most beloved stars dressing up as someone else, from memes and puns turned into costumes to some of the scariest outfits we’ve seen in years, we’ve got a bit of everything for everyone’s tastebuds. Have a scroll down and don’t forget to upvote what you think are the most deserving costumes!
(My personal favorites were the Bernie-Sanders-wearing-mittens meme come to life, as well as the Anti-Faxxer costume, but don’t let that influence your decision!) When you’re done enjoying this list, check out the best costumes from Halloween 2020 to compare ‘em.
I reached out to entertainment, pop culture, and lifestyle expert Mike Sington to get his take on why so many of us enjoy dressing up as our beloved stars and the pressure that celebrities face to come up with a great costume for Halloween. Scroll on down for Bored Panda's full interview with Hollywood's Ultimate Insider, as well as for my chat with environmental psychologist and wellbeing consultant Lee Chambers about why we're so fascinated by Halloween and how our love of horror can help us test our limits.
Environmental psychologist and wellbeing consultant Lee Chambers from the UK explained to Bored Panda why so many of us are drawn by horror and Halloween. "The whole ethos of Halloween and the flirting with evil and death is fascinating because it is a place we rarely go as humans, especially in today's safe and sanitized world," Lee shared with me.
According to the expert, we not only get to explore this side of ourselves without any judgment, we also get to test our emotive response to fear in a way that's both safe and controlled. In other words, we get to experience the positive sides of horror without the negatives.
"We can get the adrenaline rush of being scared, all while knowing we are in control and can exit the situation if it’s too much. We also cognitively know it’s not real, so we can trigger ourselves and test how we respond to threats, giving us the ability to practice coping mechanism for difficult times in life," he said.
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Furthermore, psychologist Lee pointed out that Halloween and horror can help us test where our limits are. "We can explore the taboos of negative emotions like fear in a playful way, see where our limits lie, and do it in a supportive environment with other people. Getting scared and mastering our fear with scary entertainment and curated shocks can make us feel like we can take on all sorts of challenges, and can even feel like therapy when we take into account the physiological rush we get and the feeling of having survived."
Meanwhile, celeb expert Mike, from LA, told Bored Panda that stars are "under quite a bit of pressure" to come up with great costume ideas. It's not all just glitz and glamor—there's some serious planning and preparation involved.
"They know it will generate a guaranteed photo that will be splashed all around the world. Plus, it’s got to be original and impressive, that’s what their fans are expecting. They don’t want to disappoint them, and it’s a rather easy way for a celebrity to get positive press by showing their fun side," he told Bored Panda about the advantages of coming up with a creative, fun, impressive costume.
Will And Carlton In The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air
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I was curious to find out why so many of us love to dress up as our fave celebrities for Halloween. According to Mike, there are a couple of reasons for this phenomenon. "They either want to honor a favorite celebrity, or they want to have some fun by mocking a celebrity they don’t care for. It’s also actually kind of fun to 'become' a celebrity and imagine what their life might be like!"
Mike agreed that many people have a hard time separating actors from the characters they play in movies. "Celebrities know that, and some will accept it and capitalize on it, while others will fight it and try to distance themselves from the characters they play," the celebrity expert noted how stars can react to this piece of knowledge in different ways.
"Most fans on Halloween are looking at celebrities and their characters as one, and will usually dress as the character, which is probably going to be easier to pull off and the most recognizable of the two!"
This Halloween I’m An Anti-Faxxer And There’s No Changing My Mind
This year’s Halloween fell into a bit of a gray area regarding the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. While the danger of getting ill is still ever-present, the continuing vaccination programs have made it a bit safer to go about with ordinary life. ABC7 notes that Halloween participation is rebounding and people are spending more than ever.
However, wearing your Halloween mask is no excuse for not wearing your regular medical mask underneath and maintaining social distancing. It’s fine to have fun, but you can’t throw all the safety precautions out the window—now that would be scary.
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Dennis The Menace
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October might be the spookiest month of the year, but we often take it for granted. Sure, a lot of us love a good scare from the comfort of our own cozy costume or from our sofas in front of a good horror movie, but we don’t always question why we find it so fun. Not too long ago, I reached out to Doug Murano to learn about why we love horror and scary stories so much. Doug is a writer and a Bram Stoker Award-winning editor, so you know for a fact that horror flows through his veins.
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"I suspect that most of us—regardless of our spiritual beliefs—have a longing for something beyond this life. Human beings seem to be pre-programmed with this urge," writer and editor Doug, the founder of Bad Hand Books, told Bored Panda that many of us yearn to learn more about the supernatural. Real-life is beautiful and interesting, but it often isn’t fully enough. We’re just too curious to sit still and be happy with what we have.
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"So much of horror and speculative fiction grapples with death and what happens after we die that I can't help but believe much of our interest in such stories is an expression of a longing for experiences and existences beyond our perceptions," Doug explained.
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Sweet Baby Rays
When it comes to creating a truly good scary story, you have to learn to be subtle. Nobody’s afraid of a monster that’s right out in the open. It’s the mysterious, partially shadow-shrouded figures in the dark that get our hairs standing on end, our hearts beating the quickest. Or, as Doug puts it, over-explanation is the antithesis of good horror.
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Fifty Shades Of Grey
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"Great horror stories thread a precarious needle: They maintain a sense of the truly inexplicable while creating a world and a narrative that provides enough answers to ground the story. Over-explanation kills most horror, which is why the shark is scariest when you only see the fin; the alien is most terrifying when it's lurking in the shadows; the killer is most monstrous when he's masked," he told Bored Panda.
Doris From Shrek
"My professional expertise is limited to fiction, but I'll say this: I've seen enough real magic and wonder in the world to make me think twice about whether the supernatural is real—and I think that's a healthy thing. It's perhaps less important to believe any given tale than it is to remain open to experiences while leaving room in your head and in your heart for belief,” Doug said.
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Note: this post originally had 88 images. It’s been shortened to the top 35 images based on user votes.