50 Horror-Movie Halloween Costumes That Will Freak Your Friends Out
If you’re a freak for spooky horror movies, chances are you spend a lot of time burning through your scary Netflix queue and seeing every horror film you can get your hands on. But what ever will you do on the biggest night of the year, All Hallows’ Eve? If you’d like to dip your toe into the bloody pool of horror, there are so many iconic characters to choose from to inspire a fun costume.
You can honor some of the most iconic villains of all time like Michael Myers and Freddy Krueger. You could choose from some recent horror hits and dress as the casts of “Scream 6,” “X,” “Pearl,” or “Bodies Bodies Bodies.” You could throw it back to the ’90s and pick a costume from “I Know What You Did Last Summer,” or go even more retro with a costume from “Jaws,” “Psycho,” or “The Birds.” And if you really want to scare the pants off your friends – or make them laugh with your dedication to the task at hand – we have some ideas about how you should act on Halloween night to give everyone a bit of a fright.
Ahead, see our ideas for horror Halloween costumes.
M3GAN From "M3GAN"
- What to wear as M3GAN: A long-sleeved, striped shirt with a dress on top and – most importantly – a big, navy bow around your neck.
- How to act as M3GAN: M3GAN’s movements – and dance skills – are the most iconic part of the character. She moves almost exactly like a real girl – but then her robotic side starts to come out. When you’re not dancing, stare at people in a way that’s both creepy and loving.
Pearl From "Pearl"
- What to wear as Pearl: A long red cottagecore dress or a red maxi skirt and shirt will perfectly match Pearl’s retro vibe. Add a big black bow to your hair. If you have time to grab a prop, carry around a fake axe.
- How to act as Pearl: Pearl knows she’s meant to be a star, so don’t be afraid to steal the limelight, burst into tears, or give a very heartfelt dance performance.
Maxine From "X"
- What to wear as Maxine: Maxine wears overall shorts with nothing underneath, though you could opt for a flesh-colored tank top if you want to be a little more covered up. Wear sparkly blue eyeshadow and a matching blue bandana on your head.
- How to act as Maxine: Maxine is sexy and she knows it – until she’s running from Pearl. You could play it cute and flirty or go full screaming and crying.
The Tethered From "Us"
- What to wear as the Tethered: The Tethered wear all-red jumpsuits and carry large, silver scissors.
- How to act as the Tethered: Don’t speak, and move with stealth. They’re scary because you never see them coming.
Sophie, Bee, Emma, Jordan, and Alice From "Bodies Bodies Bodies"
- What to wear as the “Bodies Bodies Bodies” cast: Each young person wears their own very trendy, Gen Z inspired outfit along with glowing neon necklaces. The final piece is to cover yourself in fake blood.
- How to act as the “Bodies Bodies Bodies” cast: You are totally freaked out of your mind, and you can’t stop talking about podcasts.
Carrie From "Carrie"
- What to wear as Carrie: A long blond wig, a long light-pink dress, a tiara, and a pink corsage on your wrist. Carry a bouquet of flowers, and then drench yourself in fake blood.
- How to act as Carrie: Nervous and awkward at first and then ragingly angry. Delight your friends further by staring at things intently and saying, “Just watch, it’ll move. Keep watching. I swear it’s gonna move.”
Police Chief Martin Brody From "Jaws"
- What to wear as Police Chief Brody: Clear aviator glasses, a brown police officer uniform, and black shoes. Feel free to have a cigarette dangling from your mouth, and carry around a shark stuffed animal.
- How to act as Police Chief Brody: Tough, in charge, and pretty freaked out by any large body of water.
Amanda Young From "Saw"
- What to wear as Amanda Young: A brown wig, a purple off-the-shoulder top, a tight black skirt, and sheer black knee-high stockings. You can attempt to DIY the reverse bear-trap mask or order a cheap one online.
- How to act as Amanda Young: You have a giant metal cage around your face, so . . . subdued.
Freddy Krueger From "A Nightmare on Elm Street"
- What to wear as Freddy Krueger: Even if you can’t find a way to pull off that burnt-up face, you should be good with a striped sweater, a fedora, and those terrifying finger-blade gloves.
- How to act as Freddy Krueger: You have to be a little maniacal. Freddie haunts your dreams, murders you in cold blood, and laughs the whole way.
Father Merrin From "The Exorcist"
- What to wear as Father Merrin: A black priest’s cassock with a long black coat and a wide-brimmed black hat. Wear a crucifix around your neck, too!
- How to act as Father Merrin: Extremely wise and unafraid of facing down your (literal) demons.
Sidney Prescott From "Scream"
- What to wear as Sidney Prescott: Sidney is a ’90s-fashion dream, so break out your coolest jean jacket, some Adidas Superstars or black motorcycle boots, a gray tank top, and a brown wig. Smear some fake blood on your cheek and forehead, and you’ll be good to go.
- How to act as Sidney Prescott: Jump a mile anytime your phone rings.
Mia Allen From "Evil Dead"
- What to wear as Mia Allen: A red floral dress under a gray sweatshirt that says Michigan State on it, or ditch the sweatshirt and wear a long-sleeved red dress (you’ll want to be covered in fake blood anyway). Rock black lace-up boots, and bring around a fake chainsaw, too.
- How to act as Mia Allen: You’re a recovering heroin addict who’s trying to quit cold turkey, so you’re going to be a bit on edge. Don’t go near any basements or wander into the woods by yourself.
Dr. Lawrence Gordon From "Saw"
- What to wear as Dr. Gordon: A blond wig, a light-blue dress shirt, and black pants. Make your shirt and pants look dusty and dirty, and attach a chain around your leg. Carry around a fake saw, too.
- How to act as Dr. Gordon: Beg everyone around you to give you their cell phones, and run screaming from anyone dressed as Jigsaw.
Jason Voorhees From "Friday the 13th"
- What to wear as Jason Voorhees: A ratty dark shirt, pants, and jacket. And of course, the bloody hockey mask. Carry around a machete.
- How to act as Jason Voorhees: Like you’re in a murderous rage and can’t be stopped.
Ellen Ripley From "Alien"
- What to wear as Ellen Ripley: A curly brown wig with a white tank top and either a gray or olive-green mechanic suit or cargo pants. Add in some old-school white Reeboks, and carry around a cat stuffed animal.
- How to act as Ellen Ripley: You’re totally and completely self-sufficient. You can order your own drinks and get extra servings of candy corn all on your own. Ripley is basically the opposite of a damsel in distress.
Michael Myers From "Halloween"
- What to wear as Michael Myers: Find a janitorial sort of jumpsuit, and the Michael Myers mask is another common one that shouldn’t be hard to come by.
- How to act as Michael Myers: Brutish, slow, and deadly.
Ray Bronson From "I Know What You Did Last Summer"
- What to wear as Ray Bronson: Gel your dark hair up, and wear a black tank top with jeans and a plaid shirt tied around your waist.
- How to act as Ray Bronson: Down to earth and in love with Jennifer Love Hewitt.
Samara Morgan From "The Ring"
- What to wear as Samara Morgan: A dirty white dress and a long, ratty, black wig.
- How to act as Samara Morgan: Go for the full effect and crawl around on all fours or just walk toward people like you’re going to suck the life out of them.
Clarice Starling From "The Silence of the Lambs"
- What to wear as Clarice Starling: A thin, gold necklace over a white T-shirt and a black blazer. Throw in a fake FBI badge with her name on it and a brownish–reddish wig.
- How to act as Clarice Starling: Smart as hell, with a slight Southern accent.
Norman Bates From "Psycho"
- What to wear as Norman Bates: A collared shirt and dress pants with a blanket wrapped around your shoulders. Carry a butcher knife and a stuffed bird.
- How to act as Norman Bates: Smile creepily and talk about your mother.
Annie Wilkes From "Misery"
- What to wear as Annie Wilkes: A shoulder-length brown wig parted in the center with a long-sleeved green shirt under a gray overalls dress. Make sure you don’t leave the house without your trusty sledgehammer!
- How to act as Annie Wilkes: Deranged. Talk about your favorite author nonstop throughout the night.
Pinhead From "Hellraiser"
- What to wear as Pinhead: You might want to go the mask route on this one, and there are plenty of Pinhead masks to be found. Pair with dark armor or a dark cloak.
- How to act as Pinhead: Like you are not of this world, or this dimension, and you’re angry at any and all insolence.
Ed Warren From "The Conjuring"
- What to wear as Ed Warren: A three-piece gray suit with a purple plaid tie. Slick back your hair, and paste on some matching sideburns
- How to act as Ed Warren: Completely fearless, and a little bit suspicious of anyone walking around on Oct. 31 dressed as a ghost.
Jigsaw('s Doll) From "Saw"
- What to wear as Jigsaw: A black suit with a red bow tie. You could probably find a mask of the face, but it’s also easy to paint on! Bonus points if you can find a squeaky red tricycle.
- How to act as Jigsaw: Just roll around on your squeaky tricycle, and in the deepest voice you can, say, “I want to play a game.”
Laurie Strode From "Halloween"
- What to wear as Laurie Strode: High-waisted flared jeans, a light-blue or denim button-down shirt with a big tear and bloody smear on one shoulder, and a brown feathered wig. Make sure you bring Laurie’s trademark accessory out on the town with you, too: a wire hanger.
- How to act as Laurie Strode: Just run around screaming or talk about trauma.
The Fisherman From "I Know What You Did Last Summer"
- What to wear as the Fisherman: A big fisherman’s jacket with a high collar and an oversize hat. Carry around a giant hook.
- How to act as the Fisherman: Don’t speak, just brandish your hook at people.
Glen Lantz From "A Nightmare on Elm Street"
- What to wear as Glen Lantz: A white polo shirt under a gray sweater vest tucked into light-wash jeans. Glen was a fan of white sneakers and rocked a brown mini-mullet (just embrace it). You could also go for his comfy p.m. look: a football jersey crop top (yes, a crop top) with gray sweatpants and high white socks. Either way, make sure you paint a little bit of fake blood on your clothes and face.
- How to act as Glen Lantz: Sleep deprived and wary of anyone named Freddy.
Hannibal Lecter From "The Silence of the Lambs"
- What to wear as Hannibal Lecter: Find an orange prison jumpsuit and pair it with that infamous mask and, if you want, a straitjacket. If you really want to go all the way, you can absolutely have someone strap you to a dolly.
- How to act as Hannibal Lecter: Dr. Lecter is a calm, calculating mastermind and a veritable genius. You might want to imitate the way he says, “Clarice.”
Sarah Carter From "The Descent"
- What to wear as Sarah Carter: A black tank top and pants, absolutely drenched in blood. Like, dump a bucket of red paint on yourself, then jump into an Olympic-size pool full of pizza sauce, and then have someone throw tomatoes at you. You might want to bring along a spelunker’s helmet so people know for sure who you are.
- How to act as Sarah Carter: Well, you just watched a bunch of your friends be viciously murdered by cannibalistic monsters, so behave accordingly.
Pennywise From "It"
- What to wear as Pennywise: Paint your face all white, and then put on a clown nose and bright-red lipstick and draw on thin eyebrows with black eyeliner. Next, put on a red wig, white gloves, and a colorful clown suit. Don’t forget to give yourself gnarly-looking yellow teeth (you can always wear fangs, too), and carry around some balloons to lure children in.
- How to act as Pennywise: Creepy beyond belief.
Kirsty Cotton From "Hellraiser"
- What to wear as Kirsty Cotton: A long, wavy brown wig and a baggy, plain white T-shirt covered in streaks of blood. Smear a bit on your face for good measure, and get your hands on a replica of the puzzle box from the film.
- How to act as Kirsty Cotton: Like you’ve been to hell and bac.k (Ha ha, get it?)
Leatherface From "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre"
- What to wear as Leatherface: Any sort of dirty, Western-looking clothes will work. Find a mask that either looks like Leatherface’s or one you can turn into it. And, of course, you have to have a chainsaw.
- How to act as Leatherface: Incredibly violent and simple-minded, with no rhyme or reason to your aggression.
Jack Torrance From "The Shining"
- What to wear as Jack Torrance: Pair a red plaid shirt under a red corduroy jacket with jeans, and carry an ax. To take your costume to the next level, either make it look like your clothes and face are covered in frost (Jack’s garden maze look) or attach a piece of cardboard to your chest to make it look like you’re peeking out of a door.
- How to act as Jack Torrance: Out of your damn mind.
Alice Hardy From "Friday the 13th"
- What to wear as Alice Hardy: A short blond bob with a frilly white button-up shirt (smear some blood on it and tear it up a little bit) and light-wash flare jeans.
- How to act as Alice Hardy: Alice is a former artist and California girl, so feel free to act laid-back. Reject any and all offers to go swimming.
Jim From "28 Days Later"
- What to wear as Jim: Green scrubs smeared with a little bit of blood, sneakers, and dark, uneven facial hair.
- How to act as Jim: You just woke up from a coma, so you’re bound to be a little disoriented. If you see any zombies, run for your life. (Also, this is your chance to break out an Irish accent.)
Ghostface From "Scream"
- What to wear as Ghostface: Ghostface masks are a dime a dozen, and so are black cloaks. You’re pretty set on this one.
- How to act as Ghostface: Like you’ll stab anyone at anytime.
Marion Crane From "Psycho"
- What to wear as Marion Crane: Re-create the infamous shower scene by wearing a nude-colored dress and gel in your hair to give it that wet look. Take a cue from another famous movie and make your own shower, too.
- How to act as Marion Crane: Screamy.
George Lutz From "The Amityville Horror"
- What to wear as George Lutz: Some white-and-gray striped pajama pants and no shirt (or if you’d rather cover up, throw on a white long-sleeved shirt smeared with dirt). Carry a fake ax, and add in some facial hair.
- How to act as George Lutz: Completely unhinged and with quite the temper.
Nancy Thompson From "A Nightmare on Elm Street"
- What to wear as Nancy Thompson: Put on a bushy brunette wig with two white streaks on one side, and rock some ’80s staples like pastel sweater vests and button-downs, plaid blazers, and acid-wash jeans. You could also go for Nancy’s white pajama outfit, which is basically a pair of white pants and a white smock with flowers on the front. Don’t forget a bloody bandage on your left arm, either!
- How to act as Nancy Thompson: EXHAUSTED. You might want to keep a cup of coffee handy.
Curt From "The Cabin in the Woods"
- What to wear as Curt: A white T-shirt under a green and yellow varsity jacket with jeans and brown boots.
- How to act as Curt: As confident as humanly possible.
Wendy Torrance From "The Shining"
- What to wear as Wendy Torrance: In addition to wearing a perpetual scream on your face, put on a brown wig (with bangs) and a long-sleeved green shirt under a brown, corduroy overall dress. Then, wear some brown tights and tall brown boots, and tote around a baseball bat.
- How to act as Wendy Torrance: Start screaming and then just never stop.
The Miner From "My Bloody Valentine"
- What to wear as the Miner: Any manner of dark clothing is fine; what’s most important is the head lamp and the gas mask. Also, a pickax is pretty crucial.
- How to act as the Miner: Bloodthirsty and merciless.
Julie James From "I Know What You Did Last Summer"
- What to wear as Julie James: Julie embraces ’90s style, so get a tight white crop top, black jeans, and a choker layered under a longer necklace. Straighten your hair, and give yourself a middle part.
- How to act as Julie James: Smart, clever, and scared out of your mind.
Ashley "Ash" J. Williams From "Evil Dead"
- What to wear as Ash: Pair a blue button-down shirt, brown pants, and hiking boots with a brown wig and an ax or a chainsaw.
- How to act as Ash: Wow everyone with your new catch phrase (“Groovy”), and avoid reading strange passages out of any books you stumble upon throughout the night.
Chucky From "Child's Play"
- What to wear as Chucky: The most childish outfit you can find (specifically overalls) and a red wig. Carry around a baseball bat and add doll makeup.
- How to act as Chucky: Like you’re ready to terrorize anyone and everyone who gets in your way.
Melanie Daniels From "The Birds"
- What to wear as Melanie Daniels: A green skirt suit and a blond wig pulled into a French twist, but muss it up – you’ve been attacked by birds. Put a couple of fake black birds on wires to carry around with you.
- How to act as Melanie Daniels: Twirl the birds around you as you walk and scream at them.
The Grady Twins From "The Shining"
- What to wear as the Grady Twins: After you pull your hair back to one side in a barrette, put on a high-necked blue dress with a white belt tied around your middle as well as white knee socks and black Mary Jane shoes.
- How to act as the Grady twins: Really into murder. Speak in unison.
Kurt Barlow From "Salem’s Lot"
- What to wear as Kurt Barlow: After you’ve painted your face and hands light blue and gotten a set of fangs, all you’ll need is a long black cloak.
- How to act as Kurt Barlow: Try to suck your friend’s blood all night, and shy away from anyone wearing a crucifix.
Mrs. Bates From "Psycho"
- What to wear as Mrs. Bates: Make your face as skeleton-like as possible. Wear an old sweater set, the dowdier the better.
- How to act as Mrs. Bates: Dead.
Barbara From "Night of the Living Dead"
- What to wear as Barbara: A short red wig and a lacy white tank top under a denim jacket with dark cargo pants and a rifle slung over your shoulder.
- How to act as Barbara: Unlike the weak, docile version of Barbara in 1968’s “Night of the Living Dead,” the ’90s update of Barbara is brave, badass, and ready to kick any zombie’s ass.