15 DIY Halloween Costumes Inspired By Scary Movies

If, for whatever reason, you were to hold a gun to my head and ask me to tell you my favorite comedic trope of all time (please don’t do that, by the way), I know exactly which one I would pick. It is, of course,  the one in which someone (usually a girl who is new in town and/or a bit of an “outsider”) gets invited to a Halloween party. Thinking that this is her moment to impress everybody, she goes all-out on a costume, only to find that she’d been better off had she not dressed up at all. You know the one I’m talking about, right? Of course you do. It sounds specific, but you see it everywhere–you know, like, Cady Heron dressing up as the Bride of Frankenstein at her first high school Halloween party in Mean Girls, Elle Woods wearing a Playboy Bunny costume to a law school party in Legally Blonde, and, of course, that one classic tweet in which the girl went all-out on a Babadook costume at a party that had more of an “adults hanging out vibe.” It truly is the comedy device that keeps on giving.

Recently, though, I’ve been thinking that there may actually be nothing better than overdressing on Halloween, particularly if your costume is scary AF. I was able to go to Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights in Orlando this past weekend to check out their new haunted houses (most of which are based on classic horror movies like The Exorcist and Halloween) and while I am not a scary movie person for the most part, being able to walk through the movies IRL via the haunted houses is super cool. If you’re in the area (or able to swing down to Orlando for a weekend) you should definitely check it out. It’s fun even if you aren’t really into horror movies, and, costume-wise, the houses certainly gave me a lot of inspiration–so, check out these awesome DIY costumes inspired by scary movies:


Regan From The Exorcist 

I can't stop laughing at this costume for some reason (possibly because it feels like a "when you wake up from a particularly good nap" meme to me, though that may be a result of my being on the internet for far too long than any human should ever be), but Regan from The Exorcist may be the perfect Halloween costume. It's ~iconic~ enough so that people will be able to recognize it even if they haven't seen the movie, plus, it's comfy AF. If nothing else, it's a great excuse to wear a nightgown all night.

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Freddy Krueger From A Nightmare On Elm Street

I'm loling at this costume, too (it's so "m'lady," right?) but this is another undeniably iconic look for Halloween. All you need, really, is a striped dress and fedora. Bonus points for making your own claw hands.

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Chucky/Bride of Chucky From Chucky

A great horror-inspired couple costume. The best part? You can definitely get the supplies from the thrift store (you just need overalls and a white dress), so it'll be easy and cheap to put together.

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The Babadook From The Babadook

Hah! Babadook costumes are truly hilarious out of context. Anyway, dressing up as the Babadook is relatively easy--you just need black clothes, a top hat, and some white and black facepaint--but when you do it, you're pretty much guaranteed to be the most extra person at whatever Halloween event you go to. In a good way.

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Krampus From Krampus

I missed the Krampus haunted house when I was at Universal, due to the fact that I took too long to take a selfie with one of the teen ghouls roaming around the park, and, as a result, got lost (very much how I would die in a horror movie!!) but I heard that it was one of the best houses. In any case, Krampus is a cool costume to do this Halloween! It's scary, but not, like, gross, and it's definitely not cliche. Just get some horns, a furry vest, and paint your hands.

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The Countess From American Horror Story: Hotel 

American Horror Story isn't a movie, obviously, but I couldn't resist putting a few costumes from some of the seasons in this post, since the AHS house at Universal was so good. One good costume is The Countess (you know, Lady Gaga's character)--just get some fishnets, a negligee, an updo, and some red lipstick. And some blood on your neck. Perfect!

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Witches From American Horror Story: Coven 

Or, if you you want something a little easier to throw together, you and your own, personal coven can get together to go as the witch squad from American Horror Story: Coven. It's pretty simple, so you can definitely do this one on the later side if you need a last-minute costume--all you really need are black skirts, white tops, and black hats.

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Witches From The Craft

If you want a more vintage, but still witchy group costume, why not go as the girls from The Craft?

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Purge Costume

Legitimately terrifying! It's easy to put together, though--all you need are blood-splattered clothes and some masks.

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Grady Twins From The Shining

This is an awesome, scary costume for you and your BFF to do. Just get matching dresses, some red paint, knee socks, Mary Janes, and walk around holding hands all night. Also, this is a perfect costume to do if you live in a college dorm, since most dorm hallways mimic the effect of a hotel hallway.

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A Walker From The Walking Dead 

Again,The Walking Dead is not technically a movie. Still, zombies, will always be in. Zombies from The Walking Dead are especially in right now, so you might as well go as a walker. Plus, you don't have to put in a ton of effort to get a memorable, recognizable costume.

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Carrie From Carrie

Iconic! Just get a red slip dress, douse yourself in blood (or, uh, red paint) and wander around with a vacant look on your face all night.

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Leatherface From Texas Chainsaw Massacre 

This is gross! The Texas Chainsaw Massacre haunted house at Universal is also gross! The costume is easy, though--all you have to do is get a Leatherface mask and a wig.

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Mike Myers From Halloween 

A classic! Plus, literally all you have to do is get a mask. Low maintenance, instantly recognizable, scary AF. The perfect costume!

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Annabelle Doll From The Conjuring

Remember how freaked out you were by the doll in The Conjuring? Well, everyone will be doubly freaked out by this doll costume from The Conjuring, should you choose to do it..

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What do you think of scary costumes? Would you try any of them? Let us know in the comments!

You can reach the author, Sara Hendricks, on Twitter and Instagram.

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