Costume Party

Liz here! Ok, last one, I promise. It’s almost the big day. When I was in college at Salem State, it was the CRAZIEST time up there – costume parties every day just randomly in the street, Halloween spirit everywhere, preparations for the big Halloween party in town. SO much fun.

So I want to know – if your character was going to Salem for this costume party, what would they dress up as? I think Stan would go as Catwoman….

Julie: Lilly would go as Miss Marple. Not a huge stretch for her, since she dislikes dressing up. She’s probably just add a hat and knitting bag to what she normally wears.

Sherry: The image of Lilly just slapping on a hat and grabbing some knitting made me laugh. Sarah would find some fabulous fifties dress at a garage sale or flea market and pair it with a vintage purse and shoes.

Jessie: I love all of your answers! It shows your characters so succinctly! Costumes are one of the points upon which Beryl and Edwina actually agree! They both love them! The appeal to Beryl’s well-developed sense of the dramatic and Edwina’s secret longing for a bit of adventure. Beryl would likely wear a sari or a kimono that she picked up during her travels. While she does love something that startles she would prefer to do so while looking beautiful. Edwina, on the other hand, would love nothing more than to wear a cowboy outfit straight from a Zane Grey novel. She would love a pair of jangling spurs and would probably borrow Beryl’s pistol to complete the outfit. Of course, she would unload the firearm first!

Barb: In my story “Hallowed Out” in Haunted House Murder, the Barnhouse theater loans Julia a beautiful, beaded 1920s flapper dress. It’s so heavy! She loves it and insists on wearing it even when she’s called to do emergency fill-in work as the hostess on the Haunted House Trolley Tour. Perhaps it was a dress previously owned by Beryl that somehow found its way into the costume collection at a regional theater in coastal Maine.

Edith: These are great! Robbie would think of going as a pancake, but that costume would be hard to manage. Instead she’s going to belt up a trench coat, find a fedora at a thrift shop, dig up a big magnifying glass somewhere, and go as a PI. Investigating is what she spends half her time doing, anyway.

Sherry: Edith I have a magnifying glass Robbie can borrow. I bought it at a garage sale.

Hilarious! I wish we could have all our characters at a costume party together. Maybe that’s a story we can write next year…

Readers, what are you dressing up as this year? Or, what was your favorite costume from a past Halloween?

15 Thoughts

  1. It’s been a LONG time since I dressed up for Halloween. One year when I was in college, my suitemates and I dressed up as the Crest Cavity Fighters. (Do you remember the commercials from the 80s?) We each painted a different letter on a white T-shirt (to spell out CREST) and wore same colored turtleneck and pants underneath. One of our friends had a sister who was a dental hygienist and she loaned to us an enormous tooth brush that we carried around. It was a simple costume, but a lot of people loved it. (Especially when they rearranged us so that our shirts would spell different words!)

  2. Growing up, we had a variety of costumes for Halloween. We had store bought and we had some homemade ones as well.

    Once I stopped going out for Halloween, I didn’t really dress up for Halloween anymore. A couple years back a friend of mine had a party that combined both Halloween and Christmas. The theme was your favorite celebrity. You had to go either as a dead celebrity or a living celebrity made up to look like they were dead.

    The host went as a zombie Marilyn Monroe and there were a lot of other ones as well. I went as Bob Ross (the PBS Joy of Painting legend).

    As for what I’m dressing up as this year, I get that question all the time. I joke that I’m dressing up as a nice guy who gives away lots of free stuff at my door for all the kids. I don’t actually put on a costume to give out the candy.

    But that’s okay, they all come to my house though. That’s because my house is sometimes referred to as “The Comic Book House”. I give out candy of course, but I also give out a bunch of comic books each year. And then I top that off with special prizes for great costumes or the first costume to have a particular theme (Star Wars, superhero, etc.)

    It is more fun for me to see the little kids get excited over a comic or a small toy than it is for me to dress up. Plus with the comics, I hope that it sparks at least a few of them to get into reading more. Start with comics, move on to books is the dream!

  3. I have the cowboy hat and spurs for Edwina, Jessie. Also the cap gun (with caps) and badge. She’d be the rootin’, tootin’ star of her block, ready for those tricksters. I guess you can tell my favorite costume.

  4. I was the fourth of five children (still am according to Mom, even at 60) and very shy. Brown hair, brown eyes, average everything. So Halloween was a chance to be somebody else — a gypsy! Bright colors, a retired square-dancing skirt with flounces and ruffles, sparkling clamp-on earrings (ouch, but worth it;) and lipstick! SO exotic; So. Not. Me.
    There were other costumes through the years but The Gypsy is the one that comes to mind right away.

  5. I haven’t dressed up in years, but hubby and I are getting into the spirit this year and dressing as vampires. My son is passing out candy at work as a werewolf. We seem to have the Downworld theme going. I refuse to get old, so it is time to be a kid again.

  6. I will read that story with all your characters in costume together!

    I’m planning to recycle my Mr. Incredible costume this year. They haven’t seen it at work yet, and it means I get to wear sweats to work. Win/win. I did buy a new, more comfortable eye mask to wear with it this year. Hopefully I can keep it on all day instead of for 15 minutes at a time.

  7. What a fun post, Liz! I love Halloween and have many great memories of it from the days of my youth as well as when I took my boys trick-or-treating.

    My favorite memory is from when I was in 8th grade. I dressed up as a scarecrow for the Irvington Halloween Fest and won first prize for my age category in the parade. Good times!

  8. What a great post! Oh, how I’d love to go to that party with Beryl, Edwina, Sarah, Lily, Robbie,and Julia. I would LOVE seeing Julia in that beaded dress. And of course, Edwina as a cowboy would scandalize Walmsley Parva!

    Back in my costume days, I mostly used to go as a monk in a loose brown burlap robe with some leather sandals. I figured it was a good costume for me since I already had the tonsure built-in.

    One year, when I was working for a company that scored standardized tests (the kind where you fill in a bubble with a number 2 pencil), I dressed up as a test. I made myself a sandwich board with two very large pieces of cardboard (painted with scanning guides and bubbles) held together with two fairly long strips of canvas stapled to them so it would fit over my shoulders. What I forgot was that there was no way to sit down in my costume. So I had to stay standing for the whole evening. Not the most practical of costumes (which probably had some influence on my getting myself that monk’s robe).

    My worst costume mistake came one year when I found a mask that looked like the face in the painting, “The Scream”. I added a long black robe with a hood and I was all set. The mask looked incredible under an ultra-violet light, so I replaced my hall light with a UV bulb.

    I realized I’d made a terrible mistake when I answered the door for the first trick-or-treaters and a group of five-year-old children ran screaming from my house. I was devastated by the reaction, and disgusted by my stupidity for not anticipating such a response.

    Needless to say, I immediately dispensed with the mask and the UV light for the rest of the evening.

    I hope no one else here ever made such an awful costume faux pas.

    My neighborhood has gradually aged, so we no longer get that many trick-or-treaters, and my costume party days, I fear are in my past. However, if I should happen to get a Halloween invite from any of you, I’m still all set. Have monk’s robe/will travel!

    Happy Halloween everyone!

  9. The two costumes (of others) that I remember best was the very pregnant woman who went as a pot-belly stove, and the very tall, very thin man who went as a yardstick. Very creative. One year I was painting the window and door frames around the front door during the trick or treat hours. We had loads of kids at that place and they all thought I was “dressed up” as a painter since I was wearing paint splattered clothes and a painter’s hat. Worked for me!

  10. These are all so much fun!

    Halloween has always been my favorite day of the year, and I adore dressing up, dressing others (siblings, kids, husband), as well. Not to mention the decorations–we have close to 20 tubs of skeletons, bats, eyeballs, skulls, black lace, flashing lights, and on, and on.

    Over the years I think my two favorite solo costumes were Charlie Chaplin and a gypsy. Different years, of course. My husband and I always wear couples costumes: Snow White and a too-persuasive Dopey, vampire and “bitten” flapper, cowboys, pirates, superheroes (Batman and Spiderwoman), and this year an angel and a devil. I wanted to be the devil, but couldn’t find the old white graduation robe we used to have that would have been Steve’s angel robes. It worked out, anyway.

    One of our Halloween party guests this year was our neighbor, dressed as an astonishingly convincing Colonel Sanders.

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