Halloween hasn't been a scary holiday in a while, with costumes ranging from superheroes to celebrities and sparkling vampires, but it's never too late to bring fear back into vogue. If you're an avid horror fan who's constantly trying to honor the genre through your Halloween costumes, or even if you simply wish to scare your friends a bit on October 31, then these costume ideas are definitely for you. From ancient lore around the world, we bring you the 5 most frightening creatures to ever inhabit people's imaginations to inspire your costume design this Halloween. And, the best part is, they're all very easy to dress up as!
Why is it scary? It's a shapeshifter who lures people into lakes and drowns them.
Costume idea: A black horse mask with normal men's clothes. Upping the game: wear wet clothes!
The Kelpie was an evil spirit who lived in Scottish lochs - or lakes, in America - and who could change from a man to a black horse in order to attract his victims. Once the victim tried to touch the horse, they would be stuck; the Kelpie would then go back into the water, drowning its victim in the process. Other times, disguised as an attractive male, the Kelpie would make his victims fall in love with him, and follow him into the water.
Why is it scary? It's a pretty ugly-looking woman who screams loud enough to shatter glass.
Costume idea: A long disheveled wig, with a red or green dress and white lenses.
Banshees are the omen of death in Irish mythology. They would appear before a significant death occurred in the household, and only the person who was about to die would hear them. Their screeching was loud and deafening, breaking any glass object in the room. In other versions of the Banshee, instead of shrieking, she wails as the person is dying - similar to the La Llorona, in Latin America.
Why is it scary? It incorporates the worst elements of vampires, ghouls and witches
Costume idea: Red contacts, a long foam fake tongue and black clothes. Upping the game: wear a black dog bodysuit.
Active during the night, the Aswang could shapeshift into bats, eagles, cats and dogs whilst they hunted their victims. Their feeding preference would be small children and unborn fetuses - which would explain their extended sucking nose, since they could suck the baby from the mother's belly. Interestingly enough, the Aswang could live as a normal person during the day, capable of leading a normal life and even making friends!
Origin: USA and Canada
Why is it scary? It can possess normal people and make them do terrible things
Costume idea: Grey face paint, deep sunken eyes, sharp animal teeth and a bloody mouth.
Originating from the Native American Algonquin lore, the Wendigos were evil spirits that could either have a body of their own or possess humans. They were cannibalistic creatures, who specifically enjoyed the cold and winter. The Algonquin believed they were representations of greed and excess, and that people who had those inclinations would be easier targets for the Wendigos.
Origin: Norse Mythology
Why is it scary: They control the weather, foresee the future, shapeshift and drive people crazy
Costume idea: This is your typical zombie, but with a deep blue skin and swollen body — and maybe some badass Norse armor!
As an undead creature, the Draugr had all the physical characteristics of a corpse in the first stages of decomposition: 'death-blue' skin, smell of decay and swollen flesh. As far as mythological beings go, the Draugr were pretty strong, intelligent and magical - predict the future, ente. people's dreams and manifest as smoke. Anyone could become a Draugr, since the transformation only happened post-mortem, and if the body was buried upright!
Now, Halloween is much more of a fun holiday than a scary one these days, but that's not to say going to a party dressed up as one of these creepy creatures wouldn't make for a fun time! Plus, you'll be able to brag about all your nerdy folklore knowledge!
Looking for a less frightening Halloween costume idea? Check out these inspirations:
- The 15 Best Celebrity Costumes To Inspire You This Halloween
- The Joker, Harambe and More: Top 10 Pop Culture Halloween Costume Ideas for 2016
What has been your favorite Halloween costume to wear? A creepy, funny or famous one? Share your story in the comment section!