Lit Like a Punkin: (Somewhat) Literary Halloween Costumes

Neon orange Halloween pumpkins

Photo by: hanna_horwarth


I don't know about you, but Halloween is one of those things I think about year round. Costume ideas are always popping into my head and out of the blue I'll say, "Maybe that's what I'll be for Halloween!" I'm sure this is super charming, especially when we're nowhere near October. But the time is nigh to get your spook on, and I couldn't be happier! For lit-lovers like you and me, costumes we love might sometimes be unrecognizeable to the public. I remember one of my college professors gleefully recounting a Halloween bash where his friend had showed up as WEB DuBois' concept of the veil from The Souls of Black Folk, and while that may have been a hit at the humanities Halloween spooktacular, you can bet that the majority of people roaming the streets on All Hallows Eve wouldn't have gotten it!

I'm still of the mind that if you're wearing a costume that makes you happy, then there's nothing wrong with no one understanding. That being said, when I told a friend how excited I was about the idea of going as a character from the Jane Austen Fight Club, I pooh-poohed his concerns when he said, "Jane Austen? Who's that? Is anyone going to get it?" (Yes, that happened. The horror!) Whatever you're going to go as this Halloween, don't let anyone else's concerns steer you away from what you really want to be! I've been dreaming up literary-minded costumes, and here are a few I've concocted. Mwahahaha!


Jane Austen Fight Club

![Jane Austen Fight Club Halloween costume][Jane Austen Fight Club]

I like a Jane Austen novel as much as anyone (possibly more...), but they do tend to run on the bland side. Enter the Jane Austen Fight Club—a spin on the Jane Austen Book Club and Fight Club—where no holds are barred! Check out this video to study up on how to comport yourself appropriately in this costume, and do be sure to brush up on your Austenisms with Emma or a bit of Pride and Prejudice. The lace gloves are off. Booya!


Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter Halloween costume
Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter costume

There have been sooo many new takes on classics (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, anyone?), and now they're seeping into our history! For a costume that says "Hey, I like history—and ghoulish chases," try Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter. Sure, there was a movie recently out, but it was based on the book, making this at least somewhat of a literary costume!


Medusa, the Snake-Haired Gorgon

Medusa Halloween costume
Medusa costume

Who doesn't love the story of Perseus and Medusa? I mean, really, who doesn't love the idea of a woman who can turn people to stone simply by having them look at her?! I've always loved Greek mythology (as was more than evident in this post) and Medusa is an excellent costume choice because you can make her deadly attractive or fatally creepy—as long as you've got snakes in your hair, you really can't go wrong. Know your story before you head out, and you'll be sure to petrify! Hah!


Sherlock Holmes, Relentless Detective

Sherlock Holmes detective Halloween costume
Sherlock Holmes

Become the beloved, single-minded detective for a night—yes, please! Holmes is so iconic that you could identify the man simply from his silhouette, so you can be sure this is one costume that won't leave people guessing. This might look like a man's costume, but I can assure you that I'd gladly don this and stalk into the night for some sleuthing! You're going to need to be able to make some unsettlingly astute observations about people throughout the night, so learn from the master and carry on, good chap!


Who—or what—will you be dressing up as for Halloween? And just as important: what kind of candy will you be giving out? I'm still deciding on what or who to be, but since there are always candy leftovers, I'll be doing the obnoxiously massive assorted Tootsie Roll bag because I can never get enough of them! Until the glorious night descends, I'll be plotting. Mwahahahaaa!

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