Annus horror-bilis: your topical options for a 2020 Halloween costume

It's been a scary old year, alright. Your options for an actual party are pretty limited (a funeral, basically), but there's been plenty fo outfit inspo to draw from

There are three types of people at a Halloween party. There’s the sexy crew, who are just using this as an excuse to dress as seductively as they can with some added black lipstick and animal ears. Then there are funny ones – people in a costume three times the size of them, dressed as an octopus or a recently deceased celebrity. And finally there’s the Too Much Effort attendee: spent in excess of $200 and look very authentically spooky, but everyone is still laughing at someone else’s Dead Alan Partridge that they cobbled together for $4 (and they can do the voice).

As we’ve discussed before, the way to get around the rule of six is a funeral. So your Halloween party is gonna be really authentic this year. If you’re living in a city, get your hands on a mouse or two and make a little coffin, or if your nan croaks it right on time, thank her in your speech for making your gathering happen.

This year has been pretty much the scariest on record in most of our lifetimes. A global pandemic, swarms of locusts, the black plague came back for a bit, and Trump (who was joined on stage by Nigel Farage this week) might get a second term. So here’s your up-to-date guide on what to dress as this year, to… erm… party with the members of your household.

Your Favourite Britpop Hero


They’re dead, obviously, because they thought Corona was a hoax. Plus side of this one is that you don’t have to wear a mask either. Get your old Adidas pullover out the wardrobe, bang on some jeans, pay $700 for a pair of rare trainers off eBay, and take a picture of Noel Gallagher to the hairdresser. Fool’s Gold.

A Free School Meal

Scare the shit out of some Tories with this simple costume. Staple some food to a plastic tray and strap it over your shoulders, sandwich-board style. For a double-whammy, dress in a Manchester United football kill as you’re wearing it and hold your petition in your hand. Should ensure a safe two metre distance between you and people who think poor kids should starve.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

The collars! The attitude! The black dresses! The Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, who sadly died this year, was made to be a Halloween costume for those on the right side of American politics. A cool vintage dress and pair of thick-rimmed glasses should do the trick here. Easy-peasy.

The Ghost of Brexit 

Remember at the end of January when we all prayed for something else to be in the news? Be careful what you wish for. I’d give anything for a silly report about the shape of bananas in opposition to being told when and where I can breathe for the rest of 2020. To get the look, take an old white bed sheet, cut two eye holes in the front, carefully place it over your head and make sure they align with your vision, then spray-paint ‘We’re fucked’ on the front. Enjoy.

A demon From 2020’s breakout horror hit Host

If what was really going on wasn’t scary enough for you this year, director Rob Savage and friends got together to write Host, a horror film about a Zoom seance that goes wrong. Utterly terrifying. Still, a great opportunity to really go to town and dress as a demon of your choice. A good one for the Too Much Effort brigade. Really glue those scales on and paint in the skin peeling away from your skull. Then creep up behind your friend on a zoom call to their nan to really get the full effect.

‘Host’ was filmed entirely during lockdown. Credit: Shudder

The Blind Poltergeist of Barnard Castle


He moves and nobody can see him; he drives miles on end without anybody knowing*. Tories can’t see him. His eyesight is impaired as well as his moral judgement. He haunts heritage castles in the North East of England. To achieve this aesthetic, simply model yourself on a sort-of Evil Danny Boyle. Remove all traces of morality before assuming the costume. A swimming cap, some £1 reading glasses and the wardrobe of a recently divorced estate agent should do it.

*aside from the whole nation.

An 11pm Pint In A Pub

One for the sexy crew here. Dress in golden tones from the neck down, then make a white fluffy crown from cotton wool and place atop your head. Warning: people may approach you within the two metre radius when dressed as this one. You instantly become a 10 in many eyes. Invest in some personal security.

A facemask

Nothing to do with Halloween. Just wear a fucking mask.