Five factors in deciding whether to dress funny or scary this year

By Jeff Mitchell

The timeless question: the banana or the zombie? Every year, students head out to parties across the area donning everything from pirate costumes, to alien costumes, to parodies. In recent years, clever costumes have featured oversized pieces of fruit, superheroes or the beloved Morphsuit that leaves nothing to the imagination. Funny has constantly been dominating campuses, while scary seems to have been pushed to the wayside. Here are a few reasons why:


To look truly undead, one must spend hours in front of a mirror to create the perfect look. Creating the perfect blend of gray and red to make your face appear deceased and decayed is no easy feat. Hollywood FX specialists keep stars in chairs hours upon hours to make sure they look as sinister and unsightly as possible.


No college student wants to shell out tons of money for expensive makeup and the like. No one wants to shred their shirt or coat some blue jeans in blood just for a few nights. Any funny costume can be made easily with a quick trip to a local thrift shop and discovering things lying around the house. The reason being there are no expectations. Funny is such a wide range that anyone with some artistic prowess has the ability to starch a dollar and make a lot of it. This is not to say all scary costumes must be costly; they just require more detail to be done well.


Everyone wants that reaction from one of their friends that they have the best costume. Funny costumes elicit that reaction and make people want to talk to you and ask. If your costume is scary, people will think it’s creepy and not want to see you, or, even worse, they think your costume looks like you taped it together, which makes you feel stupid for trying so hard on it.


Funny costumes have versatility. A simple monkey mask can be used in so many ways: 1. Plain ole’ monkey. 2. Throw on a tie and a dress shirt and have yourself a “monkey suit.” 3. Chase around your pal in a banana costume, as a monkey-banana duo. Scary costumes simply can’t be used in as many ways – if you are a zombie, no matter what you wear you are still just another member of the walking dead.


This is not to say that scary costumes can’t be creative, but you are limited in your range. Undead, demons, creepy clowns and some aliens cover most of what you can dress if you want to be scary. Funny allows for nearly anything you can think of – from a simple animal to an adventurer from foreign lands – your only limit is your own imagination.

Junior Brett Hausler stated that he is planning on going as a grandfather this Halloween with a matching grandmother.

When asked why more college students seem to gravitate towards funny costumes over scary, Hausler said: “I think people like to wear funny costumes over scary because as people in our society mature, they decide that attempting to be funny is a way to boost their own morale and also to have a better reputation among their friends. They can figure out whether or not they are successful by when they go out to a big party and see how many friends they can make or not.”

Frightening costumes can be done well, but perhaps college is not just the time to do so. Maybe there is a niche of scary that can be done well, but it has yet to be.  It is up to every student how the trend will shift as everyone makes their own decision when they get dressed on Oct. 31.

Jeff Mitchell can be reached at [email protected]