Need literary costume idea

Okay, all you clever Straight Dopers, use your collective noggin to come up with a great Halloween costume idea for me, preferably on a literary theme. The gal I’m kinda seeing is going as Hester Prynne, so the Rev. Dimmesdale is one possibility. Any others?
– Greg, Atlanta

You could be the scarlet letter and affix yourself to her chest, that would be your excuse anyway.

There’s no obvious way to recognize Dimmsdale. But, with a rubber chicken and a piece of rope, you’re an unmistakable Ancient Mariner.

There’s no obvious way to recognize Dimmsdale. But, with a rubber chicken and a piece of rope, you’re an unmistakable Ancient Mariner.
Or half the people who post in the Pit.

If, like some of us, you have a slight weight problem and the proper complexion, you could go naked with a little seaweed in your teeth as Moby Dick.

Lex Non Favet Delictorum Votis

Possibilites abound!
Gatsby? Put on your slickest almost lounge-lizard suit, or a antique golf costume.

Prospero, in a knock-off wizard costume, draped w/ seaweed, dimestore pearls and a dripping books. (Soak your old US West phone book; your “drowned book”–get it?)

Or Julius Caesar (this isn’t original): dress in the standard “Animal House” toga, w/ a set of carefully crafted private parts made of panty hose insouciantly waving below the hem of your toga. (This would partner VERY well w/ Hester.)

Cyrano de Bergerac: rent a swashbuckler doublet and gear, then paste a big honkin’ snoze on your face. It will also limit your alcohol intake quite effectively.

Or hell, cross dress. Rent the ugliest prom/wedding dress you can find, gray your hair, spritz some instant cobwebs, carry a toy rat and a piece of wedding cake (stale danish would do in a pinch) and go as Miss Haversham.

If you insist on remaining male (sigh), there’s always the Richard II of Shakespeare fame. Same generic doublet, limp a lot and carry a Chucky doll w/ a pillow taped to its face.

And don’t forget Frankenstein’s monster was a literary character before he was a movie icon. So was Dracula, come to that.

Captain Blood. Horatio Hornblower. Hey, give Hester a twirl!


A while back McDonalds had small stuffed Winnie the Pooh characters with a clip, I assume to clip on book bags, etc. Wife got a few, but not all. They were only the heads of the characters, pooh, owl, piglet, tigger,etc. My son (17 months) has a small wooden sword. I’ve considered for his costume cutting up some pants and a t-shirt (or just letting him play in them for a day), clipping the heads to his belt, maybe painting war paint on his face and: Christopher Robin Gone Mad.

TVeblen, don’t you mean Richard III?

I think you should go as Chillingworth, not Dimmesdale – much scarier. Or, if you don’t mind cross-dressing, as Salome with the head of John the Baptist on a platter. OK, maybe not…

Let every student of nature take this as a rule – that whatever his mind seizes and dwells upon with peculiar satisfaction is to be held in suspicion.

  • Francis Bacon

The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Zaphod Beeblebrox?

Dear Fretful: good catch! Yep, I did indeed mean Richard III. The brain lost contact w/ the fingers…


one of the boys from Lord of the Flies, or a pirate from Treasure Island

White Wolf

“Honesty is the best policy, but insanity is a better defense.”

“Half the world is composed of idiots, the other half of people clever enough to take indecent advantage of them.”

Throw together some medieval-looking stuff, carry a sword and a bow, and wear pointy Spock ears; you’re a Tolkien elf.

If recent literature is acceptable, wear glasses and carry a broom, and go as Harry Potter.

Asimov junkies only: wear your regular street clothes, and introduce yourself as R. Daneel.

Laugh hard; it’s a long way to the bank.

I like voguevixen’s idea, but the two heads and three arms can be tricky. You could just wear jammies and a bathrobe and be Dent Arthur Dent.

Or screw impressing those literary types - get yourself an orange parka with a drawstring hood, mumble a lot, and add any kind of prop to connote violent death (like an arrow through the head)- and ta-da! you’re South Park’s Kenny.

Get zoned and grab a gun and go as Hunter Thompson or Burroughs. Hitchhike to the party as Jack Kerouac. Best visual??? Dirty boxer shorts and torn bathrobe as Charles Bukowski. Ask women if they’d like a little turkey neck!!!

Okay, this is just me, but go as the TITLE to a book. Once I went as Agatha Christies (sp?), “Death takes a Holiday” I wore a Scream (like the painting) mask and then wore a bright silk tourist type shirt with a camera dangling around my neck. Everyone asked who/what I was. Tell them you are a book. MAKE them guess which one. It’s fun and it leaves you open for all kinds of fun conversations.

Go naked and tie a small skillet over your “member”.

Tell them you’re Peter Pan

“She’s nothin but a little lyin’ ass bitch… I know she says she loves you but you know she don’t care…”

For your girlfriend: Instead of putting “A” on her chest, have her put “A+”.


Ah, the literary costume party . . .

You could get yourself some 20’s-style duds and go as Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald. Stay in character: get drunk and make an ass out of yourself.

A friend of mine once bought a toy plastic oven, plopped it on her head, and told everyone that she was Sylvia Plath.

Also costumes I’ve seen: Poe, Mark Twain, a guy wore a dress and claimed he was Gertrude Stein.

I go for the easy ones - hate dressing in costume. I always wear a black turtleneck, some shades, a beret and go as a beatnik. Just make sure to say “right on” a lot, and call everyone a “cat”. But, literary, tie some rope around yourself, glue little action figures onto it and you’re Gulliver.