Thursday, October 28, 2010

Goosebumps and Halloween Costume Ideas

Neil Gaiman has suggested giving away scary books in addition to candy on Hallowe’en. (Yeah, I’m using the apostrophe.)

To clarify, I’m not proposing that you give books or comics instead of chocolate bars or razor-stuffed apples (if you’re in a country that hands out candies on Hallowe’en). (Although some some people do that, and with success -- I’ve already heard from people who have gone down to charity shops and walked out with boxes of vintage R.L. Stine books that they plan to hand to kids).

I’m proposing something slightly different.

That you give someone a scary book this Hallowe’en.

You certainly don’t have to give everyone you know a scary book. Just pick someone, or a few someones, you care about. Then give them a book this week that’ll scare their hair white.

I like the idea, but I’m confused by the notion of vintage R.L. Stine. I remember him wholly as the author behind the Goosebumps factory. Are hacky horror books for kids from the 1990s considered vintage now, or does Stine have some older, better work with which I am not familiar?

(I read Goosebumps as a kid and it seems like all of them ended with an it-was-a-dream cop out. Even as a fourth grader, I felt cheated when a monster-infested family vacation turned out to be a game show.)

You really want to scare kids? Read them the grislier parts of The Old Testament.

Also, for kicks, here are some book-based Halloween costumes:

Small child dressed as a monster, redundant and adorable

This is supposed to be Juliet. Because, y’know, I want my little girl to emulate a hormonal and suicidal adolescent.

They also make a Juliet costume for women. (They should make a Juliet costume for men, considering women only started playing the role in the last few centuries.)

Need a couple’s costume? How about Rhett and Scarlett? Just don’t wear heels with the dress; because, if you fall down the stairs, the jokes won’t be funny.

Arthur Dent = Easiest Costume Ever. Got a bathrobe? Got a towel? You're good to go. (Bonus points if you can fake a British accent. If you can't, that's all right, neither could Mos Def in the movie.)

Scariest costume of all. This is supposed to be The Man in the Yellow Hat, but it’ll most likely be The Face that Haunts my Nightmares.

Also, Curious George!

I couldn’t find a photo, but here’s a link on how to make a Coraline costume (since we did talk about Gaiman.)

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