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4 Killer Halloween Costume Ideas

Think beyond "sexy ghost" with these easy costumes inspired by serial killers of eras past.


You’re still waiting for Halloween costume inspiration to strike? Well, here it is. Each getup only needs a couple key elements, so start collecting your supplies now.

halloween costume ideas - jack the ripper

Polish flag + Bloody Scissors = Jack the Ripper

After 126 years, science finally revealed Jack the Ripper’s identity, and it turns out he’s … a Polish hairdresser?! It’s always the ones you least expect. Wear a national flag around your neck and offer to cut friends’ hair with your bloody scissors all night. If they say yes, you know what to do.

killer halloween costume ideas - zodiac killer

We still don’t know who the Zodiac Killer really was, but according to police records, he had a penchant for thick eyeglass frames and astrology signs (it was the 60s and 70s after all).

killer halloween costumes - mary ann cotton

Bridal veil + Cotton balls + Bowl of arsenic = Mary Ann Cotton

All you need to transform into this crazy lady is a costume-y veil (“Mary”) and a t-shirt dotted with cotton balls. In the 1800s, she famously killed her children (and probably her mother and husbands, too) with arsenic poison. But instead of explaining that to fellow party guests, you can just try to get them to drink from your special cup and see what happens.

killer halloween costume ideas - h. h. holmes

H. H. Holmes is called The Devil in the White City (hence the horns and Chicago tee) for a reason. During the late 1800s, the heavily mustached man was found guilty of killing at least nine people in the “murder castle” he designed and built. (Experts estimate the total closer to 200.)

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons