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35 Scary Halloween Costumes That Will Give You Nightmares

Scare the living daylights out of anyone and everyone you encounter with one of these terrifying Halloween costumes…if you dare.

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People love Halloween for many reasons—the aesthetic, the traditions, the eerie stories, and, of course, the costumes. Halloween is a time where people can transform themselves into anything they want, after all. Some people choose punny costumes, but others explore scary Halloween costume ideas and go all out on the spookiness.

Some of the best Halloween costume ideas are meant to frighten people. That’s one of the fun parts of Halloween–choosing costumes and make up ideas that’ll scare others (in good fun, of course). If you’re looking to really bring the fright this year, these scary Halloween costumes will do the trick.

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The Nun Costumevia

The Nun costume

Dress up as the terrifying villain in one of the scariest Halloween movies to give your friends and family a real fright.

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Sith costumevia

Sith costume

Feel like going to the Dark Side for a night? This simple Sith getup is perfect for Star Wars fans. You could even organize a Sith group costume!

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Carrie Costumevia

Carrie costume

Turn Halloween into prom night gone wrong by dressing as Stephen King’s unforgettable protagonist in Carrie. All you need is this white sheath dress doused in fake blood and corsage (telekinesis optional). For real life nightmares, check out these ouija board stories that are actually true.

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Grim Reaper Costumevia

Kids’ Grim Reaper costume

If you’re looking for a scary Halloween costume idea for your kids, this Grim Reaper getup will do the trick. The creepy glowing eyes really add to an already spooky costume. This could also be a good DIY costume for your kids if you have time to make it.

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Scream Costumevia

Scream costume

Dress up in this simple but scary costume and pay tribute to one of the most iconic slasher movies. You’re sure to get a couple of screams with this one! It’s also a good last-minute Halloween costume idea—all you need is the mask and some black clothing.

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Scary Clown Costumevia

Scary clown costume

The killer-clown mask is the key element of this scary Halloween costume, of course, but it’s helped along by a disturbingly cheery outfit with slash marks and a weapon of your choice. Bloody cleavers, flailing spiked balls—the options are endless and disturbing.

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Frank Bunny Costumevia

Frank the Bunny costume

If you’ve seen Donnie Darko, you know this bunny all too well. Dress up as this ghastly rabbit and turn some heads! If you really want to scare people, try telling some of these spooky Halloween stories that are as creepy as they are entertaining.

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Mummy Costumevia

Scary mummy costume

Get wrapped up in the Halloween spirit with this ghoulish mummy costume. Leave the toilet-papered mummy for the kids—you’re going all-out this Halloween with these well-worn, tattered bandages that are actually very sturdy (and attached to a jumpsuit). This can also make a great DIY Halloween costume for adults.

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Jester Costumevia

Evil jester costume

This guy’s no joke.

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Victorian Costumevia

Victorian bride costume

This can be a truly terrifying vintage costume if you do your Halloween makeup right. Let the screams ensue!

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Spooky Ghost Costumevia

Spooky ghost costume

This freaky, faceless reaper in the ghastly white robe and pointy black gloves will have trick-or-treaters running in the other direction. Add clanking chains to announce your arrival from the afterlife—or a set of lighter but realistic-looking plastic chain links—and add a light-up skull lantern for a truly spooky effect.

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Headless Costumevia

Headless Horseman costume

People will lose their minds over this scary Halloween costume. Plus, you can get a kid’s version if you want to dress up as a headless brood.

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Vampire Costumevia

Dreadful vampiress costume

You’ll be the talk of the town (or Halloween party) in this scary costume. Pair it with a scary vampiress makeup look and you’re good to go. Get extra creative by making up a vampire legend for your ghastly character.

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Ringmaster Costumevia

Scary ringmaster costume

Be the twisted host of the scariest event in town! Bonus points if you have your best friend dress up as a creepy clown—you could be a terrifying circus duo.

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Demon Costumevia

The shadow demon

With this head-to-toe, all-black costume, you can’t see any other identifying details either—and you can blend into the darkness, making it even more frightening. Add a pair of gloves with way-too-pointy fingers, demonically glowing eyes, and some stealthy moves, and you have a recipe for pure terror as you creep up on unsuspecting friends and give them the scare of their lives.

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Ghost Pirate Costumevia

Ghost pirate costume

This is a scary Halloween costume idea that’ll leave an impression. Plus, you could make up a fun (or terrifying) backstory explaining how your character met their fate.

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Lady In Black Costumevia

Lady in black costume

Talk about terrifying! Add a long-haired wig streaked with some glow-in-the-dark hairspray to make this costume extra creepy.

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Scarecrow Costumevia

Haunting scarecrow costume

You’ll be scaring way more than crows in this costume.

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sam Costumevia

Sam costume

There’s just something…so eerie about this costume. Maybe it’s the bright jumpsuit or the button eyes—either way, you’ll be spooky dressed up as this Trick ‘r Treat character.

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Pumpkin Costumevia

Scary pumpkin costume

Dress up as the scariest pumpkin in the patch this year and see how many gasps you get.

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Slenderman costume

Halloween is the perfect time to dress up as Slenderman, the creature at the center of a creepy urban legend. It’s a simple costume that’ll inspire plenty of scares.

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Witch Costumevia

Witch costume

Celebrate the season of the witch by transforming it into one for Halloween. Pair this costume with some seriously creepy witch makeup to complete the spooky look.

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Forsaken Soul Costumevia

Forsaken soul costume

Turn heads all night with this scary Halloween costume idea. Talk about creepy!

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eyeless jack Costumevia

Kids’ Eyeless Jack costume

This is another scary kids Halloween costume to consider for your little ones. They can dress up as a creepy urban legend for the night and (innocently) frighten those in their path.

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Pennywise costume

This costume pays tribute to Pennywise from the 1990 IT miniseries. It’s just as scary as the new Pennywise look, and it’s unique, too. You can easily stand out in a sea of Pennywises (which sounds terrifying, for the record).

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Purge Masksvia

The Purge light-up masks

A big perk of this costume setup is that you can wear pretty much what you want as long as you have the masks. Equally scary and practical.


LED Light Up Mask EL Wire Light Up for Festival Cosplay Halloween Costume Halloween Festival Party.” product_price=”13.99″ product_category=”Toy” product_retailer=”Moon Sharon Express” content_rating=”” /]

LED Light Up Mask EL Wire Light Up for Festival Cosplay Halloween Costume Halloween Festival Party.” product_price=”13.99″ product_category=”Toy” product_retailer=”Moon Sharon Express” content_rating=”” /]

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Anabelle Costumevia

Annabelle costume

A creep doll costume is bound to get a couple of gasps. Dress up as Anabelle, the demon doll who causes mischief and pure terror. Bonus creepy points if you carry a creepy doll around all night.

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Demon Costumevia

Demon costume

Take scary to another level with this terrifying Halloween costume idea. Add a pitchfork and wings to make it even scarier!

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Axe Murderess Costumevia

Axe murderess costume

Talk about a killer costume. This is a scary Halloween costume idea guaranteed to turn heads.

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Cursed Zombie Costumevia

Cursed zombie costume

Go as the undead this Halloween in this cursed zombie costume. The clothes don’t come with the costume, but that means you can be creative with your zombie attire.

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shattered doll maskvia

Shattered doll mask

This is a scary Halloween costume idea that’s pretty easy to put together. Pair this eerie mask with all black clothing and you have a dark doll look.

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Plague Doctor Costumevia

Plague doctor mask

Get ready to send chills down people’s spines in this creepy mask. You’ll need to plan the rest of the costume, but as long as you have the mask, you’ll make a scary impression.

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Entity Costumevia

Faceless entity costume

A costume with no face? The scare-meter is high with this getup.

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Ghost Mask Costumevia

Sinister ghost mask

Go as a ghastly ghoul this Halloween by wearing this sinister ghost mask around town. Pair it with a dark robe to make one of Halloween’s most legendary monsters extra spooky.

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Jason Costumevia

Jason costume

You’ll earn a couple of gasps by dressing up as this legendary Friday the 13th slasher.

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