It is October 31st. Yes, already. Like Jaws to Brody, Annabel to that poor child, or a breakout room to a morning lecture, Halloween seems to have suddenly sprung upon us and it’s a little bit terrifying.
If you have yet to source a costume for today, do not fear. As masks are a little overdone this year and the sexy nurse completely overworked, we asked the students of Durham for their creepiest costume ideas that only 2020 could inspire.
(If you are taking notes, remember your party is probably on Zoom, so only the top half of a costume is needed. Small blessings, eh.)
The most popular costume idea was inspired by the hand sanitiser dispensers that haunt every corner of campus. With a clear plastic coat and a squeezable hat, this clean and classy costume is a must-have for this spooky season.
However, some students were willing to put more effort into the outfit than others; “Like a good sanitiser, I hope to be 60% alcohol by the end of the night”.
One student simply remarked it would make sure their friends couldn’t leave without them.
Others decided to be a little more realistic: “We’re going to be a triptych of empty dispensers. Pumping at a dispenser and having nothing come out, so having to rub your hands together in pretence until you reach the next one, is the most terrifying thing right now”.
While the three-headed Cerberus is a common costume from Halloweens past, several students were planning to up the ante to six artificial heads, thereby making a deadly seven-person group. One doesn’t dare to imagine the alarming assemblage if these people happened to meet on the night. Oh, never mind– that would be a seminar group.
In the wake of the first lockdown, sourdough starters are the new zombies. They have infiltrated our kitchens, and now they’re taking to the streets in search of brains (or 200g strong white bread flour).
“My sourdough starter is both dead and fully alive; I don’t think you can get much spookier than that”, says one lockdown-baker.
Another claims, “It was meant to feed me, but I spend all my money feeding it”.
While these students aim to prove themselves by dressing as zombie-starters, more mature individuals are opting for the timeless mouldy-bread look. Undoubtedly, all of these costumes will end up on Instagram, just like every single loaf they made in lockdown.
In a variation on the familiar Rapunzel outfit, some costumes will harken back to the dodgy lockdown haircuts. Popular upcoming styles include the Fringe of Regret, the Accidental Bald Patch and the “I didn’t trust anyone, so now I have 30 inches of hair and a beard”. This costume has an advisory warning: the more worrying the hairstyle, the more likely you are to fit in in Durham.
Also haunted by lockdown, one student said, “I’m going as a Zoom quiz – I will have an ugly PowerPoint across my chest, a drink in my hand and a sense of absolute desperation in my soul”. Partiers can be assured that it is all right if this costume starts to make less sense as the night goes on – such is the nature of a Zoom quiz.
Some students still had toilet paper hoarded from March so will be opting for the classic Mummy costume; bonus points will be awarded to anyone who can make one out of pasta.
One must not forget the scare of October 5th, when the online learning system stopped working on day one. “As the ghost of Panopto”, said one excited partier, “I will buffer, freeze and crash, and offer no explanation for any of it”.
Some students found the distant past more spooky. “I’m dressing up as my former self – the ghost of my long-lost identity. I recently found a picture from 2019 and barely recognised myself; I was wearing jeans, real shoes, and my hair was brushed at the back as well as the front. Oh boy, things have changed since then. Frankly, this is probably the most difficult costume I’ve ever done”.
Meanwhile, others are looking to the future. “Ho ho, I am whipping out the Santa Claus suit”, says one student. “I vote we just skip to Christmas and get this year over and done with”.
Another is planning to pack some perpetual pessimism into the party. “I’m using my 2020 planner as a costume. What else would I need it for?”
Others won’t be doing much at all. “My housemates and I will be dressing as the nightclub table tickets that we booked in advance and now cannot sell. We have so many regrets”.
Featured image by Jernej Ferman on Flickr.