Halloween, the annual holiday of gory horror and venerated evisceration, always comes with a challenge: how horrible can you become this year? More specifically, who (or what) will you become this year? For some, Halloween is only about costumes – the act of dressing up, without consideration of fear, horror or gore. For them, an angel, a beer bottle or Little Bo Peep are all reasonable attire.
Now, that’s fine, if you’re Halloween destination of choice involves packed rooms and a beer bong, but may I suggest that Halloween be lived up just a little more? When else does horror become so acceptable on such a widespread level? Live it up! Halloween is the one opportunity for immersion in the glorified grotesque, for horrid fantasy wont of a Cannibal Corpse album cover or Todd McFarlane toy line to walk the decaying and zombie-sullied earth.
If you are not content with settling for a skimpified Red Riding Hood or low-cut Snow White, and really want to make this Halloween a haunt, I’ve got a few suggestions – a selection of some of the creepiest female characters, from video games and movies alike – for scary Halloween costumes this year.
Dark Nurse (Silent Hill)
Made (in)famous by the 2006 film, the Silent Hill Nurse has been disjointedly slinking around the Silent Hill game series since its inception. The most recognized form comes from the movie, where the Dark Nurse is seen displayed in disgustingly creepy fashion.
Silent Hill, essentially, is a town gone to Hell (to put it simply), and all its occupants have since also become tortured, disfigured, and bemonstered in various ways. The Nurse, blinded and faceless via bandaged burns, wears the tattered and soiled remnants of her uniform, while also wielding a scalpel with varicose-vein-strangled limbs. Appearance-wise, the Dark Nurse is not much more than a nurse (albeit alluringly voluptuous) in scorched shambles, but it is the behavior of the character that makes her so creepy. Walking with dislocated convulsions and spasms, the nurse carries all the terror of the unknown and the unpredictable in her violent lashings and statuesque stillness. Traipse through the Halloween twilight in this one – your neighborhood will be running for the (Silent) hills.
Bloody Blind Mag (Repo! The Genetic Opera)*
Blind Mag, the beautifully tragic diva from the tragically undersold Repo! The Genetic Opera. Blind Mag is seen in multiple outfits throughout the 2008 gothic/industrial rock opera, all of them beautiful and captivating, but it is a specific state, her last appearance, that makes for a chillingly creepy Halloween costume.
A little background: Repo! The Genetic Opera takes place in a world where organ failure is a pandemic, and a company has profited from the problem by providing organs to those in need for a price, a price which when unpaid, warrants delightfully gory organ repossession. There is infinitely more to the movie than this, including a multilayered love triangle and interfamily blood feud, of which Blind Mag plays a central part, but suffice it to say, Blind Mag also carried a couple loaned organs that left her in peril of repossession. Not to give too much away, but Blind Mag ultimately solved the problem in her own, tragic way.
What makes Blind Mag such an ideal Halloween costume is the juxtaposition of horror and elegance in this particular form. Her outfit is beautiful in a theatrical sense, and her face is porcelain-pristine, but where her compromised eyes were gape only gouged and spouting pits – their bloody bounty plucked by Blind Mag’s own hands, impaled on two talon-like pieces of jewelry.
This costume would be great for horror without abundant gore. It’s about as classy as Halloween could get.
Shibito (Siren: Blood Curse)
Siren: Blood Curse is a video game bearing some similitude to Silent Hill. Strange occult town, gone straight to Hell, chock full of demons and horrible monsters. This one, though, takes place in Japan.
The Shibito are basically demon-possessed people, but their behavior and appearance make them prime for Halloween costumes. As a general character type, instead of one particular character, they are great for anyone. There are several types of Shibito encountered in the game, but the general aesthetic is medical, surgeons and nurses. The nurses are not as overt as those of Silent Hill, but their subtlety makes for a more atmospheric costume. With bleeding eyes and orifices, bloodstains on dirtied uniforms and a slow, brooding gait, Shibito are a very creepy contribution to the Halloween festivities.
Axe-Faced Virginia Poe (Masters of Horror: The Black Cat)
The consumption-stricken wife of Edgar Allan Poe in the short film adaptation of Poe’s The Black Cat would not be much of a candidate for creepiest Halloween costume were it not for her incidental demise. The means of this tragedy, its grotesque and axe-imparted glory, make for a remarkable bit of Halloween horror.
Virginia, ill-fated as ever, found herself at the wedged end of a hewing axe, and the manner in which it not only clove but jammed in her face parted her eyes and features in such a disturbingly macabre way, made all the more unnerving by her manic flailing and gushing gore, that there is no doubt that Virginia Poe, axe and all, would make for a truly unsettling Halloween costume, if undertaken.
Lisa Trevor (Resident Evil)
Probably the most visually unsettling of these five, Lisa Trevor is a victim of 30 years worth of torture, genetic experimentation and isolation. She is mentally fragmented and insane, and her appearance overtly reflects this bemonstered condition.
In the Resident Evil game series, she appears flailing and lurching in a tattered, bloodstained dress and with manacled hands and broken shackles on her feet. The most disturbing aspect of her outfit is that she wears a hood of sewn together faces, all contorted in pain and suffering. The costume itself would not be difficult, but the atmosphere of the character would make such a striking imprint, few things could fit Halloween better.
There you go, five creepy costumes plucked from plenty more. So, whether you choose one of these characters for your Halloween costume or just take some inspiration from them, may you make this Halloween truly horrific.
* Image slightly different – pre-eye-gouging.