Recently, I was looking at a local Festival Listing (Bournemouth Arts by the Sea), and a Shaun of the Dead Party was advertised, which included the option to dress up like a zombie. Then it somehow became a browse onto a site for a Halloween ‘Scare Park’, which also included people dressed up like zombies….
Yup, there’s no denying it; people love dressing up like zombies on Halloween. And why not? It’s easy – it requires gross make up, and little explanation over what exactly you’re ‘supposed to be’. Everyone knows, because it looks like half your face is rotting away. The choice of Halloween costume is very interesting, and if you’re a celebrity, it gets scrutinised by the press (at least, it does on the sites I look at anyhow).
Once, people used to dress up as monsters on Halloween, or ‘All Hallows’ Eve’, because of the nature of it. A festival somewhat hi-jacked by Christianity (the festival has pagan roots, despite the Christian etymology of the name), the whole ‘dressing up as something scary’ probably came from the idea that the day after was the celebration of souls recently departed. Dressing up as something undead, and possibly death inducing, fits the overall feeling.
Anyway, getting sidetracked here: according to my sketchy internet research, the top 10 Halloween costumes are something like this. And with anecdotal evidence (ie from trips out at Halloween), I’d say I’ve seen far more zombies than vampires. But that’s if people even dress up like monsters anymore. It’s become something of a fancy dress free-for-all rather than any adherence to the original meaning. Are monsters becoming too unattractive to dress as? Obviously there are swathes of people dressed up as zombies on Halloween, but there are still vast amounts in very little, with a touch of fake blood to make it ‘Halloween’. The best costumes are the ones you can completely become something else in. And sadly, with vampires being so much like humans, there’s no real difference. For those fans of Halloween, the zombie is the ultimate costume – physically and mentally you can look sub-human, and take the night off from thinking. What’s not to love?