Halloween costumes are known to shock, frighten and titillate celebrators everywhere. But so do the prices. This year, some people sought to cut down the horrific costs in favor of more original and cheaper costumes for their Halloween festivities.
At the Gaede Stage Theatre at Minnesota State University– Moorhead, troupe members showed off their skills in a sketch comedy entitled “Laugh Yourself to Death!” The show advertised free admission for those willing to wear costumes, and almost everyone took up this opportunity to sport their Halloween best. Undead brides, superheroes and animal-eared people flooded the theatre. Three of these viewers, all theatre majors and sophomores at MSUM, came as the characters from the Disney cartoon show “Phineas and Ferb.”
Anne Brown dyed her hair bright orange and threw it up in ponytail, adding the trademark freckles of her character, Phineas. Phineas’s counterpart, Ferb, was worn by Sarah Henning. Henning’s hair was dyed green and she wore hiked up pants to look like Ferb. The third member of their group was Laurel Schuessler, who wore a blue outfit and had a duckbill to portray her character, Perry the platypus.
“Anne and I found out we both liked ‘Phineas and Ferb,’ and Laurel said she’d [be Perry],” Henning said. “It’s a great show to encourage imagination so kids aren’t stuck playing video games.”
Brown added that the kids get involved and learn “fun facts” from the show, and Schuessler claimed that the “musical part can get kids into theatre and the arts.”
These women chose their costumes, which were made from various items they found and mixed together on their own, to show support for a show that sets a good example, and they did it as a group. Group costumes were popular this Halloween, and the money saving didn’t stop because the number of people grew.
A group of Concordia girls decided to personify “Cobber Nation” as their costumes. Each wore a letter to spell out “Cobber” on t-shirts that they stenciled and spray-painted themselves. The group included Christie Gleason, Allie Klug, Annabel Olson, Katie Johnson, Alicia Wagner, and Kairsten Nelson. The idea came from Klug and Nelson because they wanted to represent Concordia.
“Cobbers are all boys and we wanted to show that girls could do this,” Nelson said. “We could [also] include all of our friends in one costume.”
Another group of Concordia girls had a similar idea and embodied it by dressing up as the rock group Kiss. Junior Danne Verghis came as Paul Stanley, with the signature black star painted over one eye. Junior Stephanie Vetter was lead guitarist Ace Frehley, junior Nikita Welder came as drummer Peter Criss and junior Lauren Monteforte wore a Gene Simmons costume. All of the girls wore the signature makeup of the band with black t-shirts.
“We decided to be Kiss because there’s four of us,” said Welder. “It’s original because people don’t go to that much effort to do it.”
The four girls met before the event and listened to music while helping each other create original Kiss costumes.
“It’s more fun to make a costume,” Monteforte said. “We get to put it on together and get ready.”
Togetherness was also seen by Concordia couple Taylor Wrege and Devan Gross at the Halloween Bash. The two came dressed up as sailors from costumes they purchased online because they’d be able to match, and Gross had been in the Navy.
Avoiding the high prices of the retail costume stores was not just for groups trying to include all of their members. Senior Jade Gandrud dressed up as a nerd and wore a fanny pack, retainer and her dad’s seventies’ corduroy pants.
“I had a lot of this stuff at my disposal… I just remixed it to make it nerdy,” Gandrud said. “I didn’t really want to spend fifty [dollars] on a costume. It’s conservative, which I like, and I can dance as stupid as I want to, and it fits my character.”
Paige Scarborough, who came as the owl from the Tootsie Pop commercials, went a step further than most and wore an entirely homemade costume.
“I’ve never bought a costume actually,” Scarborough said, holding a Tootsie Pop. “My mom has made my costume since I was little… and that way I always got to be what I wanted to be.”
Whether it was doing their own make-up, buying online or starting from scratch with snippets found around the house, students this year saved a bundle by making their own costumes and were able to include their friends in the savings.