30+ Spine-Chillingly Scary Halloween Costumes You Can DIY

Image source: Everett Collection
Photo Illustration: Michelle Alfonso
Image source: Everett Collection
Photo Illustration: Michelle Alfonso

What's even scarier than Halloween? Trying to find an original, creepy costume without spending tons of cash — especially last minute.

The good news is that we did the dirty work for you and found more than 30 of the spookiest costumes you can DIY. All you need for these scary costumes are some staple wardrobe items (like a little black dress), a makeup tutorial, and a trip to a party or craft store. You can get as creative as you want, or keep it simple — in some cases, all you really need to pull off the look is a tube of fake blood. There are ideas for flying solo, couples or BFFs, and even groups, including references to classic horror movies and spooky versions of trendy pop culture costumes. They all have one thing in common, though: they're sure to send a chill down anyone's spine. (No cutesy Barbie costumes here!)

Whether you're trick-or-treating, going to a party, hitting the bars, or wanting to dominate a costume contest, these scary costume ideas are perfect for those looking to embrace Halloween's spookier vibes. Check out a ton of scary Halloween costume ideas ahead to get your inspiration — or fake blood — flowing.

— Additional reporting by Haley Lyndes, Lauren Harano, and Sara Youngblood Gregory



Bloodsuckers are in movies and books everywhere, so you can customize this bloody, scary Halloween costume idea to your favorite fictional vamp.

What you need to do: Wear all black, whether it's a black jacket, cape, or dress. Make your own blood at home by mixing together water, corn syrup, and red food dye. Let it bleed out of the corners of your mouth like you just had lunch.



It may be an obvious idea, but how freaked out would you be to turn around and see your friend standing there dressed like this?

What you need to do: Pull that sheet off of your bed, and use a Sharpie to draw creepy eyes where your face will go (just make sure the sheet is transparent enough that you can still see). You can also cut out eyes with scissors.



This DIY scary Halloween costume is a monochrome classic that always entertains.

What you need to do: Got toilet paper or an old cut-up sheet? Start rolling it all over your body until you're completely covered. Top it off with some white contacts for extra spook factor.


Billy the Puppet

This puppet from the "Saw" movies has always been haunting. Use its iconic face as your scary costume this year.

What you need to do: Draw targets on your cheeks and lines from your mouth to your chin with eyeliner. Wear a bow tie and suspenders.



Making this cult classic a reality is super easy.

What you need to do: Dig up your old prom ensemble, and make sure you don't mind staining the dress. Mix red food dye and water into a bucket, and dump the solution over your head (we suggest doing this in the shower so you don't make a mess).


Creepy Doll

Halloween lore is full of creepy-doll characters; use any of them as your inspiration.

What you need to do: Put your hair in pigtails, and wear your frilliest dress. Use heavy eyeliner and false lashes to ring your eyes and make stitches or porcelain cracks across your face.


Wicked Witch of the West

The most iconic witch of them all.

What you need to do: Use green paint to paint your entire face, chest, and hands. If you don't want to buy a witch hat, use black construction paper to create a cone and glue it to the top of a circularly cut piece of paper. Secure it to your hair with bobby pins.


Cruella de Vil

You can't help but love this dog-napping villain.

What you need to do: Buy bottles of black and white hairspray paint and spray each side of your hair (or consider getting a black-and-white wig). Paint on arched black brows, and add bright red lipstick. Wear black and white clothes only or a fur coat. You're set!


Evil Bunny

This is one bunny we definitely don't want to cuddle.

What you need to do: Turn the traditionally cute bunny costume into a chilling one by adding black-and-white face makeup and blood, if you dare. Don't forget your bunny ears!



Everyone's favorite monster!

What you need to do: Paint your face green, and use an eyeliner pencil to draw scars and stitches on your face. Wear a black or green suit, and you have become Frankenstein!



Have you ever seen anyone so exposed?

What you need to do: Pull a zipper out of an old sweatshirt, and adhere it to your face (open at the bridge of the nose) with face glue. Fill the open space between the zipper with fake blood or red paint. Make sure to add some blood to your shirt, too.


Killer Housewife

Where do you think she's keeping her spouse?

What you need to do: Put a blood-splattered apron over a dress, and add a string of pearls. Make a fake butcher knife by covering styrofoam with tinfoil and painting the styrofoam handle black. Wear a wig or set your hair in curlers to complete this bloody Halloween costume look.


The Joker

This villain will always be Batman's greatest enemy. As both a pop culture costume and a scary costume, this ensemble is the ultimate Halloween move.

What you need to do: Use a movie still to copy the Joker's face with blue and red paint. Gel your hair back and add curls, and don't forget to top off the costume with a red suit!


Dead Disney Character

Your childhood heroes live on forever . . .

What you need to do: This is an easy one — simply take your favorite Disney costume (you can buy this at any Halloween store or DIY), then add blood and zombie makeup. While designing the makeup look, think about what would work with your character's background story. For example, Jasmine looks like she had a run-in with her tiger.



Before King Stefan stole her wings.

What you need to do: Dress in head-to-toe black, pick up some horns, and use dark makeup to contour your cheekbones. Finish off the look with bright red lipstick.


Freddy Krueger

Don't dream about this one.

What you need to do: The red-and-black-striped shirt is quite possibly the most important part. Plus the hand, which you can pick up at any party store.


"The Handmaid's Tale"

Talk about eerie.

What you need to do: An all-red dress, red cape or jacket, and black boots will do the job. Complete the look with a white bonnet.



Be careful: This mystical monster might just turn you to stone.

What you need to do: First things first: the snake halo. Buy toy snakes, and spray paint them gold. Once that's done, sew or glue them all onto a hat or headband. Complete your costume with gold and silver makeup and accessories, and get white-colored contacts to make this mythical creature really come to life.


Tiffany From "Bride of Chucky"

Want to get married?

What you need to do: The colorful wig isn't necessary, but it sure looks good! Dark makeup all around is the best idea, plus a leather jacket and a white top or dress. You can accessorize with a necklace that says "Tiffany" or draw on a heart "tattoo" that says "Chuck" in the middle.


Haunted Scarecrow

A scary scarecrow? That has "Halloween" written all over it.

What you need to do: If you're crafty, this costume is for you! Find a piece of burlap, and cut out a hole for your nose, eyes, and mouth. Stick it to your face with skin adhesive, and get the makeup out! Add black lipstick and eyeshadow to the parts of your face that aren't covered by burlap, and use fake blood for the finishing touches.


Evil Clown

Who wants to see a real circus clown?

What you need to do: Wear a red clown wig with a big colorful bow tie, and the rest of the costume will follow. Add creepy face makeup with a red nose and heavy eyeliner. Don't forget a blood-soaked fake weapon and an oversize bow tie.



We hope your potions are ready.

What you need to do: A black witch's hat is the key piece to this scary costume. The rest is up to you. Feel free to make it as creepy as you can by using fake blood, dark face makeup, and spooky accessories.


Friends Forever

Think of the phrase "till death do us part," but aimed at you and your best friend.

What you need to do: The "Purge" masks will make this killer costume absolutely terrifying, so be sure to snag one for you and one for your bestie. Wear any outfit you want, but make sure that whatever you wear is smeared with fake blood. Once you put your mask on and grab a fake weapon, you two will be unstoppable.


Pennywise From "It"

This clown is not kidding around.

What you need to do: Tone down the traditional Pennywise costume by wearing just a little face paint and coloring your hair red. Add colored contacts if you really want to give people the chills. If you can find creepy fake teeth, those will be sure to add the finishing touch.


Jack Skellington

This scary Halloween costume will cause nightmares long after Christmas.

What you need to do: Wear a black-and-white pinstriped shirt or simply just a black shirt with a white bow tie. Add skeleton makeup to your face, and don't forget your trusty sidekick, Zero!


Zombie Nun

Back from the dead, and scarier than ever.

What you need to do: A black dress with a white collar will do the trick here. Put on a black hood with a white accent to copy the veil, and add fake blood and dirt to your outfit.


Bride and Groom Zombies

It was a killer wedding, to say the least.

What you need to do: Once you and your partner are dressed in formal clothes, add dark makeup and white contacts to your eyes. Top it off with fake blood to really let them know you're spooked.


Werewolf-Attack Victim

It's just a scratch, right?

What you need to do: This costume is chilling and extremely easy, with the right makeup tools. Wear casual clothing, and let the makeup do the work. Add fake blood and bruises to your neck and chest that resemble large gashes from a werewolf's claws or teeth.


"The Silence of the Lambs"

Like they say, "Whenever feasible, one should always try to eat the rude."

What you need to do: Wear a black shirt, and paint your face completely white. Then add red-colored contacts to your eyes and part your hair down the middle. Tape a fake moth to your lips or draw it with face paint, and your work is done.


Vampire Clown

As if being a clown wasn't scary enough . . .

What you need to do: This scary costume look is all about the makeup. Paint your face white, and then get to work with the clown features! Be sure to add the triangles around your eyes and a large, jagged smile to really make this believable. Wear anything from a black-and-white outfit to brightly colored clothes with dirt all over them.



Is someone howling at the moon?

What you need to do: Make your hair as messy and wild as possible for this scary costume. Once that's done, add animalistic face makeup and fake ears to the sides of your head. Complete your costume with fake blood and vampire teeth.



What kind of web are you spinning now?

What you need to do: You just need to wear an all-black outfit for this scary costume — if you have a lace shirt or dress, that's even better. Add spidery makeup to your face by painting eight legs around each eye, and that's all you need to become this creepy crawler.



Shhh, no need to scream.

What you need to do: Wear a black outfit that has a black hood, and let the screams commence! If you don't have a Ghostface mask, you can either paint your face white and black or get crafty with construction paper.

"The Purge"

"Just remember all the good that the purge does."

What you need to do: This "Purge" costume is all about the creepy mask. Get creative by decorating the mask with scary quotes and fake blood. Stain your outfit with blood, and bring your fake weapon to take on the night.