Christmas always announces itself with more than adequate warning — it seems that as soon as the leaves begin falling from the trees, the halls are being decked with boughs of holly. And yet, somehow, I never seem to have my literary Halloween costume ready on time; Halloween always manages to sneak up on me. On more than one occasion I have been known to cobble together a costume using only pillowcases and whatever could be scavenged from CVS on the night of the 31st. This year, however, I am bound and determined to do things differently — my pumpkins are carved, candy is at the ready, and a devastating costume is already in the works.
As a child my preference ran towards the pink and sparkly, but once high school swung around I began to gorge myself on fake blood and go as anything that could be accurately described as "horrifying." This year, I'm changing things up and going iconic all the way and kit myself out as Hermione Granger. After all, Halloween is the one night of the year when you can be anyone you want to be. And, with a whole world of epic heroes and dastardly villains at your fingertips, why not go literary with your costume? While the wizarding world of Harry Potter offers more than a few killer costume ideas, if you're looking to broaden your horizons these 15 characters are bound to turn heads and win prizes at any Halloween party.
Harriet the Spy
Grab your notebooks, throw on a yellow rain jacket, and prepare for the Halloween of your dreams as Harriet the spy. No one is tougher, bolder, or better at getting to the bottom of things than Harriet, so you're guaranteed to make your presence known at the party.
Edward, Carlisle, Esme, Alice, Emmett, Rosalie or Jasper Cullen
Leave the dark cape and fangs behind, this year you can sparkle through the night as one of the infamous vampires of the Cullen clan. Gather some friends and make it a group costume for a vegetarian vampire spectacular.
Enter the ranks of the great romantic heroes and wander the long pumpkin-lit streets as Heathcliff this Halloween for the ultimate wild night out. Windswept hair, appropriate outerwear, and a devil-may-care smile make this costume practical as well as downright sexy.
On the off chance that you encounter a dark and stormy night this All Hallow's Eve, making your way from trick to treat as literature's greatest detective may just come in handy. Whether or not you can solve any crime you encounter remains to be seen, but you're sure to score a nod for best costume with Poirot's near-perfect mustache and a meticulously pressed suit.
Calvin and Hobbes
If you're looking for a couple's costume that's sure to stir things up, why not think out side the box and ignore romantic pairings in favor of the bonds of friendship. As long as one of you is willing to go as a tiger (and let's be honest, who wouldn't prefer to party the night away in a onesie), the idea is practically perfect.
The Little Prince
Reach for the stars this year by making the rounds as one of the biggest dreamers in the world of books — the little prince. You'll need a rose to accompany you of course — and that dashing yellow scarf — but beyond that, the sky's the limit.
If you find yourself at the end of October, hungry, tired, and desperate to stay above the fray of common ghosts, witches, and princesses, turn up your chin, perfect your pout, and prepare a haughty stare for a night out as Scarlett O'Hara. Whether or not you find yourself with a dashing scoundrel by your side, you're sure to make waves wherever you go.
The Paper Bag Princess
If you're short on time and low on funds, why not prepare for halloween with a quick trip to the pantry. All you need to perfect the look of Robert Munsch's paper bag princess is one brown grocery sack and a little spare black powder for the appropriate singeing.
Set your imagination loose as Max from Where the Wild Things Are and let the wild rumpus start. If your taste in parties runs more towards pillow forts and close friends than thumping base and crowded clubs, a night out in beastly garb might be just what the doctor ordered.
Anne of Green Gables
Braid that hair, throw an apron over a dress with puffed sleeves, and get into character with a little pluck — you're going dressed as the one and only Anne of Green Gables this Halloween. If you can handle the bright red hair and the sturdy black boots you're all set, just try to steer clear of the raspberry cordial.
Whether you've seen The Martian on the big screen or enjoyed Andy Weir's spectacular novel in the comfort of your own home, chances are you've imagined yourself in Mark Watney's shoes more than once, so why not make that dream a reality, at least for one epic night. Some white spandex, red dust, and a homemade helmet should be all you need to survive, as long as your friends don't leave you stranded for far longer than you were expecting.
While George R. R. Martin's epic Song of Ice and Fire series offers more than a few truly outstanding costume opportunities, there's really no one in the seven kingdoms worthier of imitation than the mother of dragons.
If you're looking to keep it classic this year, why not go big as the glamorous playboy Jay Gatsby. With a well-tailored suit and a glass of champagne, you're fully in character and perfectly prepared for a night to remember.
Grab a comb and don't skimp on the hair product if you're considering taking on Halloween as Ponyboy Curtis. With a leather jacket slung over your shoulder and a few friends in tow you'll be the ultimate outsider, rumble or no rumble.
First things first, you're going to need a bow and arrow. After that, it's all about the braid, the whistle, and the mockingjay pin. While you're certainly not armed to take on the capitol, you should have everything you need to storm the party and take no prisoners in the costume competition.
Image: Paul Callan; Giphy (15)