40 Scary Halloween Costumes for 2020

When it comes to Halloween costumes, you can choose to go one of many different directions. Some like to grab their boo and go with a cute couple costume, while others prefer to go with a sexy costume. But since you’re reading this, my guess is you prefer the classic choice— scary Halloween costumes. If you’re looking to go all out on the spooky vibes this year, let me tell ya, you’ve got options.

Whether you’re channeling your favorite creepy characters from movies (Carrie, the Nun, or Michael Myers) or you wanna go with a traditional zombie or clown costume, there are plenty of frightening ideas out there for you to take your pick from. So bring on the Halloween makeup, fake blood, dead eyes, and creepy masks to scare the living sh*t out of your friends—and even complete strangers (did I mention The Strangers costume is in here, too?). Ahead, 40 scary costumes to inspire (and terrify) you—just scroll with caution and maybe don’t look through this gallery before bed, k?


The Mom from Coraline

Never mind the fact that this is a children’s movie, the mom in Coraline is straight-up scary. The button eyes are a key part to the look, but to make sure you can still, ya know, see things, glue the buttons to a pair of glasses to easily take them on and off.


The Curse of La Llorona

Hit up your local consignment store to find an old wedding dress and veil, then apply lots of dark eye makeup. And, of course, don’t forget the tears to complete the look of La Llorona.


A Devil

Speak of the devil! This version, which features red horns, a latex bodysuit, and tall black gloves, is fire hot.


The Walking Dead

Fans of The Walking Dead would die over this combo costume of Michonne and one of her zombie pets.


The Strangers

Sometimes the creepiest costumes are the simplest. Just put these frightening masks over your face and be scary-quiet to pull off this trio.


The Joker

No matter which version of the costume you go with, the Joker is always a good (bad?) scary costume. To get the look of the villain, you gotta have green hair, a big, creepy painted smile, and smudged clown makeup.


The Grudge

This Kayako ghost costume from The Grudge is actually pretty simple to pull off last minute as long as you’ve got ghost-white face paint, black eye makeup, long black hair, and a white night gown.


Chucky and His Bride

The doll of everyone’s nightmares, TBH. A striped shirt, overalls, red wig, and fake stitches will turn you into the demonic toy. Bonus points if you find someone else to go with you as Chucky’s bride.


Annabelle from The Conjouring

Speaking of dolls, this is one you DON’T want to play with. At all. Seriously. Braid your hair with ribbons at the end, throw on a white lace dress, and paint on a creepy doll face with makeup to be instantly recognizable.


Ghostface from Scream

What’s your favorite scary movie?! If you said Scream, then this is the costume for ya this year. Paint the Ghostface mask all over your face, or leave a chunk out over your eye to reveal who’s hiding underneath.


A Botched Face

This costume makes me cringe just thinking about it. Use eyeliner to make the dotted marks and liquid latex and fake blood to create faux incisions all over your body.


A Ripped Up Face

As long as you’ve got fake blood or red costume makeup, you can throw together a terrifyingly good Halloween costume, no problem. Use the red makeup along with a bit of black to create the cuts and wounds of this painful-looking costume.


The Tethered from Us

All you need is a red jumpsuit, fingerless gloves, scissors, and a raspy voice to pull off the best impression of the Tethered from Us.


A Person With Many Faces

Scary doesn’t only mean blood, guts, and gore. If you have a weak stomach, try a Halloween makeup look that’s scary-good instead. None of your friends will know which of your five faces to look at.


A Caged Mouth

It might take a little bit of time to apply the liquid latex, but the payoff of this realistic look would be totally worth it. Just make sure to stock up on snacks before you head out for the night.


A Devil in Disguise

Scare the devil outta your friends with this spooky Halloween costume. Honestly, solid white contacts make any costume creepier, but the face makeup and horns are a nice/naughty touch.


Samara From The Ring

Terrifying for whoever answers that doorbell. Super long hair, a dirt-covered nightgown, and creepy voice make this a scary costume.


A Demon

Not sure what’s scarier, the horns, the red contacts, or the fangs. If you want a scary-but-simple costume, this is it. To make it a duo costume, grab a friend to go as an angel, and you guys will have a hell of a good time together!


Killer Zombie Nurse

Creepy smile? Check. Blood-spattered nurse outfit? Check. Black, soulless eyes? Check.


The Purge: Election Year

No mask? No problem. Use Halloween makeup to give yourself some dark circles, over-lined lips, OTT contouring, and you’re ready for the purge.


Regan from The Exorcist

Ahh, yes, who could forget sweet Regan? Make yourself look possessed with bright contacts, ghoulish makeup, and fake throw-up dribbling from your mouth. Pleasant.


A Realistic Skeleton

All you need is a black hood and spooky-ass face makeup and you’ll look like you can take someone to the afterlife.


The Shining Twins

“Come play with us,” they said, in the creepiest effing voice. Buy an inexpensive blue A-line dress with a collar, pour a bunch of fake blood down the front, and finish it off with socks and black ballet flats with straps. Cute, no?


The Nun

If you want your costume to have scare factor this year, the demonic sister with glowing eyes from the movie The Nun will definitely do the trick. This is all about the black-and-white makeup, and a cross necklace and a habit will make it complete.


The Babadook from The Babadook

If you haven’t seen this movie, trust me, it’s just as terrifying as it looks. You’ll be the scariest children’s book character in town with a black trench coat, a top hat, long fingers, and a black-and-white mask.


An Ice Queen

Personality? Ice-cold b*tch. DIY an icicle crown, give yourself some blue makeup, and put in white contacts to complete the look.


Ouija Board

This Ouija-board-inspired makeup is somehow pretty and terrifying at the same time. Write out the alphabet and numbers across your collarbones and chest (or have a friend help), wear black contacts and lipstick, and you’ll look like you can summon some spirits.


Billy the Puppet From Saw

Wanna play a game??? Billy is known for his signature swirled cheeks and suits, so channel that creepy lil guy with a matching ensemble.



You’ve got a little something on your mouth…and eyes. With this spooky getup, the vaguer your features are, the better.


A Drop-Dead Gorgeous Beauty Queen

Really emphasize putting your BLOOD, sweat, and tears into winning that pageant. Shred your dress and accessorize with fake blood, a fake knife through the head, and tiara for a drop *dead* gorgeous costume.



Like an emoji, but a LOT more disturbing. This one requires careful planning so you can see and breathe, but basically you add a bunch of liquid latex over a base of masking tape to make this papier-mâché-looking mask.


Pennywise from IT

Here’s some advice: Don’t ever follow a clown into the sewer. Just DON’T DO IT. Give yourself the same red-and-white makeup as Pennywise and oversize fake teeth to scare the living sh*t out of everyone.


Unmasked Pooh From Winnie the Pooh

Exactly like the Winnie-the-Pooh you remember from your childhood—except with a mutant face and very sharp teeth.


An Alien

Sure, the pink makeup is pretty, but the black eyes and fingers? Pretty unsettling.


White Walker

Winter Halloween is coming. Grease your hair back, wear all white, put in bright-blue contacts, and age yourself with carefully placed wrinkles to turn into a White Walker.


Alice and the White Rabbit

Classic storybook tale + tattered clothes + fake blood = a scary costume that ruins your childhood nostalgia. The more shredded the dress, the better.


Creepy Skeleton Face

Skull makeup is a classic Halloween look, but there’s something about this version that just seems downright sinister. Wear all black, then carefully apply black eyeliner over a white base to create cracks and hollowed areas in the “skull.”



Be sure to warn all your friends that you *might* eat their flesh if they get too close. Special-effects elements like torn-out fake skin go a long way toward making you look undead.


Carrie From Carrie

Anyone have a Tide pen? Become your fave ’80s prom queen with a bloodied white dress, tiara, and curled hair.


White Nun from American Horror Story

Is this a bad case of non-waterproof mascara or actual creepy black tears? You decide! But really, it’s super easy to recreate with white-and-black face makeup and a white scarf and dress.

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