What Does Your Halloween Costume Say About Your Personality?

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Halloween is a great time to let your creativity shine as you pick out a costume for trick-or-treating or a party. Is it possible that your costume choice just might reveal something about your personality?

As a kid (and even as an adult) my own Halloween attire has always centered around what was simple and readily available, such as a ghost costume made from an old sheet. What could these sort of costumes really say about my own personality?

Mostly they speak to my tendency to wait until the last possible minute to think about the holidays. I'm always one of those people out doing some last-minute shopping on Christmas Eve, so it's not really a big surprise that I'm also wracking my brain for quick costume ideas an hour before we are ready to leave for a party.

Many people put much more time and effort into their costume selection, while others like to keep it simple. Let's take a quick look at what some of the most popular costumes might reveal about your personality.

Fantasy Characters

Stepping out as Harry Potter, Katniss Everdeen, or Arya Stark? If dressing up as your favorite fantasy or sci-fi character is your top choice for Halloween, you might enjoy the escapism that these fantasy worlds have to offer. Halloween is your chance to step into the shoes of your favorite character and walk for a night in a fantasy world.

Disney Princesses

If you are going as Elsa, Ariel, Belle or some other fictional princess, there's a strong chance that you might be sentimental and romantic.

Beauty and the Beast was your favorite movie when you were 12 and you know all the words to "Let it Go." Donning the dress of your favorite princess reminds you of your childhood when life was simple, anything was possible, and every little girl was royalty.


If you're hitting the streets as your favorite superhero, whether it is Batman, Wonder Woman, or the Man of Steel, you might be trying to get in touch with your inner hero.

People often fantasize about being the hero or saving the day, and superhero costumes help play into this fantasy. Of course, you might just be a big fan of certain characters or comic book legends.

Such costumes often represent powerful characters, so wearing them might be an attempt to overcome underlying feelings of inadequacy or weakness.

Sexy Costumes

Wearing a sexy or revealing costume might mean that you're an exhibitionist and that you want to be noticed. Halloween is your time to shine and you pull no stops in making sure that you are the center of attention.

But many experts also suggest that such highly sexualized costumes might actually be more popular among people who are conservative in their day-to-day lives. By wearing a sexy costume, you might be exploring an alternative side of your personality that you normally keep under wraps.

Last-Minute DIY Costumes

If your idea of a great Halloween costume is to pull out and old sheet and cut holes for eyes, then you are probably no stranger to procrastination.

You might put off things in your everyday life like homework or chores, or it might simply mean that you are too busy doing other things to give serious thought to a once-a-year event. Either way, you probably don’t think too much about your costume, or really care what other people think about it either.

Historical Figures

Going as Joan of Arc, Abraham Lincoln, or Cleopatra might indicate that you are a bit of a realist or that you have a strong connection to a particular period in history. Such representations often involve romanticized notions about particular eras, but the figures are usually legendary people who have left a powerful mark on history. Going out in the guise of such a figure might indicate a need to be larger than life, commanding, and celebrated.

Horror Creatures

Scary costumes are what often come to mind we think about Halloween. Zombies, vampires, monsters, witches, and frightening ghouls are perhaps the figures we most often associate with this October holiday. By wearing such costumes, you might be exploring the darker side of your personality.

But dressing up in the things that frighten us the most might also be one way to minimize the power of that fear. Death is one of the things that people fear the most, so by donning the guise of the Grim Reaper and other undead creatures, we are perhaps making light of that fear, thereby making it just a bit less terrifying. While the macabre and grotesque might terrify us, such frightening images also serve as a source of fascination.

Final Thoughts

No matter what costume you pick this year, many psychologists agree that Halloween can be a time to abandon your reservations and have fun. "It's an opportunity to express things we're normally not allowed to express," Professor G. Dennis Rains of Kutztown University told U.S. News and World Report. "It's permission to let your underside or dark side come out. We can release what we normally keep under wraps."

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Haupt, A. (2012, Oct. 25). Psychoanalyzing 10 popular Halloween costumes. U.S. News and World Report. Retrieved from http://health.usnews.com/health-news/articles/2012/10/25/psychoanalyzing-10-popular-halloween-costumes

Scripps Media. (2011). The psychology behind your Halloween costume choices. WCPO Cincinnati. Retrieved from http://www.wcpo.com/lifestyle/the-psychology-behind-your-halloween-costume-choices

Yarrow, K. (2013). What your Halloween costume says about your personality. Psychology Today. Retrieved from http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-why-behind-the-buy/201310/what-your-halloween-costume-says-about-your-personality

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