They Did the Monster Mask: Costume Ideas for this Year’s Pandemic Halloween


Lukas Werner

With Halloween around the corner, there are several costume options that reference pop culture.

Lillian Paugh, Staff Reporter

As Halloween rears its Jack-O’-Lantern head around the ominously dark corner of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic this October, there won’t be just one mask you have to worry about. Hopefully this list can relieve some of that stress, and give you some ideas for a costume that causes a scare — one that isn’t, for once, about a potential outbreak.

“Squid Game” 

First released in September, the Korean Drama, “Squid Game,” has recently proven to be a global hit; quickly becoming the most viewed show in the world on Netflix, and currently reigning as #2 in the United States. The show follows various characters in desperate need of money who compete in children’s games that turn deadly, in hopes of winning cash prizes. Since “Squid Game” has become a nationwide sensation, its iconic green and white striped tracksuits of the players and recognizable red jumpsuits of the guards might just be the perfect inspiration for 2021 Halloween attire. 


From the black and white laugh track-filled comedies of the 1940s, to the family sitcoms of the 2000s, Marvel’s “WandaVision,” released on Disney+ in January, was instantly popular among both Marvel fanatics and even those who had never seen a single movie of the Marvel franchise in their life. Using different decades to explore the lives of Wanda Maximoff and her humanoid husband named Vision, the mini-series utilizes historical fashion trends from popular media at the time to create a new world each episode. Outfits such as Wanda’s striped maternity dress from the ‘70s episode or Vision’s throwback to his own classic green and yellow superhero costume from the ‘90s Halloween episode, provide plenty of inspiration for mid-century to late 2000s inspired Halloween looks as an ode to your favorite superhero couple. 

Studio Ghibli Characters

It is no surprise that the magical, romantic, and adventure-filled films of Studio Ghibli have regained, or should I say retained, popularity with many people over the course of the pandemic — a majority of this demographic being teens bonding over the movies on the internet. With the often whimsical and unique character designs that fill these fantastical worlds, there is plenty of material for an interesting Halloween costume this October. From Sophie’s blue Victorian Era dress and Howl’s distinct multi-colored coat paired with a relaxed white blouse from “Howl’s Moving Castle,” to Kiki with her bright red hair bow, oversized blue dress, and, already on theme, witch’s broom from “Kiki’s Delivery Service,” all the way to the tiniest of fuzzy little soot sprites from “Spirited Away,” the possibilities are endless!


Perhaps one of the most famous animated children’s crime show franchises of all time, “Scooby-Doo” has remained a popular source for Halloween costume inspiration for years, and 2021 should be no different. As either a group costume, with each person emulating a member of Mystery Inc., or a solo costume showing your love for your favorite mystery-solver, there are no limits! And, since the franchise has been running since the late ‘60s, producing spin-off after spin-off since then, the characters of Scooby, Shaggy, Velma, Daphne, and Fred have been seen in several variations of their original outfits. Therefore, choose your favorite and add your own special touches when going as one of the beloved “meddling kids” from our childhoods.

“Among Us”

As a sensation after its initial release in June of 2018, the multiplayer video game has recently resurfaced as an internet meme over platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok. Aptly titled, the thrilling game of finding and escaping the imposter among the other players, while attempting to finish as many tasks as you can aboard a spaceship, truly had, and continues to have, a strong hold on us. With twelve distinctly colored characters to pick from, dressing up as the game’s “crewmates” with a group of your friends seems fitting for catching the “imposter” this Halloween.

Gossip Girl

The hit teen drama series “Gossip Girl,” debuting in 2007, has reappeared on TV as a reboot in August of this year. The show has caused a flock of older fans, and even completely new ones, to bask in what follows the extremely interesting lives of a fictional set of wealthy New York private school students. While both series can be applauded for their costume design and reimaginings of the typical private school uniform, the original source material is probably the best option when going for a more recognizable reference to the show. With preppy headbands, pleated plaid, and expensive-looking shoulder bags of the late 2000s as inspiration, you are sure to be the talk of the town in your “Gossip Girl” influenced look.


The first installment of what would be five movie adaptations of Stephenie Meyer’s “Twilight” book series has been a staple in popular culture since its 2008 release, but more recently it has made a comeback with teens online. This year the series has served as fashion inspiration for teens as they begin to cycle the trends of the 2000s into their everyday wardrobes, in addition to becoming the source of material for far too many internet memes as of recent. The impact of “Twilight” has reached far beyond that of its on-screen plot showcased over a decade ago, so this Halloween seems like the perfect time to pay homage to everyone’s favorite vampire-romance movie characters either by grabbing a group of friends and making an appearance as the notorious Cullens, taking inspiration from either their everyday 2000s wardrobes or possibly recreating more widely recognized “baseball scene.”