The clocks have been wound back an hour and Winter has officially begun to take hold. Around this time of year the ancient Celts marked the arrival of darker days with the Samhain festival, which included a number of rituals to ward off evil spirits thought to roam our lands. One such ritual was to don costumes to confuse the wandering spirits on Oíche Shamhna, a night which has since become known as Halloween. Irish famine emigrants of the 1840s brought with them to America this ancient tradition and it soon became commercialised.

Nowadays October 31st, Halloween, is a very fun time of the year with parties, scary movies, Jack-o-lanterns (the Celts used Turnips for this as, unlike in America, there were no pumpkins) and, one tradition which still harks back to ancient times, fancy-dress. Wherever you are this weekend you will likely see many examples of creative Halloween costumes, especially in Dublin - we love this craic here! But that backpack you're currently living out of probably doesn't have much room for the novelty of a Halloween costume. Fear not friends, for we at HostelCulture have slapped together some inspirational last-minute Halloween costumes which will ensure you're prepared for whatever Halloween party/parties you go to.

Some are inspired, some are not, some are lazy and a few are old-school reliables, but all are cheap & easy to create.




This is an oldie but it is a classic. However, please, please, please....on behalf of your hostel this weekend....don't just grab a sheet off of a bed and cut holes in it. Best to ask them where one might acquire a sheet for ghostly purposes.

Cereal killer




Perhaps a bit groan-worthy but none-the-less clever. Grab an empty box of CocoPops or whatever cereal it may be, craft a convincing knife from cardboard and aluminum foil (please don't venture out with an actual knife), a squirt of ketchup or internal cereal exposure and voila, you're a cereal killer.

Bunch of grapes




This requires 10 or so green or reddish/purple balloons and tape or some such of the sticky variety. Beware of pointy things, lit cigarettes and candles.

Bag of Jelly beans



Balloons again, this time multi-coloured. You'll also need some plastic wrap or a large transparent plastic bag and a little ribbon for effect.





A white umbrella for the gelatinous bell shape and ribbon/string/fabric or craft paper to create the trailing tentacles. Easy peasy.





Another classic old-school effort, the Mummy can be easily achieved using a couple of rolls of bandages from the pharmacy or indeed with toilet paper...although the later requires vigilance against the rain or indeed any moisture at all really.




It doesn't take much to pull off the zombie look. A shirt or garment you're willing to rip up a little and stain with fake blood (ask at your hostel reception for nearby charity shops), some face-paint / pale make-up and behaviour like you're the walking dead or you've just discovered heroin.




Pick up a pair of fake fangs. Hey presto, you're a vampire. Congrats. This is definitely the laziest one.

Walter White



I'm sure there'll be a few Walter White / Heisenberg costumes knocking around this year still but you don't need  a yellow over-alls or even a big bag of blue meth to be instantly recognised as the infamous Breaking Bad protagonist.....a pair of Y-fronts, green shirt and pair of specs is all that is needed to replicate one of Walter's most famous looks. If you're brave enough to venture out in late October in a pair of underpants that is.

There ya have it guys 'n' gals. Wherever you are this weekend have an awesome Halloween and if you are in any of the HostelCulture cities you can join us to raise your spirits on the Backpacker Pub Crawl and have one hell of a fiendishly good night out. Costumes are of course welcomed! Happy Halloween.


Mike Wrach