As anyone who has worked with students during the Autumn season can attest, Halloween brings about great excitement among students of all ages.
That said, here are some intriguing ideas for high school students to consider when selecting their Halloween costumes, incorporating historical and literary elements as well as famous figures:
Deacon Brodie may not ring a bell immediately, but what about Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde? William Brodie, also known as Deacon Brodie, was a respected member of society in the late 1700s, renowned for his craftsmanship as a Scottish cabinet maker and serving as a city councilor in Edinburgh.
However, he had a secret life as a criminal, breaking into houses and engaging in theft. Interestingly, Brodie served as the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson’s Gothic novella, “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” (1886).
Students could seize the opportunity to bring these characters to life by embodying Dr. Jekyll on one side and Mr. Hyde on the other, or pair up with a friend to create a dynamic duo.
For literature inspired by historical figures, one need not look further than Vlad Tepes, better known as Vlad the Impaler. As the Voivode of Wallachia, he left a lasting impact on Romania’s history, earning the title “The Impaler” due to his method of impaling enemies on stakes.
Vlad Tepes served as the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s iconic novel, “Dracula” (1897). Although the character of Dracula loosely resembles Vlad, it is fascinating for students to discover the historical figure behind the vampire legend.
This option offers a wide range of possibilities for compelling Halloween costumes.
Edgar Allan Poe
Delving into the works of Edgar Allan Poe, one can encounter a wealth of chilling material. Known for his mastery of the Gothic genre, Poe’s poems and short stories lean toward horror and crime fiction.
In fact, he is credited with pioneering the detective fiction genre with his 1841 story, “The Murders in the Rue Morgue.”
Exploring his well-known and bone-chilling works such as “The Tell-Tale Heart,” “The Pit and the Pendulum,” “The Raven,” “The Fall of the House of Usher,” and “The Cask of Amontillado” would provide the perfect literary study during the Halloween season.
Students could choose to dress as one of the story’s characters or even don the guise of Edgar Allan Poe himself!
These are just a few ideas to make your Halloween costumes uniquely historical and literary. I hope they spark your creativity and serve as a starting point for brainstorming. If you need further assistance or have additional requests, feel free to let me know!