Would you let your child/teen dress up as a movie murderer for Halloween?

I put a call out on the AJCMomania Facebook page for blog ideas and one friend/reader posted a great one: Would you let your child dress like a murder from movies?

She is so bothered by the Texas Chainsaw killer or Michael Myers from “Halloween” costumes marketed to kids. “Totally inappropriate,” she writes.

How do you feel: Is it all in good fun and OK to let kids pretend to be something scary? Is the “Scream” mask better than the others? What about the Jason mask from “Friday the 13”?

Is there an age where those costumes are OK  — high school? Do colleges frown on those? Are they allowed to wear those in college or are they seen as threatening?

33 comments Add your comment


October 26th, 2011
12:22 pm

Unless small children are actually watching these movies, i think it’s fine. Halloween is really supposed to be about spooky, scary costumes anyway. I bet the kids don’t even know what it is they are dressed up as, they just think it’s cool because it’s scary.


October 26th, 2011
12:22 pm

Yep, I’m pretty sure that every kid that has dressed up like Freddy Krueger has turned, inmmediately into either a serial killer or a politician…some became both.


October 26th, 2011
12:35 pm

When my son was younger we always discouraged scary costumes, though it wasn’t really difficult, funny always wins over scary in our house. My son is now 16 and I probably would let him dress up as something scary if he wanted to but he doesn’t have any plans as of right now.

And, really T? Do you think “colleges” tell students what they can or can’t dress up as? I doubt most colleges are sponsoring costume contests. I’m sure certain groups within the colleges are but I highly doubt a college president is worried about what students are dressing as for Halloween.


October 26th, 2011
12:50 pm

My boys have been dressing as scary characters (self created monsters) for years on Halloween, starting at age 4 I believe. And neither has ever watched a horror movie. But they love(d) being scary on Halloween.


October 26th, 2011
1:20 pm

I think that it COULD be ok. You know your child better than anyone. Is it done as pretend and with humor and fits within your child’s personality? Then, sure, why not? Heck, I dressed in a few costumes as AN ADULT that, in retrospect, were not the wisest decisions. But, hey, it happens. Let them go have fun.


October 26th, 2011
1:25 pm

I see no problem with it -


October 26th, 2011
1:25 pm

My daughter has NO desire to be scary, and neither did I really. My son doesn’t like to dress up as scary things on Halloween (although he was eyeing a mummy costume this year which was really cool). Nevertheless, he went with his usual; dressing up as the Superhero so he can save everyone from the scary things! lol.

Would I let them? It depends on the costume really. My main thing is I wouldn’t let him carry a knife or hatchet or something like that with the costume. Some parents in my neighborhood are so conservative and they already think my son is too “active” (translate to ADHD) for their kids to be around, so I wouldn’t want him to be singled out anymore than he already is.


October 26th, 2011
2:25 pm

No issues with it. I have been startled a number of times at the door by a teenage trick-or-treater wearing a gruesome costume. It certainly didn’t help that we had red and green light bulbs in our front and foyer lights!


October 26th, 2011
2:33 pm

Yes, I would. When I was younger I dressed up as Michael Myers, Jason and Freddy Krueger for Halloween before I’d ever seen those movies. I was too scared to actually see the films at the time, but dressing up as them was more about being an iconically scary character than about the movies themselves. If they wanted to I would let my child dress up as Dracula, a zombie, the mummy, frankenstein or other such iconic horror film figures too. I’ve no problem with it.


October 26th, 2011
2:56 pm

I have no problem with it. I’d let my son dress as whatever he’d like as long as it wasn’t too gory. He’s too little for that.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

October 26th, 2011
4:04 pm

Techmom — I don’t know there’s so much about looking for kids in trouble and watching out for violence .. they might. Just wondering. They certainly don’t outlaw the risque costumes for the girls.

I Love Life Cereal

October 26th, 2011
4:50 pm

Not would I allow it, I would encourage it. Anything to keep them from catching the gay.

You’ve got to start young, you know!


October 26th, 2011
6:42 pm

I love life cereal, no need to post any hateful remarks concerning gay people. You’re the problem with society and it shows by your comment!


October 26th, 2011
7:02 pm

no bev….I believe ILLC is showing how idiotic it is to be offended by a Halloween costume based on a movie character. It’s called sarcasm, but it doesn’t translate well in text.


October 26th, 2011
7:33 pm

Um, I believe ILLC’s comment was sarcasm.. And it does translate OK in text, if you just leave your brain switched on.


October 26th, 2011
8:10 pm

Just damn Theresa, you didn’t REALLY write this in a serious mode did you? I mean I know you are a severe Jewish, Asian, Helicopter mom but really? It’s as nutty as my sister boycotting the Teletubbies because they “promoted the gay agenda.”

LOL and before I hit enter I read the other 15 or so comments this inane blog received on this inane “topic.” How apropos that it contained a “gay’ reference.


October 26th, 2011
8:58 pm

Hitler’s off limits


October 26th, 2011
9:17 pm

@Chronos, we had a Chinese student dress up as Hitler when I was in 7th grade.
He was made to take the swastikas off of his arms but was allowed to stay all day dressed as das Furher.

This was 1988.


October 26th, 2011
9:20 pm

“Do colleges frown on those? Are they allowed to wear those in college or are they seen as threatening?”


Notwithstanding the fact that any adult who finds a Jason/Freddy/Scream costume threatening needs to have a psych eval…you think a college has any control over an adult? Did you go to college in the 50’s? Have you ever set foot on a college campus?

I mean, I guess if they went to some hyper-fundamentalist school that had “values violations” like Samford or Bob Jones or something, then yeah, I can see someone getting a stick up their butt about sexualized costumes (remember: Sex = Bad, Violence = OK), but if it’s a state school like Tech or UGA, you have First Amendment considerations.

Newsflash, Teresa: As long as you’re not physically hurting someone else, you can pretty much do whatever the hell you want in college.


October 26th, 2011
9:35 pm


October 26th, 2011
10:00 pm

I’m fine with scary costumes. In fact, I think they should be mandatory. Because it’s HALLOWE’EN!!!!

But I’m sooooooooooooooo over the slutty costumes for women and douchey costumes for men.


October 26th, 2011
10:35 pm

My son is 22 months. He’s going as Woody from Toy Story. My nephew, who is 25 days older than my son, is going as Jason from Friday the 13th, complete with mask & machete. His dad has hand made this costume. He even wore it to bed the other night. He walks around making “scary” noises at people. Between that and his dad’s obsession with horror movies and duplicating the costumes, I’m afraid my nephew is on the road to being a serial killer. There is one room in their house that is dedicated to scary things – a life sized Jason, a headless bride in my mother’s almost 40 year old wedding dress, an old organ with bloody dripping candles, the coffee table is a handmade wooden coffin. THIS IS NOT NORMAL!!!!!!!!!! What happened to the innocent costumes we all grew up on for young kids?

Good grief

October 26th, 2011
10:47 pm

Maybe you folks worried about murderers and scary costumes should let your kids go as Chaz Bono.GOOD GRIEF

I Love Life Cereal

October 27th, 2011
9:18 am

I love life cereal, no need to post any hateful remarks concerning gay people. You’re the problem with society and it shows by your comment!

Never said anything hateful.

Your post = FAIL


October 27th, 2011
12:41 pm

kartgirl – I think that’s awesome. Some people just love scary stuff – scary movies, etc. As long as the separation of movie fantasy vs. reality is being instilled I don’t see any cause for concern. The kid’s dad who loves horror stuff isn’t a serial killer himself, right?


October 27th, 2011
1:04 pm

rather they dress as the killer than the trampy girl that always gets killed in those flicks.

[...] that’s just the costume ideas for adults. Our Momania blogger has a good discussion posted about whether it’s acceptable to allow your child or teen to [...]


October 28th, 2011
10:13 am

When did people become so worried about non-sense? Why would dressing up like a fictional villian turn your child into something bad? It is for fun, lets try not to take the fun out of EVERYTHING in this country please. I would be more worried about kids dressing up like their hovering, obsessively controlling, overbearing mothers.


October 28th, 2011
10:37 am

Well said, Kyle!!! I’m a proud mom of 2. When the kids were younger my mother-in-law informed me that our kids should represent Christians. So if i wanted them dressed for Halloween to allow only heros and fairy tales. Of course, being young at the time, I did as she said. NOw, my kids 13 and 10, I told them dress up in the scariest, ugliest, horrible whatever costume they like and send it to their grandmother. My son doesn’t watch any HORROR movies, but because his elder sister does, she tells him what to dress as…I LOVE IT. LET THE KIDS HAVE FUN…


October 28th, 2011
11:11 am

Both my boys , will be movie “murderers” for Halloween this year because they have outgrown the funny or kids costumes and it was either these guys or zombies. Scream and Jason will be stalking the neighborhood this Halloween!


October 28th, 2011
11:29 am

As the mother of 6 and G’mama of 3…I think this whole discussion is crazy! It’s Halloween for pete’s sake, have a little fun!! Lighten up! Halloween is supposed to be about spooky scary stuff! I with some of the others here, I would much rather see scary over slutty!!


October 28th, 2011
12:18 pm

We saw some cute girl-themed Freddie Kruger and Mike Myers and Jason costumes, but my daughter was interested, but she did want to be scary. I see nothing wrong with kids dressing up for 2-3 hours one time per year. It isn’t a life-changing event. I would rather my daughter be scary and gory than dressing like a slutty French maid.

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