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24 Utterly Adorable Pet Halloween Costumes

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Whether or not you would ever dress up your own pet, it’s hard to deny that critters look cute in Halloween costumes, no matter what species they happen to be. Here are some of the best animal Halloween costumes from around the web for your holiday ogling pleasure.

Dogs

1. The Incredible Hulk

Who would have guessed that bulldogs look so good in jean shorts, even when covered in green paint? Flickr user istolethetv spotted this pup during the 19th Annual Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade.

2. Hannibal Lecter

“Can you hear the lambs Clarice?” Of course you can’t, they’ve been silenced silly. This might just be the only muzzled dog spotted at the Tompkins Square Parade. Fortunately, istolethetv was still brave enough to approach this man-killer.

3. Scarlet O’Hara

It’s practically impossible to look Gracie in her delightful hoop skirt and not think to yourself, “Frankly my doggie, I don’t give a damn!” With such a delightfully intricate costume, it’s no wonder she won Best in Show at the 20th Annual Dog Run Halloween contest at Tompkins Square Park in New York City. The design was actually based around the fact that Gracie’s older age makes it difficult for her to stand and walk for long periods of time. That’s why her owner designed a costume that allowed her to sit in place all day on top of a mobile scooter, accentuated by a cat litter dome turned into a hoop skirt.

A special thanks to AnimalTourism.com for the great image and back story.

4. Zardoz

You’d be forgiven if you’ve forgotten about (or never even heard of) the 1974 Sean Connery movie Zardoz. But even if you aren’t aware of the origins of this Boston terrier’s ensemble, it’s still easy to appreciate Flickr user daveshumka’s dog Zed’s interpretation of the original.

5. Thanksgiving Turkey

It might not be quite the right holiday for a pilgrim costume, but Thanksgiving is just around the corner and Martha Stewart user newfy certainly has a hard decision to make about that loveable but delicious turkey that keeps following her around.

6. Teen Wolf

It was hard for Shelby’s owner, Flickr user gopugyourself01, to notice that her pup was turning into a werewolf. After all, her body was already covered in hair her whole life. Really, it wasn’t until the jacket suddenly appeared out of thin air that it became obvious that Shelby was a Teen Wolf.

7. Carol from Where the Wild Things Are

If you always knew your dog was a monster deep down inside, then you’d better contact Etsy seller FairlyEnchanted and order this delightful Where the Wild Things Are costume.

8. Chia Pet

Echo here was the very lucky winner of ClickerTraining.com’s pet Halloween costume contest last year. What did she get for sacrificing her dignity by posing as a plant disguised as a dog? A box of yummy treats, of course.

9. AT-AT

Perhaps the best thing about this Star Wars AT-AT costume is that Bone, the greyhound inside, looks utterly unintimidating despite wearing some of the galaxy’s best armor. Costume, image and pet courtesy of Katie Mello.

10. Sarah Palin

If you'd like your pup to come out looking like the famous former Governor of Alaska, be sure to check out Wiggles Dog Wigs by Ruth Regina.

Other Animals

Of course, dogs aren’t the only ones who get to wear costumes during Halloween. Here are a few other critters in adorably cute clothing.

11-14. Cats

Gothamist photographer Katie Sokoler attended the 2010 Cat Fashion Show at the Algonquin Hotel and her images of the geisha, Edward Cullen, Raggedy Anne and Carmen Miranda were simply delightful.

15-16. Guinea Pigs

If you’ve seen South Park episodes Pandemic and Pandemic 2: The Startling, then you know just how terrifyingly cute guinea pigs in costumes can be. If you have your own guinea pig and want to reenact these episodes, you can buy your own cavie costumes at CuddlyCavies.com, the same shop that supplied South Park with their “monsters.” The shop also provides bunny and dog costumes, so don’t feel left out if you don’t happen to have a guinea pig of your own.

17-19. Horses

There are plenty of costumes out there for smaller animals, and even for bigger-sized dogs, but horses generally get left out when it comes time to get dressed up. Fortunately, TheHorseTailor.com offers all varieties of costumes for your favorite equine friends. A few notable horse costumes available at the site include Batman, the Cowardly Lion, and Harry Potter.

20-22. Squirrels

Sugar Bush Squirrel is undoubtedly the world’s most famous squirrel model, so it’s really no wonder that he has so many delightful costumes. While his homepage is loaded with delightful images of the star in costume, some of the best pictures feature him dressed as Alex Trebek, Michael Jackson and Snow White.

23. Caimans

Caiman owner YouTube user MorRokko loves her pet, Hadies, enough to let him celebrate in style with this awesome Iron Man suit. It’s not often you see a caiman dressed up in costume, but let’s face it, it’s not often you see a tiny relative of the crocodile being kept as a pet either. Hadies makes a pretty cute superhero.

24. Turtles

This might not be the most elaborate costume on the list, but it’s not particularly easy to get a turtle into a costume and this guy does look great as a monster of the deep.
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Pop Culture
Why Are We So Scared of Clowns?
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Warner Bros.

With the box office-smashing success of the new adaptation of Stephen King's It, it’s safe to say that coulrophobia (fear of clowns) isn’t a fringe phenomenon. The colorful circus performers are right up there with vampires and werewolves on the list of iconic horror villains. But unlike other movie monsters, clowns were originally meant to make kids laugh, not hide under their beds in terror. So what is it about clowns that taps into our deepest fears?

According to Yale doctoral candidate Danielle Bainbridge, the unsettling clown stereotype goes back centuries. In the inaugural episode of the new PBS digital series Origin of Everything, Bainbridge explains the long history of this pervasive part of our culture.

Before clowns wore floppy shoes and threw pies at each other’s faces, early versions of the performers could be found in royal courts. The court jester wasn’t evil, but he was the only person in the kingdom who could poke fun at the monarch without fear of (literally) losing his head. The fact that fools didn’t fall within the normal social hierarchy may have contributed to the future role clowns would play as untrustworthy outsiders.

From the medieval era, clowns evolved into the harlequins of 16th-century Italian theater. Again, these weren’t bloodthirsty monsters, but they weren’t exactly kid-friendly either. The characters were often mischievous and morally bankrupt, and their strange costumes and masks only added to the creepy vibes they gave off.

Fast-forward to the 19th century, when the white-faced circus clowns we know today started gaining popularity. Unlike the jesters and harlequins that came before them, these clowns performed primarily for children and maintained a wholesome image. But as pop culture in the 1970s, '80s, and '90s showed us, that old perception we had of clowns as nefarious troublemakers never really went away. Steven King’s It, the cult classic Killer Clowns From Outer Space (1988), and that scene from Poltergeist (1982) all combined these original fears with the more modern association of clowns with children. That formula gave us one of the most frightening figures in horror media today.

If you’re not completely spooked yet, watch the full story below.

[h/t Origin of Everything]

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Courtesy of Magic Wheelchair
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fun
This Oregon-Based Nonprofit Creates Amazing Costumes for Children in Wheelchairs
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Courtesy of Magic Wheelchair

Ryan and Lana Weimer celebrate Halloween all year round: The couple from Keizer, Oregon, runs a nonprofit called Magic Wheelchair, which the two founded in early 2015 to build elaborate—and free—costumes for kids in wheelchairs.

The Weimers’ eldest son, Keaton, was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) when he was 9 months old. The rare genetic disorder affects the control of muscle movement, so Keaton uses a wheelchair to get around. In 2008, the 3-year-old asked his parents if he could be a pirate for Halloween. It was then that Ryan had an idea: Instead of simply giving Keaton a tri-corner hat, why not build a pirate ship that fit around his wheelchair?

Weimer constructed the wooden ship, and “what happened when we went out trick-or-treating was really just a wonderful, wonderful experience for us,” Weimer tells Mental Floss. “There's this weird awkwardness around disability. People don't always look at the kid and say hi, or talk to him or look at him. Instead, they just pause, or stare … But with that [pirate ship] costume on [Keaton’s chair], his disability really seemed to disappear, and people saw him before they saw his wheelchair.”

Kids swarmed around Keaton as they admired his ship, and he even wound up getting his picture published on the front page of the local newspaper. An annual tradition was born: Not wanting to rest on his laurels, Weimer continued building Keaton elaborate, wheelchair-friendly Halloween costumes each year. When his younger son Bryce—who was also diagnosed with SMA—was born in 2011, he included him in the fun, too. The positive reactions they received, Weimer says, inspired him and Lana to eventually “create a nonprofit to duplicate the experience we had for other kiddos and other families.”

A custom pirate ship Halloween costume, created by Magic Wheelchair founder Ryan Weimer for his son, Keaton.
A custom pirate ship Halloween costume, created by Magic Wheelchair founder Ryan Weimer for his son, Keaton.
Courtesy of Magic Wheelchair

Magic Wheelchair—which is funded by individual and corporate donors—relies on teams of local volunteers around the country, who work together to build costumes for children in their communities. To be considered for a costume, families fill out an online application, which provides the nonprofit with a kid's biography and a description of their desired ensemble.

After receiving automatic email confirmation that Magic Wheelchair has received their materials, recipients are selected on a first-come, first-serve basis, although kids with life-threatening conditions do get priority. The rest are placed on a waitlist until a local volunteer team is able to complete their build. This process can take a few months or a few years, depending on whether there's an available team in the region.

Once kids make it off the waitlist, they meet with volunteers to discuss their vision. After that, the teams work anywhere from 100 to 500 hours, from start to finish, to construct the commissioned costume. The final product is kept under wraps so Magic Wheelchair can surprise the lucky recipient at a grand unveiling.

One of these kids was 13-year-old Cassie Hudson, a fan of comic books who hails from North Plains, Oregon. Cassie, who has spina bifida and other related health issues, first heard about Magic Wheelchair in 2015 when she noticed a flyer for the nonprofit hanging in the lobby of Shriners Hospitals for Children.

The non-profit was new at the time, so Cassie and her mother, Tess Hudson, figured they wouldn’t have the resources to provide the teen with her dream Halloween costume. But in 2016, Magic Wheelchair approached a physical therapist at Shriners and asked if they knew anyone at the hospital who would be interested in receiving one of their custom creations through a big reveal at the upcoming Rose City Comic-Con. “She was like, oh my goodness, I know exactly the kid!” Tess tells Mental Floss.

Cassie’s favorite fictional superhero is Green Arrow, who appears in comic books published by DC Comics. “I just think he’s super cool—he’s one of those superheroes that doesn’t have any powers and just wants to help people because he feels the need to,” Cassie says. She wanted Magic Wheelchair to transform her chair into his motorcycle. The costume the volunteers built lights up, makes noises, and looks so much like an actual motorcycle that at one comic-con Cassie attended, security teams initially said she couldn't bring it into the building.

A custom Halloween costume created by Magic Wheelchair for 'Star Wars' fan Bryce Amiel.
A custom Halloween costume created by Magic Wheelchair for 'Star Wars' fan Bryce Amiel.
Courtesy of Magic Wheelchair

Designing custom costumes for wheelchairs does pose a unique set of challenges: For one, "these kids need their chairs," Weimer says. "Our volunteer teams don't have the chair to build on, so they take measurements and pictures and build off of those."

Also, Weimer says, "you definitely have to consider what the kiddo is capable of, where [the costume] is going to be stored, and where it's going to be transported—because they're big." Costumes, which wrap around the wheelchairs, range anywhere from 2.5 feet by 4 feet to 5 feet by 8 feet and are sometimes constructed in pieces, which makes moving them around much easier. Like pieces of a three-dimensional jigsaw puzzle, these parts fit together on the wheelchair's base and are secured in place with brackets, plastic and metal pipes, zip ties, duct tape, and specially designed metal mounts.

These obstacles don't interfere with Magic Wheelchair's goal to build what Weimer calls the "biggest, baddest costumes" imaginable for kids. "The sky's the limit," he says. "The only limitations are what's OK with the family and the kiddo." One particularly ambitious recent build was for an Atlanta resident named Anthony. "He loves cooking, and so [the volunteers] built him this chef's kitchen around his wheelchair, with a stove," Weimer says. "There was even food—a turkey, and different dishes on the stovetop."

In just a few short years, Magic Wheelchair has grown from six volunteer teams, with anywhere from one to 10 members, to around 50 teams. This Halloween season, they plan on constructing around 50 costumes—a far cry from the seven or eight ensembles the nonprofit first produced in 2015. And it's poised to become just as big and bad as the costumes it creates. “We have a complete board of directors now,” Weimer says. “We were also able to get to the point where we have hired a fundraiser and some part-time staff. This just help us to keep on growing.”

For more information on volunteering with Magic Wheelchair, or to make a donation, visit their website.

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