By: Juliana Araujo
It’s Halloween and children are eagerly readying their witch’s hats and skeleton masks. However, unlike past years, costumes that aren’t as traditional are gaining more attention, marking the end of an era.
Suddenly on websites and store shelves, five year olds are holding fake guns rather than wands and wearing Hitler mustaches rather than vampire fangs. Controversial costumes have always played a part on the night of Oct.31, but this year, costumes are portraying a different type of scary.
“My first Halloween I was a dragon, and I thought that was pretty scary for a six year old,” said Attleboro High School (AHS) senior Brigette Arsenault. “Now it seems like little kid’s costumes are becoming more appropriate for adults to be wearing instead of someone in the first grade.”
The newest fad added to the crowded shelves? Costumes associated with Ebola. From patients and doctors, to quarantine suits for both children and adults, this deadly issue has turned into a joke.
“Ebola costumes? That’s ridiculous,” said AHS senior Kerri Beland. “That’s not something to be made fun of at this time.”
Some people, however, find controversial costumes more entertaining than the basic costumes that have been seen a million times. When citizens think of Halloween, images of pumpkins, witches, ghouls, and goblins erupt. As the world is changing, and the future is becoming more of a reality, traditional scary has reached its end.
“I’m not saying Ebola, or any offensive costumes are okay, I just think people are trying to introduce a new era of scary,” said AHS senior Richard Wilkins.
Among Ebola oriented costumes, consumers can find outfits associated with domestic violence, such as Ray Rice and his fiancé Janay Palmer masks, as well as apparel to portray Trayvon Martin. Americans have been taking to social media sites such as Instagram and Twitter to share their costumes, many gaining over 50 likes.
Websites such as dhgate.com supply viewers with previews of their controversial merchandise. Ebola-themed costumes can be found in a variety of sizes, from children to adults with prices ranging from $70 to $80.
“I definitely think there is a very thin line between funny and straight out wrong. Everyone has a different sense of humor, but some things should just not be posted,” said AHS senior Nicole Fontaine.
Costume designers have eliminated the traditional scary costumes, and given real life fears a physical appearance. Nowadays, when people think of what scares them, they might think disease, war, and terrorism rather than Count Dracula and mummies. In order to keep up with the transformation of the public’s worst fears, costumes have incorporated just that.
“The thought of ghosts still freak me out, but if I think about it, I guess things we hear about in society today are a bit more frightening,” said AHS senior Amanda Leek.
From Ebola patients and Boston Marathon victims, to baby ISIS members, Halloween has transformed. A sick sense of humor is now required for Oct. 31, as there is no telling who or what might ring your door bell.