Schools too harsh on Halloween costumes


One of the most important decisions of the year will be made by many MSU students this weekend: What should I be for Halloween?

The minute you walk into the costume store, the pressure is on. Do you head toward the gender-specific costumes or do you go for the gore? Do you choose to be an inanimate object like ketchup or a police officer?

But there’s another problem that might limit some to which aisles they choose to peruse. Some schools and organizations prohibit students and workers from wearing costumes that are too revealing, gory, unsafe or conflict with Christian values.

Revealing costumes in schools or in the workplace are understandably banned. It’s simply not the appropriate time or place for immodest dress. Dressing as a “naughty nurse” in an office will in no way make people believe you are certified, but it just might pull some co-workers into your office who say they are feeling a little “under the weather.”

The ban of costumes on the gorier side is not as easily understandable because it’s clear the outfit is pretend. No, the 14-year-old boy’s eye is not actually falling out of his socket, and the co-worker down the hall is not secretly a zombie.

But you haven’t seen oversensitivity regarding Halloween costumes until you’ve attended a Catholic school like the one I attended in high school. Every costume had to be in good taste, and masks were not allowed because they could “impair your vision.”

And if you wanted to dress as a devil, forget about it. I’m sure if a student came to school wearing red horns, they would be sprinkled with holy water and sent home.

Halloween, or “All Hallow’s Eve,” dates back to an ancient pre-Christian Celtic festival called Samhain. The festival commemorated the belief that the deceased came back to interact with the living on their journey into the “otherworld,” according to The Celtic people would gather food and light bonfires to help these wandering souls on their way.

And to ward off vengeance-seeking souls, the Celtic people wore costumes, most likely composed of animal skin. Masks or black face paint were also thought to have been used to impersonate deceased ancestors.

The early histories of dressing up reveal that the original costumes were more gory and creepy. So why is it such a big deal if students come dressed as witches, monsters or the Scream?

Just like many other things, society has become way too oversensitive and overbearing on the restrictions of one of the most fun holidays of the year.

In fact, some schools around the country are banning Halloween because of what they consider to be “safety concerns” and food allergies from candy consumption, according to TIME.

Banning costumes based on taste also might be doing more harm than good for everyone trying to enjoy their Halloween festivities in scary peace.

Excuses aside, there’s one thing many can agree upon. We are wasting our time worrying about what people can or cannot wear on one day of the year.

There are plenty of other more important things to worry about, and the consequences of being a devil versus an angel surely shouldn’t be one of them.

Micaela Colonna is a State News staff reporter. Reach her at

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