Cheap Characters

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You say you need to stretch your haunt budget as far as possible and not spend a fortune on character costumes? You are in luck!

With a bit of planning, you can create a great haunt with pretty inexpensive costuming!

Ghosts / Spirits
You could do a paranormal themed haunt where all the characters are ghosts. No blood or gore, and the makeup is pretty simple. Check out the makeup used in Carnival of Souls for inspiration:

Alternatively, everyone could wear a cheap and anonymous blank mask. There is something unnerving about the anonymity of these masks. As a bonus, if everyone is wearing all black and these masks, you can have the same actors in multiple scenes and no one will know!

Simple Masks

Maybe you write a story for your haunt where everyone is insane or disfigured - maybe by a mad doctor! Just covering their heads with flour sacks with rough eye holes is a creepy look. Use beautiful flower print sacks some times, properly distressed, to up the surreal / uncanny factor.

How simple are scrubs and surgical masks? Cheap. Add some hospital gowns and you have characters! Maybe put someone in a a dress shirt that is way too large for them. Put in on backwards, cross their arms, and tie the sleeves together in the back. Looks like a straitjacket!

Nothing too complex or expensive about hillbilly costumes. Just old, worn and dirty clothes. a bit of makeup on their faces to suggest dirt, maybe some tooth black. You've got a creepy cast for very little dough!

I almost hate to mention this, but clowns are pretty cheap. It doesn't take much in the way of makeup or even costuming to come up with a cast of clowns. Sure, you can creepify some, but in the end, it's their bright colors and garish behavior that wigs people out.

That's what I have this week.
What are some of your favorite cheap characters?
Happy Haunting!

Updated 02-01-2020 at 06:53 AM by JustJimAZ



  1. Godzilla's Avatar
    I truly suffer in the costume area. I am always thinking of the story, the progression, the sound the music, the characters, the lighting, the building... etc. and always forget to get my character and costume ready. It happens almost every year.
  2. JustJimAZ's Avatar
    You are not alone there! Many haunters spend so much time focusing on the technical stuff they forget to come up with a costume. For most of us, though, getting into a costume for trick or treat was our introduction to The Holiday.
    I think of myself as a costumer first. Even so, I have had a few seasons where I put together my costume on the day of. Fortunately, I have a literal tub o'costumes with makeup, masks, etc. I can always pull a passable costume out of my ...tub. ;-)