The Grim Reaper Costume
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The Grim Reaper
|Costume type:||Costumes for Adults|
This homemade costume for adults entered our 2017 Halloween Costume Contest.
A word from Ken, the 'The Grim Reaper' costume creator:
Every year for the past 5 years my wife and I setup an elaborate outdoor haunted house for Halloween. In addition, I also worked as volunteer at our local Zoo as an animal handler conducting animal encounters with guests. Every year our Zoo puts on ‘Boo At The Zoo’ during the evening weekends leading up to Halloween which includes treat stations, costume contests, games, shows, animal encounters and a very elaborate haunted trail designed only for older kids and adults. All Zoo staff are encouraged to wear costumes when we work the event.
This event usually gets between 1,000 -1,500 guests per night and there can be long lines waiting to get into the Zoo and the haunted trail. That’s when I came up with the idea to use my Grim Reaper character as the official greeter for our guests when they arrive at the main entrance as well as setting the ‘proper’ mood for those waiting to get into the haunted trail.
From gate opening until it gets dark I can be found at the Zoo’s entrance “welcoming” everyone and then once it gets dark the real fun begins as I head over to the Haunted Trail entrance and proceed to give the guests waiting in line a taste of what they can expect inside The Trail.
The Grim Reaper can also be found every year at our home haunted house entertaining the local kids. I usually start out standing perfectly still inside the grave yard and wait for people to walk past me to where the candy is. Most just think I’m an elaborate statue, until they pass by me on their way out, at which point they discover the Grim Reaper is actually real!
You’ll notice in the pics that there is a full size coffin standing up in the grave yard as well ….. the Grim Reaper has been known to be lurking inside the coffin from time to time. Nothing ever happens as trick or treaters pass by on their way IN, however, on their way OUT things can be a little different and the resulting carnage as the coffin doors fly open is always something to see ….
I created the costume by starting out with a Grim Reaper robe that I purchased from a major Halloween retailer. The belt is constructed from several plastic chains also bought from the same Halloween retailer as are the skeleton hands. Using several different colors of so called ‘creepy fabric’ and layering them I created the effect of the flowing, decaying fabric. The mask was purchased from an on-line retailer. A pair of black shoes and black nylon pants round out the costume. Total cost was ~ $100.
I realized that if I wanted the character to be really scary I would need to create an authentic looking scythe. After a little research, I created what you see in the attached pics using the following materials: 1’ PVC tubing for the shaft, a piece of white starboard painted silver for the blade and some rope to both attach the blade to the shaft and act as handles. A miniature skeleton was added to round out the look. The cigarette in the skeleton’s mouth was added last year for Boo At The Zoo as a reminder that smoking is bad for your health. My ‘Zoo volunteer badge’ hanging from the skeleton was also a fun little addition since we are required to wear our badges when working. It’s always fun to watch the guests try to determine if “Ken the volunteer” is the Grim Reaper or the skeleton …