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Halloween Costumes for Book Lovers

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Hey Word Nerds! It’s one of our absolute favorite times of year here at Proofread Anywhere. We just love all things fall — the cozy sweaters, the crisp air and crunchy leaves covering the sidewalk, and our warm mugs of spiced ciders and lattes. We. Are. Obsessed.

But one special, spooky night shines brighter than all the other autumn evenings. That’s right… Halloween is right around the corner! Have you picked out your costume yet?

Here at PA, our love of literature doesn’t stop once we leave the office. It’s a lifestyle — and one that is oh-so-fun to share with our friends, family, and colleagues! What better way to soak up the season than by dressing up as your favorite literary hero… or villain? Today, we’re filling you in on some of our favorite creative costumes, inspired by the works of fiction you know and love.

Whether you’re costume hunting for one, two, or the whole family, there’s a character for every book lover out there. Sci-fi nerds, classics fans, and modern fiction lovers alike — we’ve got your back!

Our Top Literary Halloween Costumes

Our collection of literary favorites inspires this list of iconic outfits and brings our favorite book characters to life. If you’re looking for a dose of literary nostalgia and inspiration this Halloween, whether solo, partnered, or as a family, these get-ups are just for you!

Solo Literary Legends Costumes

These are our fave soloists in classic literature — dress up as an author or character this Halloween.

Edgar Allan Poe

Dress up as the king of eerie poetry and prose with a 19th-century tailcoat and cloak, messy black wig, a stick-on mustache, and white makeup to create that sullen scowl.

We recommend reading Poe’s The Tell-Tale Heart and The Raven to elevate your look with an air of madness and mystery!

@iambrookebecker on Instagram

Elizabeth Bennet

Capture Elizabeth’s headstrong flair in the agonizing story of love, Pride and Prejudice, with a puffed-sleeved long gown and elbow-length gloves.

Practice your British accent and gossipy theme ahead of time, while you do your hair in tiny curls.

Elizabeth Bennet Costume
@lilou.workshop on Instagram

Couples’ Literary Costumes

These lovebirds and dynamic duos in literature are our all-time favorites.

Gatsby & Daisy

As a couple, dress up as Gatsby and his debutante lover, Daisy Buchanan, of the American classic The Great Gatsby.

You can create a darling Kentucken look with a flapper gown and matching headdress, and a classy tuxedo for your dapper fellow.

@edina.urska on Instagram

Frankenstein & His Monster

Capture the creepy aesthetic of returning from the dead in Mary Shelley’s novel, Frankenstein.

Dress as the scientific brains, Dr. Victor Frankenstein, by starting with a lab coat. Add a vest, dark pants, a messy wig, fake scars, and props like scientific beakers and books for authenticity.

For Frankenstein’s monster, grab your tattered clothing, and try your artistic hand at green makeup detailed with scars and bolts.

@lizbth81 on Instagram

Costumes for a Well-Read Family

Lord of the Rings

Tolkien’s trilogy offers endless character options for Halloween — from stunning elves to humble hobbits, there’s a character for every member of your family. Who gets to be Gollum?

@silhouettecosplay on Instagram

The Iliad & Odyssey

Homer’s classics are some of the first examples of Western literature — and chock full of adventure, epic battles, and iconic mortal (and immortal) characters.

Explore the alluring era surrounding the Trojan war and Greek mythology with all your family members — Cyclops, Medusa, Icarus, Zeus, and Hera, or a warrior ready for battle.

@looking_glass_cosplay on Instagram

Pop-Culture Book Character Costumes

Not feeling our old-school literature picks above for your costume this year? Don’t worry, these next ones are for you. With a bit more of a modern touch, these pop-culture costume picks are inspired by some of our favorite current literature and visual media.

Solo Protagonists

These have been our most-sung heroines this year, both as soloists or — if you add in characters from their crews — with friends.

Sailor Moon

First a manga, then the amazing 90’s anime, Sailor Moon, or Usagi, is sure to empower you — and maybe your besties? — to save the solar system and look fabulous doing it!

The Sailor Guardian of Love and Justice costume is fun, fresh, and sure to turn heads. Take on the solo star this year or pair with fellow superhero!

@elizaa_miyamizu on Instagram

Katniss Everdeen

We love The Hunger Games’ incredible world-building and characters, and Katniss’ strength and tenacity are endlessly inspiring.

Complete your Katniss costume with a leather jacket, a braid, and her signature Mocking Jay pin. Plus, you get to carry a bow and arrow around for a day!

@ohsweetginger on Instagram

Sherlock Holmes

With so many iterations of this famous detective, you have so many costume options. For a simple DIY costume, just grab a hunting cap, a magnifying glass, and your powers of deduction. 

@bakedanuki_cos on Instagram

Modern Literary Couples

These character couples offer a mix of nostalgia, diversity, and the opportunity for creativity that is right up our alley this year. We’re putting them first in line for the red carpet this Halloween!

Tiana & Prince Naveen

They say we’ve got to kiss a few frogs before finding our one true love, so might as well make a good costume out of it! Based on the classic children’s fairytale The Frog Prince, you won’t find cuter couples’ costumes out there!

Prince Naveen is dapper, either as a frog or a human. Plus, Princess Tiana’s green dress is to DIE for. You can also top off these looks with a frog prop or some fresh beignets!

@francheezy24_7 on Instagram

Stanley & Zero

The young adult novel Holes was a huge hit around the world — these two unexpected anti-heroes are the culmination of a tale that spans generations.

Accessorize with matching orange jumpsuits and shovels for props. Don’t forget the jars of peaches and lizards (plastic will do) for this ultimate but underrated book costume this year.

@leiracosplays on Instagram

Families from Fiction

We looked for the perfect family this year for costume ideas, and we found none — but we did find the best authentic family. Here are two charming, fictitious families to dress up as this year. Don’t forget the whimsical, and always embrace your unique quirks!

We couldn’t go without saying it — Happy Halloween from your PA fam!


So, technically, Encanto is a movie, not a book. But we were absolutely encantados ourselves at how much the themes in this charming family film reminded us of another classic, 100 Years of Solitude.

Immerse yourself in magical realism and the power of family with colorful costumes inspired by this fun flick.

@raulcanario1 on Instagram

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Ready for some nostalgia? With as many possible costumes as there are meals in this classic picture book, your whole family will have a blast dressing up together to tackle The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

Get crafty and turn your favorite snacks into a Halloween smorgasbord! To add to the fun, use felt and DIY your costume with your kids and let them get creative!

@hugh_and_noli on Instagram

Nerdy Halloween Costumes

Check out our favorite nerdy get-ups beyond the literature realm! From graphic novels and comic books to video games, here are our geeky favorites.

Solo Nerdy Costumes

Show your secret powers through these loved, iconic superheroes.


These Super-Anti-Heroes (Anti-Super-Heroes?) left a mark on literature and film, beginning with the amazing graphic novel, Watchmen.

Rorschach, Dr. Manhattan, and the rest of the team are all incredible choices for a solo costume this year. For Dr. Manhattan, a simple blue morph suit with some drawn-on details would complete the look.

@didisala on Instagram

Into the Spider-Verse

Miles Morales, Gwendolyn Stacy, and all the multiverse iterations of Spiderman put a fresh twist on this go-to Halloween favorite for kids and adults alike!

Into the Spiderverse is a treasure trove of inspiration and unique costume variations. You can even use comic book generators and design assets to create your own comic book to carry with you for the night!

Geeky, Double Trouble

Grab a friend or your lover and freak out the entire room as any of these adorable Halloween duos.

Lieutenant Uhura & Captain Kirk

Recreate the groundbreaking Star Trek kiss scene or just rock the amazing 60s Starfleet uniforms of Captain Kirk and Lieutenant Uhura with your boo.

Add a few phasers and you’ll be ready to go!

@blackwomenincostume on Instagram

The Mandalorian & Grogu (AKA Baby Yoda)

Calling all Star Wars fans! Whether you have a fur baby or a real baby, Grogu (AKA Baby Yoda) is perfect for you and your little one. You can be The Mandalorian as you escort your baby from house to house.

Don’t forget your Darksaber for extra protection!

@vivizunini on Instagram

Back to the Future

Marty McFly and Doc Brown are an underappreciated duo when it comes to Halloween! Rock that Back to the Future 80s hair, grab a guitar, and let us know if you track down a Delorean!

@thenext.jeneration on Instagram

Costumes for Geeky Families

If you’re a family of bingers, these all-time favorite film fams are for you.

Wakandan Royalty

Suit up in battle-ready uniforms or formal regalia as the powerful Wakandan Royal family from Black Panther. Killmonger costumes are strongly encouraged.

You can use thick bead bracelets to mimic the Kimoyo beads.

@dprimexd on Instagram

Everything, Everywhere, All at Once

The surreal sci-fi comedy, Everything, Everywhere, All at Once, is chock-full of wild and wonderful costume ideas.

Between an omnipotent multiverse-hopping villain, a mom and a bureaucrat with hot dog hands, and a mild-mannered dad with a fanny pack, you’re sure to find something bizarre and bold for your Halloween hangout!

Be sure to check out this incredible film and design the perfect DIY costume with googly eyes and your imagination!

@dtjaaaam on Instagram

Funny Halloween Costumes

Use your sense of humor to convey your love of writing, publishing, and the world of literary magic.

Fairy Tales, Shrek-style

Pay homage to the greatest hits of storytelling this Halloween by dressing up as your favorite storybook characters — Little Red Riding Hood, The Gingerbread Man, Goldilocks, and more have all been masterfully recreated for maximum laughs in this 2001 hit.

Shrek and Fiona themselves are sure to win major costume party prizes! Just snag some ogre ears, an old wedding dress, and a lot of green face paint.

@brirose_arts on Instagram

Literary Villains

Explore your dark side with an unexpectedly evil costume this year.

  • Professor Umbridge: This Harry Potter villain will make even the bravest students shake. All you need is a pink suit set, short curls, and a wand.
  • Count Olaf: A bald cap, fake unibrow, and an evil smile will do the trick.
  • Cruella DeVille: Grab an iconic half-black, half-white wig, a red dress, and some dalmatian print for this look.
  • Captain Hook: No matter which iteration of Cap you choose to be, just don’t forget the hook!
  • King Joffrey: A royal outfit, short blonde hair, and a crossbow prop will make the perfect outfit. To catch true fans, you can even use a bit of fake blood in the corners of your eyes.
  • Miss Trunchbull: A slicked-back bun, suit set, and combat boots are all you need to recreate this evil educator.

The more dastardly your disguise, the more recognizable… and hilarious!


We just had to mention it in this post. Everyone’s favorite cheesy, ridiculous, utterly preposterous young adult fiction series also happens to make absolutely knee-slapping Halloween costumes, especially now that the hype has died down.

Sparkly teen vampires? Ripped werewolves? Come on, that’s comedy gold. You can opt for an authentic look by dressing in a t-shirt, jeans, pale body makeup, and red/gold contacts or you can amp up the laughs by covering yourself in glitter and pretending to be in pain the entire night.

@mary.alice.brandon on Instagram

Happy Halloween

No matter which fun costume you pick, from all of us at Proofread Anywhere, we hope you have an amazing spooky season! 

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