The Ghosts of Halloween Past: Five Years of Costumes


You know, I never used to be into Halloween. Sure, when I was a kid, I practically believed I was Batman (which I dressed up as for 3 years in a row), but what kid didn’t? By my teens I didn’t really care to, like any rebellious kid. Since moving to Toronto, I never thought the spookiest day of the year would get me back in the hunt for sinister self-expression.

Well, it did. And I’d like to introduce to you my five costumes that brought me back to pseudo-reality.

2008: Man in the Wind

Five years ago, my friends had last minute plans to head to CiRCA (again) for Halloween. My roomie dressed up in a huge bunny mask and my other friend put on a children’s lion costume. I hadn’t participated in Halloween for maybe 10 years, and since I didn’t want to look like one of the three blind mice without the blinders, in the 11th hour my cousin came up with the idea for me to go as the Man in the Wind. It was a ridiculous costume. It was basically me in a suit, with a metal hanger inserted into a tie and stretched to simulate floating in the wind. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and it went down in history as the laziest thing ever. Actually, since I refuse to call that a costume, it was the most ridiculous thing I ever wore.

I ended up getting split up and in the lineup myself. An Asian guy in a suit by himself, with a tie sticking out 4 feet ahead of me, poking everyone in the lineup. I was targeted. Ended up almost getting in a fight with Jigsaw ahead of me. Mainly because I looked like the biggest tool ever.

I’m not sure if it’s the trauma caused by such a humiliating experience, but since then I decided never to be that guy at a bar on Halloween with a shitty costume.

2009: Post Apocalyptic Ramone

A year passed and it was time to re-think what my new creation was going to be. The Book of Eli had just come out, and I was going through an addiction to Fallout 3 at the time, so what better way to celebrate the death of humanity than to look how fashionable I can get after societal expiry!

At the time I was just starting to take on clients in this new realm of social media, and one of my clients was Black Line Studio. I had a face tattoo of a dragon done on my face (removable, obviously), and one blue contact inserted in my eye that I had previously picked up for cheap in the Philippines. My jacket, made of distressed leather from Guess, was my way to stay warm in the desert, with silver goggles from Malabar to protect against the sand storms.

The scarf, which I picked up at a Tibetian store on Queen, completed the look, while little details included a chain wrapped around a ripped shirt on my arm, a fingerless glove with studs from Malabar, and boot covers from that little shop across from American Apparel on Queen.

Ended up at the Drake Hotel with Steve Urkel. Maybe he was the cause of the apocalypse?

2010: Altair Ramone: Home Made Assassin’s Creed

I seem to have a fixation on current trends during Halloween, as Assassin’s Creed was on my mind the following year. Or I’m just a big-time geek. I took it upon myself to build another costume from scratch, ripping pieces from all over the city again to build this costume up.

I spent most of my time grabbing pieces from Value Village that year: an XXL red t-shirt that I cut up into a sash and a XXL white dress shirt that I cleverly cut into both the hood (with peak) and the skirt below the sash, which I pinned to a white zip top I found on the racks. On Queen, in those random Halloween stores that pop up, I happened to find interesting gauntlets and arm blades that appeared to matched the theme. I also dropped into one of those fabric stores and purchased a big sheet of brown leather, costing me the most of this entire costume, and cut the second layer of the sash to house the throwing daggers and the chest belt. The final piece was this see-thru black fabric that I made into a head wrap, allowing me to see while looking shadowed, and drink my beers comfortably through. Always need to have boozing in mind when carefully planning it out.

By default, Hal Johnson from Body Break, the Phantom of the Opera and I ended up at the Drake Hotel Underground for another sweaty dance floor takeover, however my costume slowly fell apart. By the end of the night, I had discarded most of it by the time I left for the evening.

2011: The Queen West Witch Doctor

I don’t really know where this idea originated from. Witch doctors look super cool however they never get any love during Halloween. They wear scary raven masks, poke sick things with sticks, and look pretty supreme on the 31st. Or it could’ve been from Assassin’s Creed again.

I went on my usual crawl around Queen West to build this up. The mask, while you can get almost anywhere, I settled on one from Malabar. The goggles, obviously from my post apocalypse costume. The Ankh necklace was an interesting jewel from another store on Queen, along with the Spanish hat, which can be is easily found anywhere. The black dress I found in that little store next to Starbucks at Queen & John. Easy-peasy.

After spending a lot of time prepping this costume, I ended up a house party where I spent a total of 53 minutes at before going home.

2012 Hint: It’s Iron

2012 is here, and once again I’m looking to do something awesome for Halloween. You must be living under a rock if you don’t catch the hint above, but the real question is: what else is part of the master plan?

I hope you find some inspiration and do something cool this year. Tweet me your creative ideas and what you ended up dressing up as for Halloween!

About the author

Reggie Tan

Lifestyle blogger. Growth hacker in fintech & blockchain. Futurist. I write for myself.

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By Reggie Tan

RAMONE is a composition of non-fiction short stories and introspections by Reggie Tan.

reggie tan

Howdy. I first started blogging on in 2009, with a dedicated focus on men's lifestyle and stories of inebriation. Shortly after, I was listed as a top Canadian blogger, and over the next decade, I've collaborated with hundreds of notable brands.

Then I grew up. As of late, I've graduated to writing about life experiences, well-researched opinions, and hopefully a few things you might find useful.

This is my memory vault.

reggie tan

About me-Power user of technology. Style guy. Avid gamer. Obsessed with the Cybertruck. Lyrical poet. I like my beats bottom heavy. Madaline is ∞. Only God can judge me. INTP. Birthed in the East Coast of Canada by a pair of cool Filipino parents. Cautiously ADHD. I prefer my whisky neat with a tumbler of room-temp water. Otherwise, a pint of your best draught will do.

I'm a member of the anti-social club. Happily retired from Facebook or Instagram. My verified Twitter account was recently hacked. I do use LinkedIn for business.

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