Emily Howlett: Top 10 Halloween outfits for Deafies!

Posted on October 31, 2014

1) The Thing

You know that disembodied hand from The Addams Family that crawls all over the place? Well, it can sometimes feel like that’s how the world sees us signing deafies – just strange, blurry hands waving about, not actually connected to a human being.

So I say, for once, give the people what they want. Become a hand. Climb up tables. Climb up skirts. Climb out of prison when you get arrested.

2) Frankenstein

The monster, not the doctor. You know the guy; big, green, made of dead people? Famous for having bolts in his neck? Bring a unique deafie twist to the tale by sticking the bolts in your ears instead and pointing at them mutely every time someone tells you to get your paws out of the sweet bowl. (The constant sweet-thievery will also help provide a green glow to your face, enhancing the whole effect.)

3) Skeleton

Shake, rattle and roll. Be a skeleton. Watch in delight as all your deaf friends find it totally impossible to concentrate on anything you say or sign.

How does that work? I hear you cry. Well, you know how distracting it is when someone has a beard? Or weird teeth? Or a huge pimple on their chin? Or really bright clothes? Or jewellery round their neck?


4) Pumpkin

There is literally no deaf connection to this costume other than I really, really love the idea of you all marching around the dark streets like giant, luminous satsumas.

Hell, I don’t even care if you’re deaf. EVERYBODY SHOULD BE A PUMPKIN ONCE IN THEIR LIFE. Make this year your year.

5) Mummy

Bandages! (Or bog roll, according to budget.) FULL BODY BANDAGES. And, more importantly, FULL-FACE BANDAGES. Finally, get your own back on all those people who are just impossible to lip-read.

Of course, you will end up silent and alone in the corner of the kitchen while everyone else has a great party, but it’s a small price to pay for making a stand. (Be aware of drool leaking through the bandages when you notice Frankenstein devouring the entire sweet bowl, something you simply cannot do with your face trussed up like an overcooked turkey.)

6) Werewolf

Choosing this costume comes with great responsibility. It is hugely important that you give a true representation of real-life werewolves, or, as we know them, hearing dogs.

Ensure that you gallop around the room like a demon every time someone’s phone goes off, pretending you thought it was the doorbell. Greet everyone by sticking your nose in their thigh and then ignore them solidly for the rest of the evening.

Do not forget to howl at the moon, die if shot with a silver bullet and wear a red coat at all times. Especially if you want to be allowed into cafes and museums.

7) Alien (From Alien. Obviously.)

You have the outwardly-normal clothing. You have the slightly-less-normal huge bump, hopefully pulsating slightly, where your stomach should be.

You have the eerie glow, hopefully artfully created by careful use of a torch rather than a particularly bad chicken tikka masala.

You enter the party, and you have your rapt audience. Your face contorts in pain as you squeeze a secret button in your pocket… Your stomach EXPLODES. Out pops… A BSL dictionary. TAKE THAT, HEARINGS. Boom.

8) Dr Jekyll / My Hyde

There are ENDLESS deafie variations on this. Basically think of any aspect of deaf culture or hearing opinion on deaf culture that divides people massively, and dress as both sides.

One of those super weird costumes that look different from each side, or keep running to the toilet for a costume/personality change.

Just don’t lose track of who you are. (Having said that there’s endless variations, I don’t actually think I’m brave enough to document them. Not at this time of year, with all the curses flying around…)

9) Audiologist

Every deafie’s worst nightmare? Tick.

10) A Deafie

If you really, truly, honestly want to scare the absolute pants off people, you’ll be happy to know you can create this ultimate horror costume on a shoestring budget.

Simply wear your own clothes, with your own face, and your own personality. Approach a Government leader. Preferably one who voted to give ATOS the Work Capability Assessment contract.

Announce that you are a real live Deaf Person.

And that you are still a fully functioning human being. Enjoy the terror in their eyes before their head explodes with incomprehension.


By Emily Howlett. Emily is a Contributing Editor to this site. She is a profoundly Deaf actress, writer and teacher. Emily is co-director of PAD Productions and makes an awful lot of tea. And mess. She now has not one, but four grey eyebrow hairs. C’est la vie. She tweets as @ehowlett

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