It’s Tuesday, Oct. 30, and fourth-year radio and production major Joe Neggie is sitting on the floor of his apartment with a white T-shirt, peanut butter, corn syrup, red food dye and a pair of scissors.
Tomorrow, he said, he’s going to be “tiger lunch.”
“My girlfriend and I wanted to do one of those couples costume things this year,” Neggie said. “She’s going to be a tiger and I’m going to be the guy who got mauled by a tiger. I think this whole thing cost me maybe $10.”
Due to low budgets and the arrival of Hurricane Sandy, SUNY New Paltz students said coming up with the perfect Halloween Costume proved to be more difficult in 2012 than before. With popular costumes ranging between $30-$120, many students decided it was time to get creative, recycle old costumes and/or revisit their childhood.
Ryan Hanrahan, a fourth-year radio and TV production major, was surprised after going home and seeing his childhood boy scout uniform still managed to fit. Because he’s been tight on money and Halloween is only once a year, he said the uniform was an opportunity for him to get creative with his Halloween costume.
“Why spend a ton of money on a costume that you’re only going to wear for one or two days of the year and then never use again? You can get really creative and original with things that are uniquely yours,” Hanrahan said.
While he said he didn’t believe many people would go out as a boy scout, Hanrahan said he didn’t want to stop his costume just there. With the help of some face paint and fake blood, and a love for zombie flicks, he said he had come up with a costume “nobody else” was going to have on.
“Zombie Boy Scout,” Hanrahan said. “I think it’s something that sets me apart from all of the other zombies roaming the streets of New Paltz on Halloween.”
While low finances played a role in students’ choice of Halloween costume, Hurricane Sandy’s arrival in the Hudson Valley made an impact on student decision as well.
Fourth-year creative writing major Carolyn Quimby said she originally wanted to go to a Halloween store in Poughkeepsie to find a costume, but fear of the storm’s impact kept her from venturing out.
“It looked awful out there and all we kept hearing was how dangerous it would be to go outside,” Quimby said. “I originally wanted to find something at the Halloween Shop, but it looks like I’ll be looking for something at home. I probably would have spent more than I would have wanted to on an actual costume, so this is probably for the best.”
According to an article published by Time Entertainment, the heroine of 2012’s box-office monster The Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen, was polled to be one of the most desired and used costumes this Halloween. While this was her costume of choice, third-year photography major Robin Weinstein said prices for an authentic costume were too much and would easily “put a dent in the back.”
“The shirt alone for the costume I wanted in the size that I wear was $70 alone,” Weinstein said. “Not only that, but the backpack she uses throughout the movie is $50. Even if I were going to wear it for years to come, there’s no way I can spend that much money and not feel awful about it.”
So, if she couldn’t find a Katniss costume that was decently priced, she was going to make one of her own instead.
“It’s such a simple costume,” she said. “All you need is a pair of black pants, a black shirt and a Mockingjay pin. The books and the movie are popular, so it’s not like I really have to explain it to people.”
In the end, Weinstein paid a small price to become Katniss Everdeen.
“It was just over $20,” Weinstein said. “If I had spent the money on the real thing, I would have spent $100 more.”