Trump and a child-eating clown: Halloween costumes are 'getting scary again'

Expect to see plenty of orange bouffants and red wigs haunting the streets this Hallow’s Eve.

'Classic Halloween is coming back,' says costume shop owner Christy Hutchinson

Anyone can play Donald Trump this Halloween thanks to an onslaught of masks representing the U.S. president in costume stores. (Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images)

Expect to see plenty of orange bouffants and red wigs haunting the streets this Hallow's Eve.

The hottest selling costumes this season seem to be taking inspiration from Hollywood horror, and a real-life head of state who has been the source of plenty of nightmare fodder for some political watchers.

Donald Trump and Pennywise costumes have been flying off the shelves in Edmonton, said Christy Hutchinson, the owner of the Theatre Garage costume shop in Strathcona.

'They're both frightening'

Why are these costumes so popular? Hutchinson has a theory.

"They're both frightening, to be perfectly honest," Hutchinson said with a chuckle in an interview Tuesday with CBC Radio's Edmonton AM.

Both of these characters have distinctive looks, said Hutchinson.

For Trump, it's all about sporting a big helmet of orange hair and a signature tan. That can be achieved with a rubber mask or a good paint job, she said.

Thanks to the remake of Stephen King's horror story It, Pennywise has made a big comeback this year.

Plenty of thick pancake makeup is required to capture the evil clown's crooked smile. And when it comes to emulating this child-eating monster, the creepier the better.

'Scary monster'

"Most of our customer base grew up in the Eighties, so it was terrifying to us, the first version of Pennywise," she said.

"It kind of encompasses that incredibly scary monster from our childhood, and of course, with the reboot that just came out, it's brought that movie back to the forefront."
Pennywise, the evil clown from Stephen King's It, has proven to be a popular choice this Halloween.
 Classic monsters and wart-nosed witches are enjoying a revival, and a continued hunger for a decaying zombie look has kept their special effects makeup counter busy, said Hutchinson.

"Classic Halloween is coming back," she said. "We get a lot of customers doing classic vampires and classic witches.

"What I'm really excited about is the trend of scary Halloweens coming back, and that's what we do best. Halloween is getting scary again."

Incredibly crafty 

DIY costumes are also a trend for 2017. People are keen to don something unique, even it requires extra crafty elbow grease, she said.

"Our customers are really DIY and they're able to just come in and get their hands on that … and pull off their costume," said Hutchinson.
Christy Hutchinson is the owner of the Theatre Garage costume shop in Strathcona. (CBC)
 "Our customers are incredibly crafty, so they come in to ask us questions and get the bits and pieces to finish their look.

"It's a lot of fun, and it's a chance to be really creative."

For Hutchinson, this Halloween won't be too spooktacular. A mom to a five year old and a one year old, she's working on a family friendly Ms Frizzle costume, the beloved school teacher from the classic series the Magic School Bus.

Her son, who dressed up as an ETS bus driver last season, will likely be a train conductor this year.

'"This may surprise you, but my son isn't big into costumes," said Hutchinson.