What’s more fun than dressing up in costume for Halloween? And what better place to do that than Savannah, a city with perpetual Halloween bragging rights.
Savannah’s colorful, storied history and her spooky, spine-tingling side serve as muses for getting your creative juices flowing. And our city’s plentitude of costume contests can earn you all kinds of prizes including cold, hard cash.
So, who will you be for All Hallow’s Eve? Will you pull from Savannah’s history and pop culture, a character from the silver screen, or an apparition central to one of our city’s many ghost stories? Here are 10 ideas, in no particular order.
1. Bird Girl
Ever since an eerie photo of her appeared on the cover of the 1994 best seller “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil,” Bird Girl has been an iconic image that brings the city of Savannah to mind. If you plan to replicate her forlorn look, here’s a piece of trivia to note. Before she came to be Bird Girl, her name was Little Wendy and she stood in Bonaventure Cemetery as a grave monument in a family plot.
Image source: SavannahNow
2. Jim Williams
Made even more famous by “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil,” antiquities dealer Jim Williams –tried multiple times for shooting and killing his assistant in his home on Monterey Square – makes for an intriguing Savannah figure to portray. Get all gussied up as he would have for one of his lavish black-tie Christmas parties. Add a luxuriant mustache (if you don’t already have one) and a King Edward cigar.
3. Forrest Gump
Yep, there are Forrest Gump sightings in Savannah daily. But, as far as Halloween costumes go, he is still quite popular around here whether he appears in khaki pants, a blue checkered shirt, and red cap or he’s sporting that cap along with red shorts, white socks and ultra long hair and beard. By the way, if you wear the suit and sneakers, don’t forget your box of chocolates.
image source: Wikimedia Commons
4. A Southern Belle
There was a time in Savannah when dainty ladies wore ruffled hoop skirts and wide-brimmed hats and carried parasols. They sipped Mint Juleps on the verandah, wistfully fanned themselves and occasionally fell victim to the vapors. You’ll be the belle of any Halloween ball with this classic costume, and don’t forget to practice saying, “Bless your heart,” in your best velvet Southern drawl.
image source: tvtango.com
5. Captain Flint
Pirate lore is part of Savannah’s mystique, and legend has it that Captain Flint – from “Treasure Island” fame – haunts the modern day Pirates’ House restaurant. In the book, he brought his nefarious crew to Savannah and it’s said he died in the building. It’s also told that he has company –ghosts of a real-life seaman who were shanghaied from the bar in what is now the Pirates’ House onto waiting for ships offshore where they were forced into labor.
image source: datelinenews.org
6. Lady in White
Take your pick of which “Lady in White” you’ll be. One such ghost reportedly haunts the Gribble House where a triple ax murder occurred in 1909. A second is said to roam Marshall House, where guests talk about faucets turning themselves on and off and disembodied voices echoing in the hallways. A third has been seen in Moon River Brewing Company, which has a reputation for housing several ghosts. And people claim another frequents the parlor of Sorrel Weed House, famous for its paranormal activity.
image source: metmuseum.org
7. Lady in Gray
If it’s more to your liking, you can be the most famous spirit at Owens-Thomas House – the “Lady in Gray,” Margaret Thomas. Many say she loved her garden so much that she couldn’t bear to leave it. When alive, she would stroll the garden each night, usually dressed in a gray shawl and big hat. And some say she still wanders the courtyard as the light of day fades.
image source: Wikimedia Commons
8. Gregg Allman
Don a-rockin' outfit in homage to this legendary musician who called the Savannah area home for almost 20 years. Have a guitar? Why not carry it along for effect. Going out for the occasion as a couple? Your partner-in- costume could dress as Cher; to be authentic, stay true to the look of the 1970’s.
image source: ctboom.com
9. Prohibition-Era Bartender
With the new American Prohibition Museum now open in Savannah (in case you haven’t heard, it has its own speakeasy, Congress Street Up), the time is appropo to channel your inner 20’s era bartender. Be sure to brush up on Prohibition cocktails in case you’re at a party and someone asks you to mix a drink.
10. The Davenport House Feline
Since Savannah’s famous spirits are not all human, you can branch out in your costume creativity and create one that is “the cat’s meow.” Specifically, you could represent our city’s spectral furtive feline, an orange and white tabby cat that staff has seen darting from room to room in Davenport House.
Perhaps these ideas will give you a jumpstart on your Halloween outfit. Whatever you choose to wear and do, have a scary good time! Happy Halloween from the ERA Evergreen – Live Love Savannah team.