Superheroes top spooks for Halloween costumes

Superhero costumes top the children's Halloween costume list this year.
Superhero costumes top the children's Halloween costume list this year. (Jacob deNobel/Carroll County Times)

As superhero movies continue to dominate the box office, with nearly a dozen comics- and superhero-themed movies released in 2017 alone, the costumed characters have also staked their claim as the favorite choice for children's Halloween costumes for the second year in a row.

Last year, largely driven by an expansion of female character costume options, superheroes unseated princesses as the most popular Halloween costume for children for the first time in more than a decade. This year has been even tougher for the noble princesses, as they now are forced to share the No. 2 slot with Batman characters, according to the National Retail federation.


Out of the top 10 Halloween costumes for children, a full five slots are taken by superheroes — with individual characters broken out of the generic "superhero" label based on popularity.

Many of the most popular characters have had their appeal boosted by the recent success of their films, with Spider-Man leaping with the proportionate strength of a spider six full slots, from 10 to 4, thanks to the release of his newest film "Spider-Man: Homecoming" this year.

The massive success of the "Wonder Woman" film has launched the amazon into the costume big leagues, appearing in the top 10 for both children and adults for the first time.

Branded and character costumes continue to remain more popular for children than adults, with the only nonmedia costumes making the top 10 being princesses, animals, witches and ghosts, while adults are interested in dressing like witches, animals, pirates, vampires and zombies.

Despite the success of horror films like "Split," "Get Out" and "Happy Death Day," it's the nostalgic slasher villains that are keeping the highest body count of costumed celebrants again this season. Together — though "Freddy vs. Jason" proved how that can be a dangerous combo — the iconic killers of Jason Voorhees, Freddy Krueger, Leatherface, Chucky and Ghostface make up the ninth-most popular Halloween costume for adults.

Superhero costumes available at Party City in Westminster.
Superhero costumes available at Party City in Westminster.

Maybe the universal monsters seem a bit too old-fashioned, while modern horror movies shy away from recognizable villains — it's the protagonists the Warrens that return for each "Conjuring" installment rather than any particular killer or ghoul, leaving the 1980s champs room to reign supreme.

Another popular type of costume at the store were pieces of '90s nostalgia. Millennials could relive their childhood by dressing up as "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air," a Bayside Tiger from "Saved by the Bell" or any number of Nickelodeon characters from "Double Dare" contestants to the creatures of "Aaahh!!! Real Monsters."

At Spirit Halloween in the TownMall of Westminster, several sections in both the children's and adult areas of the store are dedicated to superhero costumes in varying levels of authenticity. There, Carroll Community College student Katira Anderson, said she was looking to become a superhero herself.


"I'm still trying to figure out what I want to be," Anderson said. "I've been thinking about maybe being the Incredibles with my boyfriend, or Superman and Superwoman."

Anderson said Superman's her favorite hero, but in the past she has dressed up as Batgirl, a minion and as a leopard.

Top 10 Halloween costumes


  1. Action/superhero
  2. Batman character/princess
  3. Animal
  4. Spider-Man
  5. Star Wars character
  6. Witch
  7. Pirate/Marvel superhero
  8. Disney princess
  9. Ghost
  10. Wonder Woman


  1. Witch
  2. Batman character
  3. Animal
  4. Pirate
  5. Marvel superhero
  6. Vampire
  7. Zombie
  8. DC superhero
  9. Slasher movie villain
  10. Wonder Woman


  1. Pumpkin
  2. Hot dog
  3. Dog/lion/pirate
  4. Bumblebee
  5. Devil
  6. Batman character
  7. Ghost
  8. Cat
  9. Witch
  10. Star Wars character