Devilishly Clever – The Scary Halloween Costume Book (1983)

This adorable how-to takes kids (and presumably their parents) through the steps to create costumes of all your classic movie monsters…and then some?

The Scary Halloween Costume Book covers 11 different costumes, including any obvious accessories that character would have like a devil’s pitchfork or an ogre’s club or…a werewolf’s gym duffel bag.

Let’s be honest, the Black Cat is not a “scary” costume. These illustrations are “scary” detailed, though! That didn’t work! Sorry!

The illustrations of the makeup transformations trend on the creepy side, albeit unintentionally.

Also, at one point the book suggests children smear Karo Syrup on their face! Have fun with that, Mom and Dad!

I got excited when I saw “Unknown Terror” in the table of contents. The description added to the excitement. This thing must be insane!

Slightly disappointed with what I found once I got there, but I guess the biggest threat would be extraterrestrial? Just not like this. Not like this!

The back cover got a chuckle out of 7-year-old me and an eyeroll out of 10-year-old me.

Maybe I’m underestimating the boredom level of the children and parents of 1983 but I’m not sure that anyone ever made these costumes. There’s an enthusiasm in the tone of the writing that seems to beg the readers to get on board. It’s the book equivalent of that family that handed out raisins to trick-or-treaters. Check out the entire book over at


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