The 5 Most Offensive Halloween Costumes Ever


It's the one day of year when you get to be somebody else. Just make sure your portrayal of that somebody else isn't offensive.

Why? Well, for starters, because it's not nice. But perhaps a more convincing reason is because we live the age of smartphones and social media. If you wear a horribly repugnant costume to a Halloween party, chances are pretty good that you'll end up in the Internet's hall of shame. And once your name and photo start popping up on the blogosphere, there's no erasing that. Your career and credibility will tumble into a perpetual state of jeopardy. (See also: What NOT to Hand Out on Halloween)

To avoid this unwelcome fate, we suggest following this simple formula: If you wouldn't want a photo of you in your costume circulating on the Internet, then don't wear it. Seems simple enough, right? Well, apparently not. Read on for our roundup of some of the most offensive costumes worn by folks who just didn't think it through.

1. Boston Marathon Bombing Victim

Not only did Alicia Ann Lynch, 22, of Michigan, wear red-splattered running gear and fake blood dripping down her face and legs, she also posed with a toothy grin for a photo while wearing said costume and posted it to her Twitter feed. Big mistake.

Lynch, who wore her ill-chosen Halloween costume to an office party, was promptly fired. Then she and her parents swiftly became the target of cyberbullying and death threats that persisted for months.

"I have been fired from my job," Lynch tweeted. "I am paying for what I thought was a simple joke. I know it was wrong now. I wasn't thinking. I'm sorry."

2. Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman

Half-brothers William Filene and Greg Cimeno of Florida dressed as a black-faced Trayvon Martin and a trigger-happy George Zimmerman. Then their mother posted a picture of them on one of her social media accounts. No, not because she wanted to publicly shame them for their racial insensitivity. Rather, because it was Halloween and she wanted to show off her sons' costume choice.

In the photo, the man dressed as Zimmerman makes a gun with his fingers and holds it to his brothers' head.

"Happy Halloween from Zimmerman & trayvon," wrote Caitlin Cimeno, the boys' mother. She punctuated the caption with an emoji smiley face.

Caitlin Cimeno was fired from her job after social media users tracked down her employer, which terminated her position.

3. A Member of the Ku Klux Klan

Jessica Black of Virginia dressed her 7-year-old son as a Klansman for Halloween. She even sewed the white robe and hood herself. Not surprisingly, people were enraged.

"It's a family tradition," Black told a reporter for a local television station.

"I did tell him that if you do it, you know there's going to be people talking about you, there's going to be people saying bad things about you when you do wear it," she said.

When asked by a reporter why he wanted to celebrate the holiday dressed in KKK garb, the small boy replied, "'Cause it was cool."

4. The Twin Towers on 9/11

College students Amber Langford and Annie Collinge, both 19 and British, dressed as the north and south towers of the World Trade Center during the September 11 attacks. The University of Chester students' costumes featured smoke, flames, crashing planes, and dozens of people falling to their deaths.

The costumes won the girls the "Best Dressed" accolade at the pub where they celebrated the holiday. It also earned them a lot of disrespect across the pond, particularly from the families of 9/11 victims.

"I can't begin to tell you how angry and disgusted I am," said Liz Gilligan, whose husband died in the attacks. "To say I'm shocked and upset is an understatement."

Langford, Collinge, and the pub that rewarded the girls' costumes later issued public apologies for their insensitivity and poor judgement.

"We never meant to be offensive, but we apologize if any offense was caused," the teens wrote in their apology, which was printed in local newspaper. "The idea was to depict a serious, modern-day horror that happened in our lifetime and was not intended as a joke."

5. Asiana Airlines Flight Attendants

Three men in Chicago wore tattered uniforms, faux bruises, and fake blood, calling themselves the victims of the Asiana Airlines Flight 214 crash in San Francisco.

Not only was their costume choice distasteful — it was also racist. The men donned name tags that read: Sum Ting Wong, Ho Lee Fuk, and Wi Tu Lo — the made-up names of the victims that were mistakenly reported in the news media after a summer intern at the National Transportation Safety Board confirmed them as the real names of the victims as a racist joke.

What's the worst costume you've ever worn for Halloween? Please share in comments!

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Guest's picture

*speechless* That poor 7-year-old who's mom didn't think it was a big deal to dress him in a KKK robe/hood! Hope he turns out okay.