Summer camp pop culture-inspired Halloween costume ideas

Halloween will be here before you know it and with the Halloween season comes trick or treating and invites to costume parties. If you’re looking for some costume ideas inspired by summer camp pop culture, try on these nine costume ideas.

Gene from Wet Hot American Summergenewethotamericansummer

Just about any of the characters from Wet Hot American Summer would make a good Halloween costume, but Gene might be the most easily recognizable with his dirty apron, cut off T-shirt, bandanna and can of vegetables he talks to. You might not want to go too far in acting like Gene though, unless your plan is to creep everyone out.

Wednesday Addams and Amanda Buckmanwednesdayaddamscostumeidea

This would be a fun costume to do with a friend since part of the beauty of Wednesday Addams with her black swimming outfit in the Camp Chippewa scenes in Addams Family Values is the juxtaposition with the bright orange colored one pieces the other girls are all wearing. You could dress as Wednesday and a friend could dress as her arch nemesis, Amanda Buckman.

Moonrise Kingdom

The obvious costume idea and wildly popular 2012 costume are the two main characters from Wes Anderson’s 2012 film, but the movie is brimming with other costume ideas like the Raven costume Suzy wears, the bugle boy who plays reveille, Ed Norton’s scoutmaster and more. (Image Source)

Zeke the Plumber from Salute Your Shorts

Forget Jason Voorhees. Dress up as Zeke the Plumber, the frightening ghost who haunts your summer camp dreams from Nickelodeon’s Salute Your Shorts. Above is a photo of a Zeke the Plumber costumed guy in between two ghostbusters. (Image Source)

John Candy, Camp Directorjohncandycostumeidea

John Candy’s birthday is on Oct. 31 so it’s as good a day as any to honor the late great comedian. What better way to do this than to dress as him as camp director, which he portrayed in the cartoon Camp Candy?

Cropsy from The Burningcropsycostumeidea

If you want to go the scary route, Cropsy from the early ’80s horror movie route might be a better option than the predictable hockey-mask wearing Jason Voorhees from Friday the 13th.

Tony Perkis from Heavyweights

Few summer camp movie characters are as memorable as Ben Stiller’s Tony Perkis in the movie Heavyweights. The crazy hair and the ’90s fitness gear would amuse even friends who haven’t seen the movie. A Perkis Power T-shirt can be purchased or made for maximum effect.

Lady Gaga Ball

Dressing up like Lady Gaga seems like a weird thing to do when she is pretty much always wearing a different costume, but dressing up as Lady Gaga Ball would be both challenging to pull off and original. I picture a Lady Gaga-style wig with a hexagonal shaped box around the abdomen and a headband and camp T-shirt with glitter.

Susan and Sharon from The Parent Trap

A couple of blonde wigs (one short, one long) and a Camp Inch patch cut out of felt and sewed on a button up shirt would make a great costume for twins or any friends or siblings who look somewhat alike (or not).

Matt Ralph

Matt Ralph

I'm the editor of Summer Camp Culture and also blog at and I live in the Philadelphia area and went to camps and camp meetings growing up in Ohio, Maryland and New Jersey.

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