Dos and Don'ts for a Freaky (But Disability Positive) Halloween

By: Emily Beitiks

Halloween is just around the corner...time to bust out that polyester costume you bought in college and ask yourself: can I pull this off for one more year? We can't help you answer that, but follow this list of "dos and "don'ts" to ensure that all your Halloween fun doesn't come at the cost of disability justice...

DON'T: Watch horror films that equate being disabled or disfigured with being evil or menacing. Of, if a friend drags you along to one, try to voice a subversive question loudly before the film starts, like "You know what's really scary? The amount of discrimination people with physical anomalous conditions face?"

Freddy Krueger with severe facial scarring and a prosthetic hand that has blades as fingers.

DO: Dress up as a pirate or mermaid and celebrate the fact that you're also a disability action hero! Read more here.

A cartoon drawing of a pirate with eye patch, hook hand, and peg leg.

DON'T: Visit an asylum-themed haunted house! Join the many disability advocates who have boycotted these attractions that neglect the real history: asylums for people with mental illnesses and institutions for the developmentally disabled were horrific places where disabled people were abused and neglected. Read more about one especially controversial Pennsylvania-based attraction here.

An old newspaper from the

DO: Point out to nondisabled children and adults dressed in awkward-to-walk-in costumes that every time they manage to fit through a wide door frame, they owe thanks to the disability rights movement.

Two power rangers in larger boxy costumes, boxes around their feet and hands protrude out.

DON'T: Dress up in a costume that mocks people with disabilities, such as a mental patient. And while we're at it, don't wear costumes that appropriate the history of people of color either...

Two children dressed up in straight jackets with ect headbands and mouth guards.

DO: Celebrate difference and use your disability as a resource for especially creative Halloween costumes. Or...go as whatever you want! HAPPY HALLOWEEN! We hope it's an especially freaky one!

Josh Sundquist.com: A person with one leg balances upsidedown on two pink crutches such that their foot is the head of a flamingo. Their body is in a tight pink body suit.