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Grim Reaper Costume For Halloween

Updated on December 18, 2014

Death Personified

If you are looking for something truly scary to go as for Halloween, the Grim Reaper is the perfect costume for kids and adults alike.

The notion of death personified has been a part of many religions and cultures since the beginning of recorded history. In Western societies, death has long been symbolized by the Grim Reaper, a fearsome entity typically depicted as a lowly yet ominous skeletal figure wearing a black cloak with a hood and wielding a scythe.

When you first lay eyes on the Grim Reaper, this figure does not look all that scary compared to other Halloween monsters and hobgoblins. Although not as overtly grotesque in appearance, the Grim Reaper is, in many ways, the scariest of all supernatural entities as he personifies the unyielding finality to life on earth. The Grim Reaper is one tough hombre who cannot be fought, appeased, stalled, tricked, negotiated with, or avoided.

The above image is from a Grim Reaper costume that can be purchased at,

Do you think you might like to dress up as the Grim Reaper for Halloween this year?

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Image of Death as a skeleton carrying a scythe from

Some Grim Reaper Costumes In Action

Putting Together A Grim Reaper Costume

The Grim Reaper costume is one of the simplest to assemble. As a minimum, you will need

  1. A full length black cloak or robe
  2. A hood
  3. A scythe or scythe-shaped prop
Whatever you wear under your cloak is not critical, but if yours does not quite reach to the floor, black shoes and socks are best as they will blend in much better with your costume and won't draw unnecessary attention to your feet.

The full Grim Reaper costume also includes

  1. A skeleton mask
  2. Skeleton gloves
A skeleton mask with a movable mouth is highly recommended for the maximum effect (see videos above), but if you do not have one, you can either apply skull mask or skeleton makeup (see videos below) or cover your face entirely with black gauze.

As for your hands, if you do not have skeleton gloves, you can make them up to look like death warmed over by dipping them in flour or talcum powder. This simple technique works best if you are naturally thin and don't have pudgy fingers.

The above image can be purchased as a poster at

Applying Skull Mask Makeup

Applying skull mask or skeleton makeup is good to know not only if you are dressing up as the Grim Reaper but also if you want to go as a zombie or skeleton.

Complete Grim Reaper (Death) Adult Halloween Costume Set

This highly-rated costume comes complete with everything you need to dress up as the Grim Reaper for Halloween. What I like best about this get-up is the skull mask with its realistic and spooky moveable jaw.

Rotting Gown
Rotting Gown

This costume comes with a one-size-fits-all rotting black gown, a skull mask with a hood attached, and skeleton hand gloves. The skull mask comes with a moveable jaw and there is a soft layer between the mask and your skin for maximum comfort. The cloak comes in two pieces which close with Velcro and are adjustable. The gloves are made from a breathable fabric so that you can wear them for hours without sweating.


Death Skull Mask w/ Moving Mouth Action Adult Halloween Costume Accessory

If you are putting together your own Grim Reaper costume and need a skull mask, this one with movable jaw has just the right look to really creep out everyone around you.

Zagone Studios Men's Death , Gray, Adult One Size
Zagone Studios Men's Death , Gray, Adult One Size

Made by Zagone Studios, this skull mask has a moveable jaw and covers your entire face. It is perfect not only for Grim Reaper costumes but also ones for zombies, ghost riders, and (of course) skeletons.


Demon Grim Reaper Scythe Weapon Costume Accessory

Of all the scythe costume props available, this one caught my eye because of its intricate design. It is the perfect accessory not only for Grim Reaper costumes but also those of other weapon-wielding figures such as devils and evil spirits.

Demon Grim Reaper Scythe Weapon Costume Accessory
Demon Grim Reaper Scythe Weapon Costume Accessory

Made by California Costumes, this plastic scythe prop is 13" wide x 17" long and 7" wide when folded. Along the handle, it is studded with what looks like bone fragments. The corner resembles a dragon, snake, or some other fearsome creature with its teeth and red eyes. The blade is decorated with a dark grey ornate pattern.


A scythe is a hand tool which, in early agrarian societies, was used for reaping crops or mowing grass. When wielded by the Grim Reaper, this tool is used to harvest the souls of those whose time has come.

Do you have a favorite Halloween costume?

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      6 years ago

      Even a history lesson on the favorite tool of the Grim Reaper, the scythe and now I know how to spell it too! I love your idea for making your hands look like death warmed over...clever!


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