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Geeky Parent Guide: Introducing Scary Characters to Kids Just in Time for Halloween

As Halloween approaches, there are a variety of characters that your kids might want to dress as for trick-or-treating – or perhaps avoid completely. As a parent, it’s not always easy to know when is the exact moment to introduce your kids to scary characters or creatures, but dressing up for Halloween might be one of the best ways to make that introduction. Let’s take a look at some classic villains, and intimidating heroes, that your younger kids or teens might be interested in dressing up as.

As a spoiler warning, if you’re unfamiliar with any of these characters, please feel free to move onto the next one, so you don’t ruin any future watches of particular movies or TV. For example: If you love Star Trek: The Next Generation, but you haven’t seen Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, you might want to avoid the obvious character reference. Hint: He is not a merry man.


CLASSIC VILLAINS




Darth Vader

Quick Bio: Darth Vader, originally Anakin Skywalker, trained early in life to be a Jedi Master, but eventually turned to the dark side to obtain power and control over the entire galaxy. The Star Wars character has been rated #1 in several lists ranking top villains, including sites like IGN, Empire, USA Today, Ranker, Hollywood Reporter, and Paste.
Height: 2.03m (6’6)
Dress: Black
Weapon(s): Red Lightsaber, the dark side of the Force, TIE Fighter
Related to: Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa


Jabba the Hutt

Quick Bio: Jabba is a crime lord in the Star Wars franchise who uses a vast network of criminals to do his bidding, including catching those that owe debts, like Han Solo.
Length: 3.9m (12’7)
Dress: N/A
Weapon(s): Henchman to do his dirty work and a flying barge to feed enemies to the Sarlacc – “a sand-dwelling creature that would eat and digest them over a thousand years.”
Related to: Rotta the Huttlet


Loki

Quick Bio: The God of Mischief is a proverbial thorn in The Mighty Thor’s side. With performances by Tom Hiddleston in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, such as Thor and Avengers, Loki has become one of the more popular villains today.
Height: 6’4
Weight: 525 lbs.
Dress: Yellow and Green
Weapon(s): “The most powerful sorcerer in all of Asgard, Loki’s magical abilities include astral projection, shape-shifting, hypnosis, molecular rearrangement, energy blasts, levitating, conjuration, cryokinesis, telekinesis and teleportation.”
Related to: Frost Giant King and Thor




Dolores Umbridge

Quick Bio: Professor Umbridge is the Harry Potter teacher of every student’s nightmares, except for Slytherin’s, her disdain for those she did not like meant the worst kind of detention – a quill that digs into one’s skin after writing on paper, which “is of her own invention.”
Dress: Pink (from head to toe)
Patronus: Her charm is a cat, like the collection of cat-designed plates hanging in her office
Weapon(s): Wand, punishment quill, and cruelty
Related to: Wizard and Muggle parents



GOOD GUYS THAT MIGHT MAKE YOU SCREAM




Worf

Quick Bio: Worf, played by Michael Dorn, has been known to startle unsuspecting passengers who have not seen a Klingon up close and personal. His fierce devotion to honor, while trying to find his way in life through two Star Trek franchises, including movies, makes his run extraordinarily special.
Dress: Star Fleet Uniform, with a Baldric (a warrior’s sash)
Weapon(s): Phaser, bat’leth, and hand-to-hand combat
Related to: Son of Mogh, fostered to Sergey and Helena Rozhenko, father to Alexander, and widower to Jadzia Dax


Chewbacca

Quick Bio: Chewie is the beloved Wookie and co-pilot of Han Solo and Rey. After several movie appearances in the Star Wars franchise, adoration for him comes despite viewers not having the ability to understand his language, proving that the bonds of friendship can break all barriers.
Height: 2.28m (7’4)
Dress:  Utility belt (aka bandolier)
Weapon(s): Blaster or “bowcaster” and fists of “furry”
Related to: Attichituck (father), Lumpawaroo (son), and Mallatobuck (wife)




Beast

Quick Bio: Hank McCoy, also known as Beast, has been a member of the X-Men, X-Factor, Avengers, and Defenders. His blue, furry exterior is a result of an experiment to change his form, but he “could not return to his original form.”
Height: 5’11
Weight: 402 lbs.
Dress: Underwear or team uniform (depending on which team)
Weapon(s): His mind, claws, enhanced agility, and strength
Related to: Sadie (grandmother), Edna (mother), Norton (father), and Robert McCoy (uncle)


HUNTERS YOU WANT BY YOUR SIDE




Buffy Summers

Quick Bio: The hit TV series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, features Sarah Michelle Gellar as the title character. Buffy is a tough teenager who must face evil at its worst, while also trying to navigate the rigors of high school.
Dress: Tank tops, workout attire, dresses; any outfit will work with Buffy’s weapon of choice
Weapon(s): Wooden stake and a variety of other demon killing weapons
Mentor: Rupert Giles serves as Buffy’s Watcher, where he helps to train and prepare her for the events ahead.
Related to: Joyce (mother) and Dawn (sister) Summers


Blade

Quick Bio: Originally played by Wesley Snipes, and recently announced as Mahershala Ali taking the role, Blade is an unapologetic vampire hunter, despite being half vampire himself. Blade has been seen in Marvel comics and the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Height: 6’2
Weight: 215 lbs.
Dress: Black, including a long jacket to help conceal a lot of weapons
Weapon(s): Along with swords, guns, and martial arts, “Blade possesses all of a vampire’s strengths without their weaknesses. He has superhuman strength, stamina, and senses, as well as an accelerated healing factor, but is impervious to sunlight and vampire bites.”
Related to: Tara (mother) and Lucas (father) Cross


Selene

Quick Bio: This vampire is no stranger to fighting and she brings her skills to the table in the Underworld franchise.
Dress: Black, including long jacket
Weapon(s): Pair of handguns or any sharp weapon
Related to: A family who was killed by her soon-to-be caretaker, Viktor, which later led Selene to becoming a Death Dealer. Unfortunately, her life as a vampire was originally misled into believing Lycans (werewolves) had made her an orphan, when in fact it was Viktor.


Some of these characters might seem scary to younger children, and some costumes might be more extensive than others, but introducing them to these characters over Halloween can make that introduction so much softer. It will give them a chance to look in the mirror in their costumes, or by looking up at their parents, and realize that these characters are fictional and pretty cool. This is a great opportunity to share great one-liners, mannerisms, smirks, or snarls to let your kids emphasize their characters even more. Although, I don’t know if any parent wants to have Professor Umbridge’s interrupting “Hem, hem” on repeat, because I’m quite certain I would lose my mind if I heard that over and over. It’s bad enough in the movie!

Have your kids been introduced to scary characters, either by your or your kids dressing up? What was their reaction? Share your tales with us, even if the characters they dressed up as weren’t that scary.

Until next time, happy parenting and happy geeking.