City Cast

How To Have a Madison Halloween

Hayley Sperling
Hayley Sperling
Posted on October 25
A portrait of a 40 year old woman dressed as a ghost in a white sheet standing outside in the garden near an orange tree with a pumpkin in her hands at sunset

What makes a good Madison halloween costume? We have some ideas. (Getty Images)

It’s no secret that Madisonians love Halloween.

Throughout October houses across the isthmus are decked out with spider webs, skeletons, tombstones, ghosts, and other devilish decorations. And if dressed-up houses weren’t enough, Madisonians themselves are all about the costumes.

Recently, I asked Madison Minutes readers (and the greater internet community) to share their best Madison-themed Halloween costumes and you all truly delivered. Here are some of my favorites and what you’ll need to make them happen.

🧟 Mayor for Life (and Death)

Pay Tribute to Madison's longest-serving mayor by dressing up as Paul Soglin. All you need is a mustache (real preferred, fake accepted, big mandatory), suit, and a name tag. You can turn up the scare factor on this one by adding zombie makeup — you never know if he’ll rise from retirement to run for office again.

🍓 Rotten Produce

Those who frequent Woodman's Market know the produce section can be a scary place, it’s not uncommon to see a moldy strawberry package (or several). Turn this Madison deep cut into a costume by dressing up as your favorite fruit or vegetable and adding cotton ball fuzz for mold. Delicious.

🎨 Revived Trash

Give props to one of Madison’s favorite local artists Triangulador by dressing up as one of his creations. Liubóv Szwako, aka Triangulador, is known for turning other people’s trash into art, and he’s got a soft spot for mattresses. For this outfit, you’ll need a sheet cut like a tunic, a bottle of spray paint, and some creativity. Get to know the artist’s work for inspiration.

👑 Mustard Royalty

Middleton is home to the National Mustard Museum and every year at the National Mustard Day festival, you’ll find the Duchess of Mustard dressed to the nines and greeting her subjects. Recreate her look with a yellow dress and crown made of recycled mustard bottles.

🧭 John Nolen

For those who like a bit of history, pay tribute to the famed Madison city planner by dressing in vintage attire and carrying a map of the city.

🧀 The Fresh Cheese Curd

For anyone who needs a last-minute costume this is for you: Dress in all yellow, orange, or white and walk around in your squeakiest shoes. Voila, you’re a squeaky fresh curd!

Hey Madison

Want to know what's happening in Madison? Sign up for our free newsletter, Madison Minutes. Packed with local news, curated event recs, local life hacks, and more, it's your daily toolkit for getting the most out of the city you love.