Happy Halloween

  • By: Jessica Faust | Date: Oct 30 2009

I love Halloween. It’s so fun for me to dress up and pretend to be someone else for the day. Planning this year’s Halloween costume had me thinking of all the great characters of literature and how much fun it would be to be them for the day, not just in dress, but to actually become one of those characters for the day.

The choices are endless and not easy. If I choose the self-serving and vain Scarlett O’Hara it means that for a day, just one day, it’s all about “me, me, me.” While I might dread the fight to find an 18-inch waist, stomping around with gads of admiring boys in a hoop skirt could be fun.

Hannibal Lecter, while one of the creepiest characters in literature, is also fascinating and brilliant. What would it be like to be this mastermind for the day? I’ll promise you one thing: if this is my final choice, I’ll only try it if I can avoid eating.

While Sherlock Holmes probably would not be my choice, I know that you amateur sleuths might immediately be drawn to this clever and highly observant gentleman. One of the most appealing factors about Holmes to me would be the time period. I mean, we’re dreaming, right? So that means to actually become these characters we’re also traveling into their worlds.

And whether you were a fan of the books or not, I don’t think anyone can argue that Harry Potter would be so much fun that a day might not be enough. I don’t know about you, but I think I might need at least a week to master that game of Quidditch.

What about you? If dreaming about those great characters in literature, who would you like to become for a day, just one day?


50 responses to “Happy Halloween”

  1. Avatar Annette Gallant says:

    I'd be Anne of Green Gables. I'm from Prince Edward Island and would love to see what my home province was like back then, during the time of my grandparents and great-grandparents.

  2. Avatar Bronwyn says:

    Alice. Not very original and we don't really celebrate Halloween downunder, but I would like to be Alice in Wonderland for just one day. To experience the highs and lows (bad pun)and see so many fanciful things and visit all those unreal places… My second wish would be Dorothy. There's something about a woman lost in the world and her journey to find her way home that I like.
    Plus combine Alice's dress with Dorothy's red shoes and you would have one rockin outfit!


  3. Avatar Anonymous says:

    You had to ask on a Friday – right now I'm kinda thinking Sleeping Beauty (you know, during the part of the story where she's sleeping)!

    And she doesn't have a half-bad prince, either…

  4. Avatar Jenni Bailey says:

    One year I was an actual book. It was very sad at the time but it's kind of funny now. If I had it to do over again, I'd probably be a character instead. At the time that would have been any one of the Babysitter's Club but now I would be Gatsby's Daisy. Drop-waist dresses and pin curls. Oh yes please.


  5. Lemuel Gulliver. C'mon, he had some wonderful adventures even if he did end up dealing with some very strange and undesirable people.

    It's just for one day, right? I wouldn't want to be the guy full-time, after all.

  6. Avatar Dreamstate says:

    Sayuri from Arthur Golden's Memoirs of a Geisha. I would love to put on the geisha regalia, paint my face, and experience an entirely different culture and world. And I love sushi.

  7. Avatar Rick Daley says:

    Gandalf. Preferably Gandalf the White from The Two Towers / Return of the King, but I'd settle for pre-balrog Gandalf the Grey.

  8. Avatar Mark Terry says:

    Hmmm. Spenser. Or Travis McGee.

  9. Avatar jmberrygirl says:

    Laura Ingalls Wilder. Always a favorite. Time period's my favorite, too, but I would only want the outdoor plumbing and lack of good health care for ONE day.

  10. Avatar Heidi Willis says:

    I just sent my kids off to school where they had to dress like their favorite book character, so this is so apropos!

    Could it be non-fiction? I'd love to be Karon Blixen (aka Isak Dineson) and live on the plains of Africa for a day. And write so beautifully.

    Or maybe I'd just be Meryl Streep on the set of Out of Africa… that would work too!

  11. Avatar Joyce says:

    Nancy Drew, of course! In vintage '30s attire and driving her roadster.

  12. If we get to pick the page number as well, it might be fun to dress up as any number of Regency heroines. You know which pages I mean, I'm sure. The dog-eared, slightly torn, ink-worn out from reading ones.

  13. Avatar jbstanley says:

    I'd be Merlin. A little magic could be useful.

  14. How about Mike in Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises? Non. Stop. Party.

  15. Avatar jeff cross says:

    Roland Deschain (but only if I can pick the day).

  16. Avatar Anonymous says:

    Sherlock Holmes

    It would be interesting to see the modern world as he would with his extraordinary intellect and powers of observation.

  17. Avatar Laurel says:

    The Lady in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Or Morgan Le Fay. It would be cool to live in the age of chivalry with all the knights and honor but be empowered.

    "Kate" in Taming of the Shrew might be fun, too.

  18. Avatar L... says:

    Elizabeth Bennet, of course! I'd love to have her wit for a day. And her Darcy.

    Happy Halloween.

  19. Avatar Anonymous says:

    John Carter of Mars…who wouldn't want to woo the most beautiful woman on two worlds and be a badass swordsman kicking Red and Green Martian butt?

  20. Avatar AM says:

    You got me thinking about Sherlock Holmes. I would like to be him, if I could be him today. It would be interesting to see the modern world as he would with his extraordinary intellect and powers of observation.

    Moreover, I bet he could post a comment on a blog far more competently than I have done today. I apologize for the other posts.

    If I have to go into the character's world for one day, I would like to be the Time Traveler so that I could see both the past and the future.

  21. doctor doolittle

  22. Cleopatra. Because a queen for a day might be nice.

  23. Elizabeth Bennett. If only because then I'd get stared at by the delicious Colin Firth.

    Not technically from literature, but Princess Leia. Because then you get Han going mushy for you. Sigh.

  24. Avatar Robena Grant says:

    I'd like to be Elinor Dashwood in Sense and Sensibility. I'd love to have been born in those times, heck I'd even wear the silly hats. : )

  25. Avatar Connie says:

    I'd be Goldberry from LOTR. Perfectly content and completely unaffected by the ring.

    Or Eowyn–I'd love to kill the Witch King and live happily ever after with Faramir.

  26. Avatar MelissaPEA says:

    Maybe Bartleby? Actually, I would prefer not to. I'd be Scarlett O'Hara, but the Carol Burnett version with the curtain rods holding up the green velvet dress. "I saw it in a window and I just couldn't resist." It still cracks me up, just thinking about when she said that.

  27. Avatar DMBeucler says:

    Ekaterine Vorkosigan, fathoms of reserve, wit, and the ability to keep up with Miles. From Lois Mcmaster Bujolds Miles Vorkosign series.

  28. Avatar Vivi Anna says:

    Arwen from Lord of the Rings, so I could kiss and marry Aragon (in Viggo Mortensen form please!!)

  29. Avatar Rosemary says:

    Easy. Jo March, of course.

    So I could waltz into that editor's office with my hand-written manuscript all tied up with red ribbon. . .

  30. Avatar CKHB says:

    Hermione Granger — smart, magical, beautiful, what's not to like about that? (Yes, I'll happily take the Emma Watson version please.)

  31. Avatar Mira says:

    Fun question. 🙂

    Harry Potter world, definitely. Major blast.

    If it can be any book, however, I would be any heroine in any romance novel that has been or ever will be written.

    So gorgeous it hurts to look at me, I'd be helped with minor difficulties by a perfect specimen of manhood – aka, my soul mate – who will marry me after knowing me for 3 hours and we'll live happily ever after. Forever.

    Yep. Sign me up. I'd do that for a day.

    (so it occured to me my previous version might have been inappropriate for an agent's blog. Was it? Where is that line…..hmmm. Tricky sucker, that line.)

  32. Avatar Lucy says:

    Ah, but do you get to pick the day? That's another question. Some of my favorite characters have the most awful experiences. I love Marguerite Blakeney (Jane Seymour version), but I'd hate to be her on the evening that the poor girl realizes she's accidentally betrayed her own husband.

    And, no, I don't think I'd actually want to be one of my own characters, either. I throw too many rocks at them. They suffer a LOT to get their happily-ever-after. Vicarious imaginings are much more comfortable.

  33. Avatar Christine says:

    Ooh, tricky. Either Hermione from Harry Potter or Lit Detective Thursday Next from Jasper Fforde's series.
    I'd say Elizabeth Bennet, because how awesome would that be, but I like modern conveniences. =)

  34. Avatar Delilah says:

    Mina Harker from Dracula. Big, gothy, velvet, a little bit dark. And so, so different from my momiform of jeans and boots.

    Although it might be fun to crossdress as Willie Wonka.

  35. Avatar Karen says:

    Amelia Peabody

  36. Avatar Anonymous says:

    Maureen Beebe from the Marguerite Henry books. Live on an island, tame wild ponies, go crabbing, live with loving grandparents..

  37. Who would I like to be? Someone who wears gorgeous clothes, preferably Victorian era. Or perhaps earlier. The perfect scenario would include a castle, henchman, handsome princes, and a moat. Definitely a moat.

  38. Avatar Anonymous says:

    Mary, Rhage's Shellan, from the Black Dagger Brotherhood. That would be one heck of a day!

  39. Avatar MomCO3 says:

    Today I feel like Bertha Mason Rochester from Jane Eyre… but maybe I'd rather be Harimad Sol from The Blue Sword.

  40. Ariadne Oliver, from Agatha Christie's books.

    Or somebody going off to Narnia.

  41. Avatar Jemi Fraser says:

    Definitely one of the Dragonriders of Pern from Anne McCaffrey's series!

  42. Avatar Anonymous says:

    Tonks from Harry Potter…only problem is that she changes her look all the time. What does she really look like? I guess I'll be Tonks when she morphs into me???

  43. I read all of Raymond Chandler when I was a teen, so I'd definitely go as Phillip Marlowe.

  44. Avatar Anonymous says:

    As a teacher, our school doesn't dress for Halloween, but we Do dress up as book characters in a couple of weeks for Dr. Seuss's birthday. AND…several times I've been "Miss Nelson" from the picture books Miss Nelson is Back and MIss Nelson is Missing.
    Isn't that great literature? Sure is fun.
    Oh, and one year I was Brian, from Hatchet, the favorite read aloud in 5th grade.
    AND…one year one of the students in my class had overalls and a fake pitchfork sticking out from him. ??!!! We had just finished reading Where the Red Fern Grows and he was the dude who got killed…

  45. Avatar Donna Hole says:

    Jo from Little Women. What a spunky girl she was for her time.

    Or Kahlan Amnell, the Mother Confessor from Terry Goodkinds SWORT OF TRUTH series. Just to have that power for one day! Oh the chores I could make my children accomplish!


  46. Avatar Donna Hole says:

    No wait. On second thought, I'll just be Lessa. A dragon has to be much more fun to fly on than a broom.


  47. Avatar Mira says:

    I was thinking Glenda the Good Witch from the Wizard of Oz might be fun.

    Or a God. I could be Zeus for a day. That would be awesome. Lightening and thunder.

  48. Avatar Maureen says:

    I'd love to be Nancy Drew. She was my hero as a child, and then it would be nice to be 18 again!