Halloween is that one date in the calendar that is - mostly - loved by all, young or old.

For the kids, it's a time to dress up and go trick or treating. For the adults, it's a time to dress up and consume one too many liquid treats.

Costume prizes are often given out at large events for ingenious dress-ups that no one else thought of, which makes Halloween the most important time of year to anyone with a creative spark.

However, your costume shouldn't be a detriment to anyone else and should not hope to rain on someone's parade, especially in 2023.

With that in mind, we take a look at some Halloween costumes deemed offensive and inappropriate as per Good Housekeeping.

Offensive Halloween costumes:

A Holocaust victim

Believe it or not, a lot of people think dressing up as a Nazi for Halloween is a good idea, but some people take that even further. In 2017 Anne Frank costumes were being sold. 

Images shared on social media show the costume was initially advertised on sites such as HalloweenCostumes.com - which uses the Twitter handle @funcostumes - as a "WW2 Anne Frank Girls Costume".

"Now your child can play the role of a World War Two hero," the original description reads. "It comes with a blue button-up dress, reminiscent of the kind of clothing that might be worn by a young girl", it added.

Carlos Galindo-Elvira, Arizona regional director of the Anti-Defamation League, tweeted that there were better ways to commemorate Anne Frank.

"We should not trivialise her memory as a costume," he wrote.

Another user, Lola, wrote that marketing Anne Frank in such a way was "absurd".

Transphobic costumes

Good Housekeeping states: "Dressing up as a gender presentation other than your own is not funny, especially not when trans rights are being threatened across the country."

Examples of this include a "tranny granny" costume that was originally sold in Walmart.

A terrorist

Dressing up as Osama bin Laden, Jihadi John or even a generic member of ISIS are all in extremely poor taste. This falls under the same heading as making light of tragedies.

While we're at it, let's cross off the list people like Hitler, Gaddafi, and Saddam Hussein.

Zombie versions of deceased celebrities

The publication stated: "We get it, you want to pay homage to one of your dearly departed faves. Go wild with your best Ziggy Stardust, your Purple Rain 'fit or even an Amy Winehouse bouffant. But don't, we repeat, do not add zombie makeup.

"It's always going to be too soon to wear anything reminiscent of someone's corpse. Period."

A national tragedy

Remember those two British students who dressed up as the Twin Towers after 9/11? The same principle also applies to the Boston Marathon bombing, any and all mass shootings and the storming of the capitol building.

Making light of tragedy isn't funny.

Sexual harassment

Sexual harassment jokes really aren't funny, but it sometimes needs repeating. Someone exposing themselves to non-consenting viewers isn't just an unfortunate accident.

Costumes like "Frank the Flasher," are not only in poor taste; they may trigger those who have dealt with harassment themselves. 


Blackface is much more than just dark makeup used to enhance a costume. Its American origins can be traced to minstrel shows which were used to mock African Americans.

What was once deemed 'acceptable' or 'funny' as late as the noughties, is no longer. In 2020 during the Black Lives Matter movement, blackface in several British TV shows such as The League of Gentlemen, The Mighty Boosh and Little Britain saw them pulled from streaming.