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9 of the Most Magical and Mythical Halloween Costume Ideas

Image by Anthony Tran

According to Phylassos’ Law in “Guardians of the Gryphon’s Claw,” humans are cursed, unable to see the mythical creatures that live among them. That's a bummer. But on Halloween you can defy that blasted curse and become a part of mythology with just a little imagination, some youtube tutorial hunting, and a dash of crafty magic. 

If you’re still trying to figure out what you’re going to be this Halloween, you’re in luck because the DMW has compiled a list of ideas to help bring your mythical creature spirit animal to life! Some assembly required...


Combine the two strongest predators of the animal kingdom (hint: lion and eagle), and you get one of the most powerful creatures of all of mythology (and a featured creature in the Sam London Adventure series). You've got the golden shimmering body of a lion and the majestic head of an eagle with its curved, sharpened beak...Certainly a striking – and possibly terrifying – figure to behold. Adding to the awesomeness of the beast are the gryphon's massive wings. Traditionally these beasts are seen as uber powerful, guarding treasures near and far – and in the world of the Department of Mythical Wildlife, the gryphon Phylassos is the king of all mythical creatures. We even included him in our official seal! 


So why not go big this Halloween and transform into a mighty gryphon? You will be feared by friends and foes, alike! King of mythical creatures, and king of the night! Of course, there are countless costumes available for purchase on the internets, but if you’re looking to DIY it, here are some tips to get your creative engine running! (If you’re looking for even more ideas on how to execute an outfit, search YouTube for how tos—there are plenty of guides).

What you’ll need: 

  • Body: Brown, yellow, or gold shirt and pants (furrier the better). If you can find an inexpensive lion costume with a tail, go with that.

  • Feathered crest: Golden scarf or golden felt or better yet, feathered boas (might make a good tail, as well).

  • Face: Construction paper for mask, jagged cut for a feathered look. Jump onto Google for inspiration.

  • Wings: Cardboard works. Just stencil and cut, then punch some holes you can use string to attach to your arms, velcro works as well.

  • Beak: You could probably find a cheap beak online or in stores, which you could paint a yellow color. Or you can create your own using yellow construction paper.

  • Bonus: To really bring it together, pop in some green contact lenses


Seal in water, and human on land; these mythical mermaid creatures will be sure to spark conversation at parties. Selkies come from legends based in Ireland and Scotland, of marine mammals that shed their skin when on land. Unlike mermaids, they do not keep any part of their seal characteristics. Take it as a form of mermaid, and do what you will with your attire. There are two ways to go about this; one, as a seal, and two, as a selkie at the desired point of transformation. A seal’s body is sleek and smooth, gray and brown with speckles across the body like dewdrops. Big, black mysterious eyes, black nose, and white whiskers. The tail is mermaid-like, but smaller in comparison, like a gray fan in two sections. As for the human transformation, you can do this as you see fit. 


A selkie is part human, so you can opt for yourself, but if you want a mysterious vibe, black wavy hair, darkened eyes, and gray lips would create a very ominous look. Think about it as a fresh, new take on the all-popular mermaid. 


What you’ll need: 

  • Body: Gray, black, or brown clothing, stretchy and shimmery is best (spandex could work). But you could also just go with basic clothing then cover it with something that shimmers. Like Organza or lamé.

  • Face: Makeup will be minimal. You basically want to create a mysterious look. So we’re talking dark, metallic eyeliner and eyeshadow. Silver or gray. You could also use the silver to deepen cheekbones or even give yourself a scaled skin look. 

  • Hair: Black for a mysterious look, so either the spray on kind or a wig. Go wild. Check out the movie “Aquaman” for some inspiration.

  • Eyes: Black contacts if you’re daring. That will totally freak people out and complete the look!



A forest witch, maternal, but also villainous is Baba Yaga. She is Slavic in descent, and depicted as an old decrepit woman with a long nose, drooping down over her mouth, rotting yellow teeth, and bad posture. She is adorned with a black cape, or aged cloth, dirty and ragged. Whitish-gray hair falls over her long face, wild and crazy as if in a perpetual state of bedhead. As she is old, her body is short in stature, and hunched over, the weight of evil pulling her down into the earth. If you are looking for something a few steps above just witchy, Baba Yaga will be a great choice for you. You’ll be scaring away the neighbors, and warding off advances with ease. Embrace Baba Yaga’s evil nature and create havoc in your stomping grounds. 


What you’ll need: 

  • Face: Aging makeup, add lines, moles, etc. Search YouTube for great aging tutorials.

  • Nose: Create a fake witch nose with putty, get a bit more than a pinch and form it over your nose. Add foundation to smooth over the lines, and a few moles for added character.

  • Hair: Dye or spray on gray or white, dirty colored hair

  • Teeth: Color teeth with turmeric, buy fake teeth

  • Age: Pillow for a hunched back, stuff it under your shirt, and keep it in place with a belt or rope

  • Clothing: Cape, frills, black clothes, long skirt (anything that makes you think creepy, forest-like grandma)

  • Bonus: Add a bandana in hair, and fluff the hair to look a little more wild (More wild, the better!)



A being of immense beauty and fear, the unicorn is a magical beast of purity and power. Unicorns are depicted in folklore all around the world. Some legends say these wild beings can only be tamed by someone pure of heart and mind. You can embody the nature of a unicorn yourself and make this Halloween the purest yet! White fur coats the unicorn in soft, glowing tones: a sheer mark of absolute perfection. Its white mane flows over the body, gracing the creature as the wind blows, same for the tail. The horn is the mark of the shimmering beast, spiraled and sharp, dangerous, yet enticing. If you want to be a show-stopper and outshine your friends, the unicorn is the choice for you.


What you’ll need: 

  • Body: Pure white clothing: white dress, white pants, skirt, shirt, everything.

  • Mane: White, died or sprayed hair - color of choice (For an even more shimmery look, get some hair glitter and just go for it. Be that sparkly, shimmery unicorn you have always wanted to be)

  • Ears: Felt ears or headband with attached felt ears. YouTube has many tutorials for all sorts of ears.

  • Horn: You can use polymer clay, an old toilet paper roll, or a construction paper spiral. It depends on your time and motivation! Shape a unicorn horn as you would imagine (Google images is your friend! But don’t be discouraged. Unicorn cosplay is extraordinary!). We suggest the horn to be five to six inches and in a kind of spiral shape. 

  • Hooves: Construction paper circles, or white shoes. Just wrap a thick paper strip around your hand and staple or tape it together. Black or white gloves can also mimic hooves. 

  • Bonus: Body glitter for an extra glow, vaseline and glitter. Head to the local Target or Walmart, or a specialized makeup store if you’re really going all in.


Trolls date back to Norse and Scandinavian mythology as rock dwellers. These mythical creatures often seem larger than life, tan weathered skin, and dark hair. They are beings of the earth, and dull in color. Drooping eyes, sappy smile, and hanging limbs. The great thing about the troll for Halloween is the fact that it is pretty simple.  You can go with your “woke up like this” hair and you’re done. 


What you’ll need: 

  • Body: Green, brown, dirty colors for clothing (If you want to look extra dirty, honestly just roll around in the dirt! Or use earthy eyeshadow tones to mess up your clothes a little)

  • Hair: Gray, brown, black dye or spray - wilder, the better

  • Feet: Bare or dirty shoes. If you have an old pair of sneakers, definitely opt for those.

  • Skin: Paint your body with dirty, earthy tones (eyeshadow, tanning agent, actual dirt - you decide)

  • Bonus: Use some lifts in those shoes for height or just get some shoes with serious heels (if you can handle it). It’ll be worth it!



Much like the unicorn, the pegasus is a horse, but with brilliant wings. Tracing back to Greek mythology, this winged horse is the offspring of the Greek God Poseidon, and was turned into a constellation after attempting to fly to Mount Olympus. A pegasus will be a top mythical Halloween costume for its popularity in culture. White, pure, and perfect. The pegasus is a creature of beauty, but its defining feature is its majestic wings. Each wing is laden with white feathers and span several feet. If you’re not feeling the unicorn but still want to go with a mythical equine, the pegasus is for you. 


What you’ll need: 

  • Body: White clothing - All the works (Dress, skirt, shoes, etc.)

  • Mane: White dyed or sprayed hair, and use glitter just like the unicorn above

  • Ears: Felt ears themselves, or headband with attached felt ears (YouTube tutorials)

  • Hooves: Construction paper circles, or white shoes (Wrap paper around your hands and staple or tape them together. White gloves and socks work just as well. 

  • Wings: Cellophane, bed sheet, feathers, wings at store (If you want to splurge, Etsy has gorgeous cellophane wings for sale - for a pretty penny of course)




Irish in origin, the banshee is a creature that follows death. This demon will screech and scream as someone is about to die. You can seriously freak out your friends with this mystical creature. The banshee is an ethereal spirit, ghostly white in presence, and human-like in form. They carry themselves in a hovering, flowing way, drifting over the earth. These female beings are dressed in white and gray tones, clothed in cloudy dresses. Red and haunting, the eyes are windows into the soul of a banshee. If you want to look like death this Halloween, you can’t go wrong with the banshee. 


What you’ll need: 

  • Face: Pale makeup, ghostly. YouTube tutorials are essential to creating the best ghosty look. Be as dramatic as you desire with some deep eye circles and a deathly glow

  • Hair: Black dyed or sprayed hair (think misty and ethereal)

  • Clothing: White or gray dress, or shirt and pants, ragged

  • Bonus: Red or black contacts to really give your friends a fright! 




Well known as the abominable snowman, but less commonly, the yeti. It is a creature of mythology from the Himalayan Mountains. The snowbound bigfoot. The yeti is a hairy creature with gorilla-like features, including sharp teeth, beady eyes, and a generally wild look.. Chilly weather is coming, so if you want a pretty easy costume with plenty of warmth, the yeti could be the one. You’ll be comfy and terrifying. 


What you’ll need: 

  • Body: Furry, white or brown clothing (If you have one of those huge, fluffy winter coats, go for that. The furrier, the better. Of course, you could always grab a costume online - there are plenty to choose from)

  • Face: A mask is  ideal. Or surround your face with a furry white hood.

  • Teeth: Grab yourself some costume fangs. You can’t do it without them!

  • Bonus: Red or black contacts to give yourself a wild glare




One of Sam's best friends in the Sam London Adventure series, the tanuki of Japanese folklore are shape-shifters and tricksters. Tanuki is like a raccoon dog in form (google them, they’re adorable). In the legends, this supernatural being has a large, chubby belly meaning that prosperous times are ahead.  In Japanese culture, these creatures often wear straw hats and hold bottles in their hands. You might have to give your friends and family a little hint on your mythical Halloween costume. But what better way to trick or treat, then dressed as a trickster?


What you’ll need: 

  • Body: Tan and black clothing, balloon or pillow for belly. Secure the poofy belly with a belt or rope. You can even paint on a white circle for the belly to stand out, or glue a felt oval on. Up to you!

  • Face: Tan base paint, black eye circles (YouTube a raccoon dog look for inspiration)

  • Ears: Brown felt ears (Google for great ear tutorials and guidelines)

  • Tail: Fluffy brown and black puff. A brown and black feather boa would also do the trick.

  • Bonus: Straw hat and hold bottles to give yourself a little extra Tanuki flare. It will be easier to guess your character with added props, if that’s what you’re looking for. 



There you have it...Plenty of ideas for your mythical creature halloween costume. And if you love mythical creatures enough to dress like one, be sure to check out Guardians of the Gryphon's Claw or The Selkie of San Francisco (more info below). You might even get some ideas for next year’s trick-or-treating! 

Now Available!

Case #1 & 2 in the Sam London Adventure series

Guardians of the Gryphon's Claw
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No list of ours would be complete without a shameless plug, so if you haven’t already had the chance to investigate the two new adventures from the files of the Department of Mythical Wildlife, take a look...

Guardians of the Gryphon's Claw.jpg
The Selkie San Francisco cover.jpg

Guardians of the Gryphon's Claw

Author:Todd Calgi Gallicano

Buy on Amazon

Haunted by a dream of a mythical gryphon, Sam London uncovers an ancient secret that will change the way he sees the world forever. Recruited by Dr. Vance Vantana, an eccentric zoologist and park ranger sent by the government, Sam is whisked away on an adventure that takes him to the farthest reaches of the globe. Along this journey, Sam learns an incredible truth: mythical creatures are real and living among us in our national parks.

A special department in the U.S. government ensures that their existence remains hidden. But Sam's dream is an omen that the secret may now be in danger. Someone seeks the power to expose these creatures and overthrow humankind--and that power can only be found in a magical talisman known as the gryphon's claw. Check out the trailer!



The Selkie of San Francisco

Author: Todd Calgi Gallicano

Buy on Amazon

In this thrilling sequel to Guardians of the Gryphon’s Claw, Sam London dives headlong into his second case involving a selkie, a mysterious girl, and an ominous new threat to the mythical and human worlds. Check out the trailer!

Search for the Swan Maiden

Author: Todd Calgi Gallicano

Buy on Amazon

In Sam London’s third adventure with the Department of Mythical Wildlife, Sam embarks on a forbidden quest filled with danger, despair, and the terrifying Mongolian death worm! Check out the trailer!


If you want to experience the world of Sam London, be sure to sign up to become a Secret Ranger and get FREE access to the DMW archives and their classified files!

Disclosure policy: The links to "Guardians of the Gryphon's Claw," "The Selkie of San Francisco," and "Search for the Swan Maiden" are referral links. The owner of this site may be compensated in exchange when visitors click on these links.

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