The Frightening Story of the SSQQ
Halloween Party Costumes
Written by Rick Archer, October 2002
The 2002 SSQQ Halloween Party marked the 25th Anniversary of this
popular event. Over the years we have seen some pretty wonderful costumes. Since our first party in 1978,
I estimate we have had over
6,000 guests since we average about 250 guests a year.
That adds up to a lot of costumes!!
The costumes are always a major part of the SSQQ Halloween tradition!!
Year in and year out our guests go out of their way to wear intriguing,
gruesome and colorful outfits. Some are so
creative! That said, I am amazed
to add that after all these years, I still see
plenty of original ideas.
I heard that the SSQQ Halloween Party has the best
costumes people have ever seen. I certainly agree. I love
putting pictures of the various costumes on the SSQQ web site as a
permanent record of this great tradition.
Not surprisingly, people ask me questions all the time about costumes. Having seen them all, I am
obviously the person to evaluate the best and the most unusual
over the years.
My first impression of the SSQQ Costumes over the years is that there
have always been an
incredible number of interesting and beautiful costumes at each party.
Not only does the quality improve each year, but the level of costume
participation is very high. Even the laziest seem to nose around their
closet to find something.
Now I will say the costumes at our party aren't quite as daring as they
could be for the simple reason that our guests want to be comfortable
when they dance.
When it comes to 'daring', if you want wild costumes, you may need to go a
nightclub that offers big money for costume contests. For example I
recall a Halloween Party back in 80s at a club
called Cooters. They were giving out expensive prizes for the best costume.
I was dumbfounded at the incredible caliber of the costumes I saw!!
For example, six people walked around as a Budweiser Six-Pack. They had bottle heads,
longnecks and every last detail. I can't imagine how they went to the restroom because they were practically glued into their cardboard "six pack". Very impressive!
The winner was a costume worn by a man without a head. He carried his severed head in his hands. Where his head should have been
there was an axe stuck to a fake neck. His real head was hidden somewhere in the 'body'. What made his costume really amazing was that periodically
he would squeeze a tube and fake blood would spurt from the top of his neck!!
Unbelievable!! Everyone would scream and run like a volcano was
Another costume was a Gorilla carrying a man in a cage. It was so cleverly designed that the man in the cage
turned out to be the real person. At first glance, you wonder how they
got that man in the cage since the Gorilla is walking around. Then you
think it must be two people working as a team. Then you realize you
can't see the man's feet or lower body. This is about the time you start
to scratch your head and wonder how they did it.
Eventually you figure out the man's lower body is in the gorilla suit and his upper body
is in the cage. Every part of the gorilla suit above the waist is empty. It
is an amazing illusion!! What an imagination!
My point is that costumes reflect people's priorities. If you want to
win a costume contest, you go for 'Daring'. If you want to dance, you
either dress for comfort or take your costume off after the obligatory
'Daring' we may not be, but as you will see, SSQQ has nothing to apologize
for when it comes to costumes. People go out of their way to look
terrific at our Halloween Party.
This section of the web site is devoted
to showing you some of my many favorites.
As I said, SSQQ Halloween Parties are all about dancing. A really
unusual costume probably prevents the wearer from being able to dance. As you can imagine,
most people prefer to be practical.
Here at SSQQ, people want to enjoy themselves and be able to dance. Imagine that!!
Many people wear their costume just long enough to get their picture taken, then take the damn thing off the first chance they get. Tsk
When it comes to the ladies, I have seen enough gypsies, tramps, and thieves to populate a small planet. Most ladies are definitely
more interested in comfort and the ability to dance than in bizarre
costumes. Saloon girls, Flappers, Nurses, Belly Dancers, Harem Girls, Pirates, Sexy Witches, French Maids and
Renaissance Maidens, you name it, the girls come dressed to dance!!
To heck with complicated costumes. The main criterion
is the ability to dance in it. If the costume is colorful and sexy,
Lately even Cavegirl outfits seem to do the
trick!! Talk about a walk back in time.
Now that I think about it, we have never had an Adam
and Eve. Are there any readers who dare to be the first??
As you can also see, some ladies just wear a leotard and
perhaps some tights. Now that takes imagination. Two losses at Strip Poker and they would be naked! I guess they have enough sense to stick to dancing.
Typically at the SSQQ Halloween a lady will come to
the Party looking her very best. Then after she gets her picture taken,
she shucks the hat and the accessories and gets ready to boogie. This
pretty Saloon Girl on the right wore that hat for 15 minutes, got her
picture snapped, then off it went.
Not that the guys are any better. Whatever this
bizarre costume is supposed to be on the guy in the picture, I can guarantee he got rid
over-sized mask about one minute max after the camera disappeared. It
takes a lot of effort to stay in costume for an entire party and you
can't dance with a mask like that on - you can't see and you get too
hot. And it's hard to go under your arm on a turn. Ditch the mask.
So most people dress for show and strip for dance. No one minds. It is
common at our parties to see costume accessories laying around
everywhere. In 2002 Linda Cook came as an enormous green tree. It was
light enough to wear on her shoulders, but it was the size of a dryer!!
Naturally the tree spent most of the evening in a corner as a
Despite everyone's preference for an outfit they can
dance in, I have to say the vast majority of people try pretty
hard to get a good costume.
It is rare for more than one or two people show up in blue jeans
any more. In
2002 I didn't notice anyone who didn't try at least a
That doesn't mean it hasn't happened. In 1987 Jack Austin had the nerve to show up
wearing a polo shirt and blue jeans. I went over to chew him out.
He must have known I was coming. The trap was set.
Just as I began to open my mouth, Jack
turned around to show me his sign. Smart ass, he
came as me. Now that was a cheap trick. To make things worse,
everyone thought it was hysterically funny to tell me how scary he
Speaking of me, even though I expect everyone else to wear a costume, I
haven't been setting a very good example. I haven't actually worn a Halloween costume since 1994. We
will worry about that minor detail when we get to Page 3. Do as I
say, not as I do. I come to each party dressed as a hypocrite.
Halloween Costumes 1997 - 2002
Before we get started on our Hall of Fame article, you might
want to visit the Costume Winners from recent parties.
You will see many of these costumes again in this article.
SSQQ Halloween Party Costume Hall of Fame.
The focus of this SSQQ Costume Hall of
Fame article is on the history of costumes from our first party in 1978
all the way to the present.
I have so many Costume Tales to tell!! I can't possibly get to all
the stories this year so I will pick my favorites and add more to the
story around Halloween time next year. For now here are the intriguing stories we will cover:
just makes me want to scream and shout: More, More and more!!
with the wonderful figure wore my favorite costume in the history of the
which two ladies are currently carrying on her tradition?
famous Star Wars character once mysteriously showed up year after
doesn’t Rick wear a costume any more?
are the most creative and unusual costumes over the years?
SSQQ Staff people have won the Best Costume Contest fair and square. Who are they?
What did they wear?
two debonair SSQQ gentlemen have consistently made our best picture
list for the past several years?
are the best solo outfits?
are the best couple outfits?
are some of the famous group pictures?
about men who come dressed as women?
which are my ten favorite costumes of all time? (Hint: the
beautiful Cleopatra costume pictured here is one of them)
you ready now? Then
begin! Page One