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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 erupting.  

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 picture-taking session. 

'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 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, even better. 

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 of that 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 decoration. 

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 little. 

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 looked. 


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.

10 Best 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.

1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002

The 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: 

  1. Which lady with the wonderful figure wore my favorite costume in the history of the party?
  2. And which two ladies are currently carrying on her tradition?
  3. What famous Star Wars character once mysteriously showed up year after year?
  4. Why doesn’t Rick wear a costume any more?
  5. Which are the most creative and unusual costumes over the years?
  6. Three current SSQQ Staff people have won the Best Costume Contest fair and square. Who are they?  What did they wear? 
  7. Which two debonair SSQQ gentlemen have consistently made our best picture list for the past several years?
  8. Which are the best solo outfits? 
  9. Which are the best couple outfits?
  10. What are some of the famous group pictures?
  11. What about men who come dressed as women?
  12. And which are my ten favorite costumes of all time?  (Hint: the beautiful Cleopatra costume pictured here is one of them)
It just makes me want to scream and shout: More, More and more!!

Are you ready now?  Then let's begin!   Page One

Hall of Fame  Story 1 Story 2 Story 3 Story 4
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