Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Pirate Costumes-Creaking Rigging on the Midwatch

Don't breathe, mates, for there be spirits about on this vessel.  Ghost pirates...the very concept should chill the marrow in yer bones.  No good can come of it, I'll be bound.
Why ghost pirates?  Why not?  It is Halloween we are speaking of, and it is a time for ghosts and goblins and spooks of all sorts.  Pirates might have inspired terror in their day, but today they are just so much fan-fic fodder.  Ghost pirates, into which group I include skeletal and zombie pirates, and any other horrific take on the classic form.  I likes pirates I do and I likes monsters.  Combine them and you have a winner in my logbook any day.
Our first trio of spooky pirates features a Wicked Neverland Captain Hook.  Say what you like about Captain Hook, he's pretty cool.  The Disney cartoon incarnation from Peter Pan is sort of sissy by pirate standards, but the character is at heart a nasty, villainous pirate.  The Wicked version above has a mustachioed skull face and a stylized skull hook for a hand.  I like how the blade-like hook juts from the mouth of the skull.  The skull motif epaulet and tattered jacket are very good as well.  The kicker-boots are a bit jarring, but it is a good costume all the same.
The fellow in the middle has an uninspired jacket and trousers and the one gloved hand and one skeleton hand are an asymmetrically unpleasing combo.  The only good part is the slightly oversized skull with its raised eyebrow ridge.  I like the smirking nature of it.  It is Jack Sparrow's swagger without the swishing.
On the right we have a more serious looking skeleton pirate.  It is a decent costume with a washed out look and plenty of bones.  It may lack style, but you could work with it.

Of these three I put the clear winner as the ghostly buccaneer amidships.  Larboard we have a decent boney buccaneer, but note that the face is done in make-up, which is something you'd have to do yourself.  If you lack the skill or are allergic this would be a disappointing costume indeed, but a nice skeleton mask (a basic one would do) would make this a fine choice.  What I like best is the gauze torn shirt and the trousers.  It fits no specific theme or time but can be for any of them.  The costume highlights the bones, which is where the spook-factor comes in.  Get some top-notch accessories and this beats a Jack Sparrow any day.
The cigar-chomping, hook-handed swab in the lower right is my least favorite of them all, but it has appeal.  The gauze is what makes it work, lest it look like a cheap mask (a mask indeed, but cheap it is not).
The ghostly fellow dead center requires a bit of accessorizing to work.  The costume itself could be paired with a mask of some sort (skull, demon, ghost, etc.) to make a frightening variation, but to go the standard route you'll need some sort of make-up kit.  It is a shame the hands are not done as well, but then a creative and skilled artist could work wonders with the attire.  A zombie parrot would be a welcome addition to any of these costumes.
This is not a costume but damn it all, that is how a ghostly undead pirate should look.  If you could pull off that look you'd be the star of any pirate party, Halloween or no.
I'd put him up against Barbossa (cursed, obviously) any day and Blackbeard'd never stand a ghost of a chance.  Have him skewered in a brace o' shakes, he would.

Make your heading north by north-east and set a course for Nassau, lads; we've finished this cruise.

Keep yer pumpkins lit.


  1. That's an awesome ghostly undead Pirate, that is.

    1. It is indeed. That is the cover of a Fighting Fantasy book from the UK. Hard book to play, by the way.

  2. Enjoyed this one as Jake is going to be a pirate this year.

    1. I hope my observations can be of some help then with Jake's costume. It is a popular choice so it deserves a personal touch.