Convention and Tourist Information Center
201 South Main Street, Harlan
Harlan County Inspired Halloween Costumes
If you're brainstorming ideas for your Halloween costume this year, we're here to help with some Harlan County inspired costume ideas!
BEAR: Halloween is a time when we think about the things that go bump in the night. Around here, bumps in the night are more likely to be Black Bears than they are to be supernatural. With hundreds of Black Bears wandering the mountains of Harlan County, they have become part of the community. Whether you buy a Black Bear costume or fashion one at home, this idea has the added bonus of being a warm and cozy option on what can be a cold night of trick or treating.
OFFROAD ENTHUSIAST: Each year, Harlan County welcomes thousands of visitors to the Black Mountain Off Road Adventure Area. Their ATVs, rock crawlers, jeeps, dirt bikes, and side by sides are all over town. To get this look, wear boots, rugged but comfortable clothing, and a helmet. For the most authenticity, apply mud from head to toe!
FRONTIER EXPLORER: Located just beyond Cumberland Gap, the area of Harlan County was one of the first places people on the frontier saw as they moved west. For guys, we recommend tall boots, a long coat, and hat to get the look of a Kentucky frontiersman. Add a powder horn to your belt and a simple pack for carrying your supplies across the rugged mountains. Long skirts, simple blouses, a bonnet, and a warm shawl were standard dress for a frontierswoman. Don't forget your walking stick!
COAL MINER: For over 100 years, coal miners have been an important piece of life in Harlan County. The world has counted on men and women to power the world with coal from Harlan County! Start off with dark pants and a button down shirt. Add reflective tape and a name patch. You may be able to borrow a hat from your favorite coal miner or wear a hard hat with a headlamp to get the same effect. Coal mining is a dirty job so your costume won't be complete until you smudge your face with dust. Bonus tip: a dinner bucket makes a great Halloween candy bucket!
MURAL MAKEOVER: Maybe the inspiration for your costume is as close as a local mural! Add orange wings to black leggings, shirt, and headband antennas to transform into a butterfly from the Cumberland mural. A warm gray sweatsuit just needs a pink tail and some creative facepaint to become a possum like Petunia on Central St. in downtown Harlan! The cutest creatures get the most candy!
LOCAL LEGEND: Are you looking for something more terrifying for this Halloween? Dress up like one of Harlan County's most famous ghosts. A long flowing dress is what most report seeing the ghost on highway 38 wear as she appears in the backseat of passing cars on dark rainy nights. You'll need to find a nightgown and lose your head to pass as the ghost of Headless Annie from Black Mountain. The ghost of Mazo Shepherd haunts the old courthouse. High waisted slacks and a button down shirt was the fashion of the day at the time Manzo was shot in the Courthouse.
RAYLAN GIVENS: The star of the hit series Justified is known for tracking down criminals. If you're planning to track down candy, you can take on his persona. Start with a pair of blue jeans and boots. Add a button down shirt and a blazer. A tie is optional but the signature hat is a must! Design yourself a U.S. Marshal badge and beware of Boyd trying to steal your Halloween haul.
Follow social media to find more details about Halloween celebrations throughout Harlan County!