C o l o u r !
Most people only associate 2 colours with Halloween - Black, and Orange. While these colours are important, I would like to take some time to discuss other great Halloween colours, what makes them great Halloween colours, and great reasons to use them ...
Orange and Black are commonly thought to be Halloween colours, as Orange is associated with pumpkins and bonfires, and Black is associated with the night sky, black cats, bats, etc ... But there are many other great Halloween colours that go unused in decorating such as certain shades of Green - particularly Lime Green.
Green is a great Halloween colour because it compliments Orange, and next to Black it recalls The Wicked Witch of The West from The Wizard of Oz.
It can also be associated with a witch’s brew, magical potions, the liquids in beakers and test tubes of a mad scientist, and even with certain monsters such as some depictions of Frankenstein’s monster!
Purple can be a great Halloween colour for the simple reason that it compliments Green so well. Batman’s The Joker shows us this, as his Purple suit is complimented by his Green hair! Combined with Black, Purple can also be a very sexy colour indeed, and can be used in very striking costumes for women.
Furthermore, since colours associated with Christmas are frequently Red, White, and certain shades of Green and Yellow, perhaps a lot of the remaining colours can be associated with Halloween, and Purple is one of them!
My theory is that Orange, Green, and Purple all work so well as Halloween colours because they are all Secondary Colours – colours made by mixing 2 primary colours. While we can associate certain shades of Green with Christmas due to its association with evergreen boughs, I think the Primary Colours are all representative of Christmas:
- Red for certain berries and the colour of Santa Claus’s costume
- Yellow for stars, candle light, and of course the glittery dust associated with magic
- Blue for the chilly weather, ice, and snow at this time of year,
With this in mind, I think we can use all of the remaining or Secondary Colours for Halloween when decorating.
I should note, of course, that Red is still an exception to the rule. Just as the Secondary Colour Green can be associated with Christmas and Halloween, Red too can be associated with both Christmas and Halloween, as it is the colour of blood, and can be reminiscent of many vampires and their capes! Of course, we mustn’t forget that it is often the colour of seductive lips!
Moving on, never forget about Black and White! Not Black. Not White. Black and White - particularly stripes! Black and White are often used to represent opposition, opposing forces, and light verses dark, so what better colours can be joined on a night where the frightening is celebrated and the dark side is confronted? Together they acknowledge the presence of both light and dark or good and evil influences and may even imply a struggle between good and evil!
Black and White stripes remind us again of the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz, but this time of the Wicked Witch of The East, last seen wearing a dramatic pair of Black and White striped stockings.
Black and White stripes are also reminiscent of Tim Burton movies, as they are one of his trademarks that appear in almost all his films. Just look at his 1988 title-character Beetle Juice!
Not only can Black and White appear together in stripes, but in spirals they call to mind images of hypnosis – often a very spooky concept! If one looks closely at such a spiral, one can almost imagine peering into a deep, dark well ... or rabbit hole!
In some instances, Black and White may be used to recall Black and White movies, and therefore previous times in history.
Finally, my favourite association with Black and White together around Halloween is that of a wedding. A wedding, you may ask? What does this have to do with Halloween?
Imagine for a moment, the following characters from some very frightening stories:
. Count Dracula and Lucy Westenra of Bram Stoker’s Dracula
What do all of these pairs of characters have in common? Each male character in these “couples” is depicted in a Black suit while each female character is depicted wearing a long White dress. Isn’t it interesting how these clothes are identical to the traditional concepts of a bride and groom?
It makes sense that the characters in these stories wear these colours, as these stories could be considered Gothic Literature. They seem to fit all of the characteristics of Gothic Literature, one of which is women in distress, another of which is women threatened by a powerful, impulsive, tyrannical male! The women in the above lists are indeed in distress, and the men in the above list can be thought to be the threatening men! Perhaps portraying them in traditional wedding costumes is ironic, and yet perhaps it is meant to reflect the fear many have of marriage and intimacy ...
For more information on Gothic Literature, visit Elements of the Gothic Novel: http://www.virtualsalt.com/gothic.htm
Well, I hope you've enjoyed my review of the depths of Halloween Colours, and I hope that this helps when choosing decorations, making or choosing Halloween costumes, and creating Halloween crafts. I look forward to any comments and additional opinions on what makes some colours Halloween colours!