Dahmer: Halloween Costume Controversy


Makayla White

Malackai Winslow ’26 poses at the Halloween dance on October 14 in his Dahmer-inspired look.

Makayla White, Staff Writer

Welcome to 2022: the unexpected is to be expected.

But what no one expected was for Jeffrey Dahmer to make a return to headlines. With Netflix’s new series, “Dahmer,” a spotlight has been shone on the tragedies surrounding the infamous serial killer. In a society where things like murder podcasts and movies give serial killers a platform, the purpose of this series was to give a platform to the victims. Although the show most definitely raised awareness for the victims and their families, it also resurfaced many horrific things that might be better off forgotten.

Users have taken to Twitter to voice their opinions about the controversial subject of making a platform for the serial killer. The differing opinions grow as Halloween approaches, and Dahmer-inspired costumes are on the rise. “I mean, it’s not that big of a deal. I get it, it’s just a costume,” Brooke Emerson ’23 said. “Should we really be normalizing someone who killed and ate people, though?”

The insensitivity of the subject has started a big argument on platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. One particular Instagram account by Sophia Cassanova has been repeatedly targeted and her post has been taken down multiple times. Her face has been on memes and news articles for a costume she did six years ago.

I spoke with Sophia Cassanova on Instagram to get the inside scoop on what she’s had to deal with. “I did the costume in 2016 so it’s been pretty crazy it’s gotten so much attention now,” Cassanova said. We spoke about how crazy it is that people are taking a lot of anger out on her. “It was so long ago and no one knew at the time who I was,” she said. “No one would have seen it if the news didn’t write about it.” She also said it’s been quite a shock to see her face everywhere.

This controversy has made its way into our own school. Students have chosen to dress up as serial killers for all sorts of different reasons, while other students have much to say about it. “Just no,” Bailey Emerson ’23 said. “Anyone who dresses up as Jeffrey Dahmer is in need of serious mental help.”  Sophomore Kenny Post said, “It’s really wrong, it’s not trendy or funny or anything. Dahmer was a real person, with real victims.”

On the other side, Ethan Dionne ’26 said, “I think that it’s okay, because Halloween is for dressing up scary and Jeffrey Dahmer is definitely scary.” Chauncey O’Connell ’23 said, “Honestly, I don’t really care what people dress up as. I know the new Netflix show has made him popular, so I think it’s really just people being excited about the show.” Freshman Malackai Winslow ’26, who chose the Dahmer-look for the October 14 costume dance, considered the costume just an easy look to adopt. “I’m not fascinated with him or anything, I just thought my hair went really well with the costume. I just thought it was funny.”

What we needs to keep in mind is that we simply have to stick together. One of the main problems in this trending Dahmer story was that no one could just help each other out. If we can just come together and understand why we all act the way that we do, controversies like this are not that big of a deal.