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Halloween Costumes for Pets: Gryphon the Witch Doctor

Submitted by Bonnie and Beth Abelew

Halloween costumes for pets

Gryphon the Witch Doctor Cooks Up Shrunken Head Phoenix in a Cauldron

We thought it would be fun to dress our golden retrievers Gryphon and Phoenix as a Witch Doctor and Shrunken Head. We ourselves had dressed as Witch Doctors several years back for a Carnival Mardi Gras type parade, and we thought we could reuse several of the pieces, and yet make very different looking costumes.

For the witch doctor, we wanted to create the illusion that Gryphon had human arms and was standing up like a human. We stuffed a muscle chest that we had from when we were Witch Doctors, and attached stuffed skin colored gloves, to give him hands. We put a skull tunic that was taken from another costume over the chest, and added bone accessories like necklaces and bracelets. We also glued rafia onto the collar and sleeves. For the bottom of the outfit, we attached a grass skirt from an old Hawaiian costume onto an animal print skirt. We then attached this to the bottom of the shirt. When Gryphon sat on a box the skirt hung down over the box, covering it, and giving the illusion Gryphon was standing up. For the headpiece, we attached feathers so that they stuck up over a bone crown. We put this on his head over a jaggedly cut black wig. We made a staff for him out of a wooden dowel and attached some old fabric and feathers, and a plastic skull. Finally, we added “makeup”, which was cut from colored tape into shapes that struck lightly onto the fur on his face.

For the Shrunken Head, we needed to hide Phoenix’s body, and make his head appear to be sitting in a cauldron on a table. To do so, we had to make a fake table. We used a piece of foam board, which was light, and cut a hole in the center. We then glued on gray felt for a tablecloth, making sure to cut a matching hole in it as well. We added a green grass tableskirt around the edge. For the cauldron, we managed to cut a hole in the bottom of an old black plastic cauldron, and glued it onto the hole in the foam board. Then we decorated the table with fake green leaves, bones, skulls, and some empty bottles that had held bubble solution to look like potions. Phoenix was then able to slip this over his head, and his body was completely hidden. We finished off the costume with a crazy jagged wig and a bone through the nose accessory.

Gryphon, the witch doctor, donned his creepy cloak with bands of leather. Gryphon, the witch doctor, wore a headpiece of bones and feathers. Then, Gryphon, the witch doctor, put Phoenix in a cauldron on the table. He told him, “Ooo, ee, oo ah ah. Ting tang, walla walla bing bang!”. This is what he said. He put a bone with braids through Phoenix’s nose. And then he shrunk his head.

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