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10 Icelandic Halloween Costumes

By Joe October 13, 2019

Original Halloween Costumes Icelanders Will Love or Hate You For

Halloween is a very new thing in Iceland. Traditionally, Icelanders haven’t celebrated the holiday, but American culture has been slowly seeping into the younger generations thanks to TV and movies. 

You won’t find Halloween parades or the Monster Mash playing over the radio, but what you will find are a few Icelanders throwing parties and costume contests at a local bar

Tailor your October outfit to the native crowd! Forget the casual Viking costume and dress to impress with these ten awesomely Icelandic costume ideas.


Marbendill (Mer-man!)

Icelandic folklore is full of mysterious and odd creatures. None may be as exotic, and pop-culturally relevant, as the Marbendill or Merman. Human top with a seal bottom, Marbendills appear as wise-cracking oracles in many Icelandic myths.

To pull this costume off, do half Derrick Zoolander on top and a fuzzy or furry mermaid’s tail on the bottom. Since they’re often found caught in fishermen’s nets or washed up onshore, plan on sleeping on the beach to surprise any early sand walkers. Go the extra mile by bringing a net to get “caught in” or catch others with. Make ridiculous prophecies in your best Zoolander impression for some extra pizzazz.



All Google searches for Iceland or people from Iceland will always, eventually, lead to Björk. Björk this, Björk that, it’s all about Björk! A famous singer and one of the island’s most famous personalities outright, a Björk disguise is guaranteed to please the people.

Now, this costume can go a lot of different ways since the artist has more than a few noteworthy looks. Make sure to get acquainted with the megastar’s music and work before attempting this costume. Research is key. 

Your best bet would be to go with the classic “Swan Dress” look. If going out in a group, may I recommend a group costume consisting of the many faces of Bjork? Think about it, fifteen Bjorks walking into a bar sounds hilarious — well worth all the extra effort.


Ok the Glacier

This one is all trick and no treat. Though global warming is nothing to joke about, that doesn’t mean we can’t have a little fun with it right? Okjokull, also known as Ok, is Iceland’s first glacier killed by global warming. Scientists posted a plaque commemorating the miserable and depressing event. 

Anyhow, Ok the Glacier seems like a tough look to pull off but it’s really quite simple. No costume needed! All you need is a homemade plague strung around your neck stating “Ok once stood here” or something more along the lines of the original text.

If anyone asks where your costume went or why aren’t you dressed up, soberly explain that you’re a glacier but global warming fudged it all up. 

Or is it too soon?

Hidden People Folk


It’s said that the majority of Icelanders still believe in elves, huldufolk, or “Hidden Folk.” Try not to cause too much mischief among the natives with this one.  

What elves look like is up to debate throughout the country, which makes this a costume up to you, but please go all out on this one. The more convincing the look you put together, the more fun it will be in the wee hours of the night trying to get your new friends to believe you really are an elf. 

Avoid people you know and go out of your way to meet local Icelanders. “I think I met an elf at the bar last night” is a treat to be given out freely on Halloween. Bonus points if you try to seduce people at the closest crosswalk with food or gifts.

Vigdis Finnbogadottir

Vigdís Finnbogadóttir (One Rad Lady)

Vigdís Finnbogadóttir was elected as president of Iceland in 1980 and was the first female in the world to win a national presidential election. She is beloved in Iceland and served with distinction for four terms.  Stoic, strong, and sassy, think of her as a much less confrontational Thatcher or a likable Hillary Clinton. 

This president rocked some very cool outfits. Posh, prim, and proper, walk with grace from bar to pub giving inspiring speeches and dolling out directives  

"It’s not enough for a woman to be intelligent. Intelligence has to have a modern coiffure." Vigdís Finnbogadóttir

troll hvitserkur


The truth is, almost every unusual rock formation in Iceland at one time or another was a troll.  Misshapen cliff? Troll. Weird sea stack? Troll. 

I know it’s hard to believe, but facts are facts.

Looks vary, but I would recommend going as the Ernest Scared Stupid style of troll or take a shot at the bright-haired doll version. Stay in character by having your partner dress like a child and spend the night chasing them or snatching them from conversations. 

As you all know, trolls turn into stone with sunlight. Bring a rock or a small stone statue to hold your place as you belly up to the bar and to leave somewhere when the sun rises.

icelandic horse

Icelandic Horse

Icelandic horses are b-e-a-utiful! They are the Fabio of horses. 

Channel the flowing windswept hair of both majestic creatures. Combine the golden locks and open-chested shirt of the megastar Fabio with the hooves and swishing tail of an Icelandic horse. 

This is a great partner costume if you can find a two-part horse outfit, just discuss which person will be the horse’s bum prior to renting the suit (trust me on that one). Gallop down Icelandic streets with your friends on your back and be ready to fight anyone who calls you a “pony.”

Fermented Shark

Rotten Shark

The well-known and much-loved national delicacy of Iceland will make for a lovely costume. 

Think Johnny Rotten meets the toothy demons of the deep. For all the ‘90s kids out there, this is basically just a punny Street Shark outfit. 

Go around and act as rude and punk as possible. When people give you a hard time for being a jerk, just say that you’re an “acquired taste.”

Skogafoss Waterfall


Take some breaths away with this out-of-the-blue costume. Waterfalls are everywhere you look in Iceland and now you can be one! 

Just deck yourself out in head to toe in blue streamers, bring a squirt bottle and give off a gentle mist as people pass by. Spend the night photo-bombing pictures or have them pose in front of you. 

Make sure to give yourself a cool name ending in “foss” so tourists can tell their friends and family when they get home: “Here’s a picture of me in front of [your name]foss! The pictures really don’t do it justice.”

northern lights

The Northern Lights

Not big on holiday parties or dressing up in general? Would you rather spend Halloween on the couch watching scary movies? Go as the Northern Lights and avoid the crowds this spook-filled season.

Start by blowing off any and all the plans you made. If anyone calls and asks where you are, just mention that “you probably can’t see me due to all the light pollution” or “the aurora-cast said the lights won’t be visible tonight.”

Laugh and enjoy your sweatpants while your friends and family ask “where are the Northern Lights tonight?”