How to Make a Lurch Costume

by Araminta Matthews

You can purchase an old tuxedo for Lurch's costume, or you can modify an existing suit.

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Lurch is the zombie-like butler in Charles Addams' creepy and cooky cinematic and comic renditions of the Addams Family. Characterized as an overly tall and skinny servant with sallow cheeks and blanched-white skin, Lurch speaks only in mono-syllables and grunts, suggesting that Lurch might be a traditional folklore "undead zombie." While there is no official licensed Lurch costume, he is typically seen in the traditional butler uniform of a tuxedo with a black bow-tie, sporting creepy face makeup and a bowl haircut.

Items you will need

  • Black suit pants and jacket
  • Double-sided fusible interfacing
  • Black marker
  • 1/2 yard black satin
  • Press cloth
  • Scissors
  • Iron
  • White button-down shirt
  • Black bow-tie
  • White gloves
  • Black socks
  • Black wing-tip shoes
  • White and black grease paint
  • Baby powder
Step 1

Lay one side of the coat jacket's collar face-up onto the double-sided fusible interfacing and trace it from the top of the collar, where it would sit on top of your shoulder, all the way to the top button of the suit jacket where it would naturally fall over your midsection.

Step 2

Repeat this process for the other side of the collar on a fresh piece of the interfacing.

Step 3

Lay the interfacing on top of the black satin and carefully cut out the two collar pieces from both the interfacing and the satin.

Step 4

Match the fusible interfacing to one side of the collar face up and then neatly place the corresponding piece of black satin on top of the interfacing.

Step 5

Use a hot iron on the maximum setting to press the satin onto the interfacing and the interfacing onto the collar, fusing the three together. Use a press cloth between the hot iron and the satin.

Step 6

Repeat this process with the other side of the collar.

Step 7

Wear a white button-down shirt, matching white gloves, and a black bow-tie beneath the suit jacket. Wear black socks and black wing-tip shoes beneath the suit pants.

Step 8

Mix one part black greasepaint with three parts white greasepaint to create a light gray greasepaint.

Step 9

Smooth the light gray grease paint all over your face and neck.

Step 10

Smooth a light layer of black greasepaint over the lips and in the eye pits, as well as over the eyebrows. Darken your original grey greasepaint with a little extra black and cover the eyelids up to the brow bone.

Step 11

Lean over and shake white baby powder into your hair. Run your fingers through your hair to shift the powder through all of it. Shake out any excess.

Tips

  • To enhance the sallow cheek look, make an "O" with your mouth and rub a thin layer or black grease paint into the cheek pits that form while making this face.

    If you can't find a black suit to wear, try dying one instead. Allow the items to soak for about one hour longer than the instructions suggest to ensure they come out thoroughly black.

    To save time on the costume, purchase a pre-made butler tuxedo ensemble.

    Dress your kids up like Pugsley and Wednesday for Halloween and pretend you're babysitting while Morticia and Gomez are out on the town.

Photo Credits

  • Photos.com/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images

About the Author

Araminta Star Matthews began writing in 1994, and editing in 1998. She has been published in "Learning through History Magazine," "Dark Moon Digest" and the "Sandy River Review." She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from the University of Maine and National University respectively.