Papa Legba Halloween Costume

Tales of Papa Legba have been told for generations, but popular interest in him grew when he was portrayed in the third season of American Horror Story. The character’s top hat, feather-trimmed cape, and snake cane provide the makings of a recognizable and easy-to-create costume.

Making this Papa Legba costume takes two to three hours, including the make-up. To create the costume, you need:

The Hat

  • Black top hat
  • Black-and-cream bandana
  • Five 1 1/2-inch plastic skulls
  • Decorative feathers

The Cape

  • Black vampire cape with collar
  • Black feather trim
  • Black feathers, 10 to 14-inches long

The Cane

  • Bamboo costume cane
  • Snake finger puppet
  • Snakeskin duct tape


  • Clip-on gold tooth
  • Press-on nails
  • White shirt
  • Bone/voodoo-inspired necklaces
  • Liquid latex
  • Black and white cream makeup
  • Hot glue gun

The Hat Tie the bandana above the brim. Cut the plastic Halloween skulls in half and use hot glue to attach the fronts only to the bandana. Insert the feathers into the bandana, approximately halfway between the front and back of the hat. Set aside.

The Cape Lay the vampire cape out on a protected surface and smooth the collar. Measure and cut a length of black feather trim long enough to fit across the collar, and then use hot glue to attach the trim to the collar.

Lay the long feathers along the row of trim, spacing them 4 to 6 inches apart on center. Glue in place. Add another row of trim and then another row of feathers, alternating spacing to create fullness until the collar is completely covered. Set aside.

The Cane Slip a snake finger puppet onto the curved end of the cane. Unroll 8 to 10 inches of snakeskin duct tape and form it around the cane. Unroll 6 to 8 inches of tape at a time, working your way down the cane. If necessary, tear the tape, line up the pattern, and continue until the entire cane is covered.

The Makeup Sponge liquid latex over the top two-thirds of the face, creating a mottled texture on the skin. Allow to set.

Sponge black cream makeup over and around the eyes and down the cheeks to the jawline, avoiding the area between the nose and mouth as well as the chin. Sponge white cream over the forehead, down the bridge of the nose, and across the cheeks. Use a small brush and black cream makeup to add details like an off-center X in the center of the forehead, crosshatching under the eyes, and fine crescents above the eyebrows.

Final Details Attach a clip-on gold tooth and press-on nails. Put on a white shirt and add bone or voodoo-inspired necklaces and a dreadlock wig, if desired. Don the hat and cape, grab your cane and let the horrifying fun begin.

Visit eHow’s Halloween Horror Costumes Pinterest board for more inspiring costume ideas.