The Greatest Mormon Halloween Costume Ever

Via frequent T&S commenter, former guest-blogger, and all-around well-connected guy Jonathan Green, comes this, a priceless document of what happens when Mormonism collides with modern American Halloween festivities. The man in the costume is Brother Bill Atkinson, and the costume itself…well, see for yourself. And enjoy.

the greatest mormon halloween costume ever

37 comments for “The Greatest Mormon Halloween Costume Ever

  1. john scherer
    November 2, 2005 at 4:34 pm

    I sure hope this was in Utah or Idaho, else lots of people may be very confused and worried as to what may or may not be under the robe.

  2. Mike
    November 2, 2005 at 4:35 pm

    Back during the Steve Benson controversy when Elder Oaks made a remark about stage managing a grizzlie bear, I saw a Halloween costume that included a grizzlie bear wearing a Green Bay Packers hat with a copy of Sunstone magazine. I think this one has displaced it.

  3. November 2, 2005 at 4:36 pm


  4. sdb
    November 2, 2005 at 4:39 pm

    john scherer,
    He’s standing in front of the elevators in the New York, NY stake center. He probably got there by subway. Which makes the costume that much better.

  5. November 2, 2005 at 4:57 pm

    *wipes diet coke from the monitor* I believe now I’ve seen everything.

  6. a random John
    November 2, 2005 at 5:00 pm

    I hope he stood on top of his house and threw candy down at the trick or treaters.

  7. Jonathan Green
    November 2, 2005 at 5:01 pm

    If you’ve ever wondered how to picture the person behind comments made by “Bill,” now you know.

    The missionaries didn’t recognize him at church the next day. They thought he was a golden investigator.

  8. Adam Greenwood
    November 2, 2005 at 5:04 pm

    Gracious me.

  9. November 2, 2005 at 5:05 pm

    Classic. These are the elevators that take me to church every Sunday, but somehow I missed seeing this when I went to my ward Halloween party days ago.

  10. Rosalynde
    November 2, 2005 at 5:06 pm


  11. john scherer
    November 2, 2005 at 5:07 pm

    Golden Investigator :)

    I think it would be a good outfit for a missionary. Imagine the subway conversation.
    “Why me, I’m an angel of light. In fact I visited Joseph Smith to help restore the fulness of the gospel. I could tell you more if you give me your address.”
    The other elder could dress as Joseph
    Maybe not such a good idea.

  12. greenfrog
    November 2, 2005 at 5:10 pm

    (overheard in the subway)

    “…the Mormon Angel? I thought you were supposed to look like Emma Thompson.”

  13. Tanya Spackman
    November 2, 2005 at 5:17 pm


  14. Chad Too
    November 2, 2005 at 5:36 pm

    Well played, Bill. Very well played.

    Oh.. and Mark Spitz!

  15. Ben S.
    November 2, 2005 at 5:46 pm

    Nope, not a *real* angel.

    “A sister in the State of New York had a vision who said it was told her that if she would go to a certain place in the woods an angel would appear to her, — she went at the appointed time and saw a glorious personage descending arrayed in white, with sandy coloured hair… How it may be asked was this known to be a bad angel? by the color of his hair; that is one of the signs that he can be known by”
    Times and Seasons Vol.3, No.11, p.747

  16. b bell
    November 2, 2005 at 5:48 pm

    No doubt the best LDS halloween costume in our collective history. Is he in the SP or the local Bishopric? If so its an even funnier moment.

  17. Derek
    November 2, 2005 at 8:56 pm

    Moroni? ‘s tat u?

  18. November 2, 2005 at 9:28 pm

    Why is dressing up like the FTD florist guy the best costume ever?

    Not really. LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL! This guy is brave. And quite large trumpet!

    This is the reason I read T&S!

  19. November 2, 2005 at 9:38 pm

    I just showed this to my daughters. Caitlyn immediately doubled over in laughter. “It’s Moroni!” she shouted. Megan didn’t have any immediate reaction, until we asked her what she thought of the costume. “Is that a real person?!” she asked in disbelief. (We told her the man dressed up for a costume party. “I hope it was a Mormon party!” she replied.)

    I’ve wracked my brain, trying to think of another comparable Mormon Halloween costume, but I can’t. Nothing can top this. It’s perfect! Save this photo everyone, and send it to everyone you know. Start a groundswell. I’m not going to rest until this appears in the Ensign.

  20. Hans
    November 2, 2005 at 9:55 pm

    The scariest Mormon Halloween costume I have heard about was the guy who dressed up as the Bishop and visited members offering them “new callings”!

  21. November 2, 2005 at 11:53 pm

    Is it just me or does that guy look like Justice John Roberts?

  22. cam
    November 3, 2005 at 12:26 am

    reminds me of goldfinger

  23. November 3, 2005 at 12:42 am

    FYI, Bill reports that a) the horn was real, and b) he played “a few blasts on strategic occasions”.

    BTW, Bill, you did see the movie Goldfinger, right? Snopes says you can’t die from being painted gold.

  24. Julie M. Smith
    November 3, 2005 at 12:45 am

    Re Ben S. in #15–Hm, I don’t remember that we ever had page or volume numbers. Must have been before I joined T & S.

  25. Kaimi Wenger
    November 3, 2005 at 12:59 am


    We got some pretty good guest bloggers back then. Joseph Smith, Parley Pratt . . .

  26. tnt
    November 3, 2005 at 3:10 am

    I was at the party. not only was this the greatest mormon (well, actually moroni) costume ever, but I also loved his answer in the costume contest (he won). In the spirit of Halloween, the MC asked each contestant what they were afraid of. Bill’s answer: “Being the last one left alive…”

  27. November 3, 2005 at 8:10 am

    Wherever the picture was taken, its inside an LDS building. Note the LDS pass-along cards in the wooden shelf thing between the two elevators. The carpeting and wall covering with wood trim is suggestive of an LDS meeting house. But, I have never seen a trash can like that inside of a meeting house, let alone being reasonably placed in an ostensibly high traffic area instead of hidden in the cloak room. Is it possible this pic was taken inside of a visitor center or the HQ building?

  28. Chad too
    November 3, 2005 at 9:19 am

    I think the Manhattan building is pretty much all of those things, Kurt, and a temple to boot.

  29. Christine
    November 3, 2005 at 9:46 am

    I think that you guys are having just too much fun in the old NYC. Here in Michigan if I did that I would probably end up in downtown Detroit playing back-up for some Motown Group and never get out of costume.

  30. Rosalynde Welch
    November 3, 2005 at 11:00 am

    About those elevators, what’s he doing there, anyway?

    Well, you know what Robert Frost said, nothing gold can stay…

  31. john scherer
    November 3, 2005 at 11:52 am

    I hope he dined carefully on the snacks that were served at this outing. There’s something funny, yet almost sacreligious about the idea of Moroni with powdered sugar all around his lips and a big ol jelly stain on his robe. :)

  32. Keith
    November 3, 2005 at 12:29 pm

    “About those elevators, what’s he doing there, anyway?”

    Rosalynde, Rosalynde, Rosalynde. What are we going to do to get you to read your scriptures? Notice this from JS History:

    “After this communication, I saw the light in the room begin to gather immediately around the person of him who had been speaking to me, and it continued to do so until the room was again left dark, except just around him; when, instantly I saw, as it were, a conduit open right up into heaven, and he ascended till he entirely disappeared.”

    The conduit, you see, is actually an kind of advanced heavenly elevator.

  33. November 3, 2005 at 6:06 pm

    Sorry but this 80 year old guy doesn’t see much humor in making fun and satarizing God’s messenger…who had such a marvelous role in restoring God’s plan of salvation. Is it just because of a generational gap? Or am I just too sensitive. Does anyone else feel this way? When does humor become irreverent?

  34. November 3, 2005 at 6:47 pm

    Freakin Hilarious!!!!! Very clever that is for sure!!!! My little sister who resides in Idaho said “Is that appropriate” All in good fun little sis.. I bet Moroni never thought he would be a halloween costume

  35. Chrys
    November 4, 2005 at 12:26 am

    Think of it another way (positive) it’s a tribute to God’s messenger! For the whole world to see and a real person behind all that gold to answer questions. Even if just one seed of faith was planted wasn’ it worth it?

  36. britany
    November 14, 2005 at 11:27 am

    He’d be asking the GOLDEN questions, wouldn’t he then?

  37. Teresa
    November 17, 2005 at 8:51 pm

    WOW, that’s quite a costume

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