On Halloween, Buffy and her friends patronize an unusual costume shop where customers turn into whatever costume they are wearing.



(created by), | 2 more credits »

Watch Now

From $1.99 (SD) on Amazon Video



Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?



Episode complete credited cast:
Rupert Giles (as Anthony Stewart Head)
Larry Blaisdell (as Larry Bagby III)
Abigail Gershman ...


It turns out that Halloween is the one night of the year when vampires actually lay low, so everybody is getting their costumes from the new store in town, Ethan's Costume Shop. Buffy wears a noble woman's dress from the time when Angel was human, Xander dresses up like a soldier, and Willow chickens out on dressing like a hooker and goes as a ghost. But Ethan Rayne, the shop owner, has invoked the Roman god Janus so everybody becomes their costume. That means all the kids in the neighborhood are now monsters and Buffy thinks she is an 18th-century maiden who faints at the sight of demons and vampires. Written by DRBERNABO256

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »





Release Date:

27 October 1997 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


It is learned that Giles' nickname in his youth was Ripper. At one point a prequel spin-off named "Ripper", detailing adventures of young Giles, was proposed. See more »


The role of the Roman god Janus is somewhat distorted here. He was the god of transitions; his name is related to 'janitor' (which originally meant a doorman) and 'January' (the gate between years). His two faces look to the past and the future. A more appropriate deity would have been Eris, the goddess of chaos, of which Ethan calls himself the "faithful, degenerate son." Janus was likely used because of his depiction as having two faces, an idea which fits clearly with the theme of the episode. See more »


Giles: Alright, let's-let's-let's review. Um, so everybody became whatever they were masquerading as.
Willow Rosenberg: Right. Xander was a soldier and Buffy was an eighteenth-century girl.
Giles: [staring at her rocker babe outfit] And-and your-your costume?
Willow Rosenberg: I'm a ghost.
Giles: Yes. Um, a-a - the ghost of what, exactly?
See more »


Referenced in Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Innocence (1998) See more »


Performed by Epperley
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A classic BTVS episode
18 July 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is not only one of the funniest episodes of the season, it's also an important one. It introduces Giles' arch-enemy Ethan Rayne and Xander's on-again, off-again bully, Larry, both of whom will be in more episodes to come. It provides us with our first glimpse of the harder-edged Giles lurking behind the tweed and library books. It sets-up the recurring joke that Halloween is an embarrassment to the truly evil, with Spike growing more and more disgusted with it's commericalization as the years go on. This episode will also be cited repeated throughout the rest of the series. For example, Xander's Army-guy training will be discussed right into season seven. "Halloween" is one of the episodes that you really shouldn't skip. It's a classic episode that shows BTVS at it's comedic best.

The episode revolved around Halloween in Sunnydale, where everyone is suddenly transformed into whatever they're dressed as. It begins with, Xander, Buffy and Willow being "volunteered" by Snyder to take neighborhood children trick-or-treating. Having seen Cordy flirting with Angel, Buffy is determined to "wow" him with her costume. She dresses up like an 18th Century lady, convinced that he'll be more attracted to her if she looks like the women from his youth. Xander, meanwhile, dresses up like a soldier and Willow hides the revealing outfit that Buffy made her wear under a white, sheet-like, ghost costume. It should be a fairly simple evening, but being Sunnydale, things soon go wrong. Unfortunately for the Scoobie's, Giles' nemesis Ethan Rayne is in town and he's cooking up a spell to turn everyone into their Halloween costumes. Soon Xander is shooting a machine gun, Buffy is fainting and simpering in the face of danger and Willow is walking through walls. Meanwhile, Spike arrives to take advantage of the situation and starts recruiting the newly transformed children/monsters into a slayer hunting party. It's up to Giles to stop Ethan before Buffy and the rest of the town is destroyed.

There's a lot to like about this episode. I think Angel, Buffy and Cordy's scene at the beginning of the episode is cute. I pretty sure that's the first time we see Angel laugh. And who can resist Spike and Dru? I just adore watching them together. Video taping Buffy so he can study her weaknesses is just so.... Spike. Unlike Angel he gleefully adapts to technology and uses all situations to his own advantage. I also love the scene where Willow, Xander, Cordy and Buffy are hiding at Buffy's house. Buffy and Xander's memory loss is hilarious, especially when Angel arrives. Spike's right, the whole episode is just... "neat."

On the downside, and I'm nitpicking here, but how that vampire just walked into Buffy's kitchen? He should have needed an invitation, even if he was just an ordinary person transformed into a vampire, right? The spell made everyone turn into their costumes, so technically he would be a vampire now and have to follow the "you need to invite them in" rule. Also, I can't believe how easily Spike captured Angel and the Scoobies. Good grief, he didn't even have to break a sweat! Angel's a better fighter than that. Also I'm not convinced that Angel ever knew any noble women in his human life. He was the wastrel son of an Irish merchant. His family, much to young Angel's dismay, only had one servant. I think it's sweet when he talks to Buffy at the end of the episode, reassuring her that she's far more interesting than any of the noble women he once knew. But, I don't think he's being entirely accurate.

My favorite part of the episode: Buffy's reaction to seeing a car for the first time, "It's a demon!" This is the exact same response Angel will have when he looses his memory and sees LA traffic speeding by in the "Angel" episode "Spin the Bottle."

24 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Parker Abrams as regular character austin-pearce
Hardest episode to get through. Buffbuffbuffysummers
Buffy influences ferimea_teleute
Giles and Joyce mybabyblue
doublemeat palace ifnothingwedomatters
Faith or Kendra? ladymoo-80062
Discuss Halloween (1997) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: