Modern Halloween seems to have lost a major component of what makes it such a fun holiday. As we grow up we lose the scary (albeit fun), Halloween of our childhood to chic soirées, drunken frivolity and promiscuous costumes. And nothing can be done about that—most adults don’t want to dress up as Han Solo and Princess Leia and go to a haunted house—unless you have kids in which case that would be adorable. But the fear factor—that feeling of creepy unsettling, the moments when the image of something just gets under your skin seems to have vanished. And while some of us love a good horror flick, dressing for the part is so much more satisfying. To keep a good balance of fright and luxury (because hey, we’re not popping a Freddy Kruger mask on anytime soon), we’ve rounded up the creepiest, most hauntingly beautiful jewelry around.
Twin Skeleton Jewel Bangle
Alexander McQueen without skulls is like Chanel with no LBD—basically unfathomable. But the creep factor on this bracelet is more so for the glittering eyes that seem to be watching you from around your wrist. The large hinge bangle is made of brass and crystals and isn't so scary that it can't still be worn on many other occasions. Priced at $495.
Sleeping Claw Ring
Aoi Kotsuhiroi has one of the strangest and most disturbing websites of any fashion designer. That being said these pieces are perfect for our Halloween list, as the Sleeping Claw ring looks more like a medieval torture device than anything you would willingly wear on your hand. Known for working with materials such as horns and human hair, Kotsuhiroi is truly an eclectic artist, even answering interview question in poetic verse.
Skeleton Hand Bracelet
Dressing up in head to toe skeleton garb may not be an option, but just a little peek of the bones underneath might be enough to make someone’s skin crawl. Delfina Delettrez’s skeleton hand bracelet follows the movement of your wrist, hand and fingers, making it almost come to life. Made from blends of silver and gold, the bracelet features 4.4 carats of diamonds and a large, 11 carat cabochon ruby—showing off just how luxurious you are in this life and the next. Priced at $25,553.
While skeletal structures can be haunting, they can also be beautiful. Nika Danielska creates wearable bone cage pieces that can be worn under, over or alone (depending on the occasion), and make for some seriously dark drama. The boney, spindly creations may not be best for a packed party, but for a Halloween ball or a quiet little séance gathering at home, it’s perfect.
Bat Skeleton Necklace
Normally Esty shops are not the first place to look when it comes to high-end jewelry, but as the Miyu Decay line is only sold in Kat Von D's Wonderland Gallery in Los Angeles, it would be hard to grab it anywhere else. As much as we love a good skull or skeleton to really amp up the freakiness, this Bat Skeleton Necklace does scary on another level. With clasps made from the talons and a wide, spidery wingspan, this necklace will definitely give a few people the creeps. Priced at $9,000.
Memento Mori Skull Ring
One of our favorite jewelry designers, Wendy Brandes, channels the macabre in so many of her designs—it’s hard to choose just one. With a selection of bats, skulls, dragons, wolves and bones, it’s like Halloween every day. For this holiday we’re loving the chilliness of the Memento Mori Skull Ring with rubies, because just when you thought it wouldn’t get any scarier, the stones make the eyes come alive. Made of 18 karat gold and featuring glittering ruby eyes, this ring might catch a few admiring glances. Priced at $3,300.
Skulls are great for a scary Halloween, but hey, there’s nothing that beats an entire severed head. Atelier Minyon’s Guillotine Pendant with diamonds and rubies kicks up the creepy in a way that even the wearer may not be comfortable with. If you have the stomach for it, this is one seriously freaky piece of jewelry. Made of 18 karat yellow gold, oxidized silver, .01 carats in diamonds and .43 carats in rubies it’s almost hard to notice the beauty of the craftsmanship under the blood-splattered guillotine. Priced at $6,100.
With collections that are exhibited in museums and store windows around the world, there’s definitely a draw in Joji Kojima’s jewelry. His “Insecta” Collection is dark, dangerous and channels the creepy crawlies all too well. His most popular pieces are his Mokume-Gane rings that fold over the finger like plates on a beetle and give the hands a lethal presence. Made from silver, copper and brass, most of his pieces are on display in exhibitions, because while they may be nearly impossible to wear (and still function), at least they’re beautiful to look at.
Big Gold Anatomic Heart Necklace
Most ghost stories seem to revolve around feelings of love—people dying on their wedding day, killing themselves over a lost lover, or pulling some other ridiculous, and ultimately untimely, stunt to gain another's affection. So to capture that all-encompassing, till-death-do-us-part feeling, Bjorg's The Big Gold Anatomic Heart Necklace is your best bet. On a sterling silver chain hangs an 18 karat gold-plated human heart. How very—uh—romantic. Priced at €362 (approx. $500).