eBay Banned Jeffrey Dahmer Costumes Long Before the Netflix Show

The company says it prohibited costumes inspired by the convicted murderer way before the release of the show Monster.

Meara Isenberg Writer
Meara covers streaming service news for CNET. She recently graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, where she wrote for her college newspaper, The Daily Texan, as well as for state and local magazines. When she's not writing, she likes to dote over her cat, sip black coffee and try out new horror movies.
Meara Isenberg
2 min read
Evan Peters as Jeffrey Dahmer

Evan Peters plays Jeffrey Dahmer in the new Netflix series.


No, you can't buy Jeffrey Dahmer costumes on eBay, but it's not because of the controversial Netflix show. The items have long been prohibited under eBay's violence and violent criminals policy, according to an eBay spokesperson.

The policy prohibits "listings that promote or glorify violence or violent acts, or are associated with individuals who are notorious for committing violent acts," according to the company's site.

Costumes inspired by the serial killer reportedly surged on the platform following the release of the Netflix limited series Dahmer - Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story. These kinds of items are banned on eBay and are being removed, the spokesperson said. 

Netflix in September released Monster, starring American Horror Story actor Evan Peters as the titular character. While the show been a massive hit for Netflix, it's also faced backlash, with calls to "not romanticize Jeffrey Dahmer," but instead to remember the victims. The show also came under fire because Netflix originally put Dahmer in its LGBTQ category. Attention has recently turned to Dahmer costumes.

Gymnast Simone Biles said on Tuesday in a tweet "I'm just gon go head and say it, put the jeffrey dahmer costumes back in the closet. we ain't having it!!!!!!" 

Shirley Hughes, mother of Tony Hughes, one of the men Dahmer murdered, spoke to TMZ about Halloween costumes in an article published Sunday. She said "Dahmer was pure evil and [she] doesn't understand how the folks who choose to dress like him can sleep at night," according to TMZ.

TMZ also reports she said "if Netflix hadn't streamed the show, none of the families would be re-victimized ... and then there'd be no Dahmer costumes this year."

In the same report, TMZ said that "most big retail stores have opted out of selling JD costumes given all the outrage, but many folks have flocked to online stores, such as eBay, to sell Jeffrey Dahmer costume props ... including blonde wigs, retro-style tops and even the wire-rimmed glasses."

Dahmer murdered and dismembered 17 men and boys between 1978 and 1991. He died in prison in 1994.

A search on eBay for "Jeffrey Dahmer costume" on Thursday yielded just one result, a pair of glasses that resemble Dahmer's. Buzzfeed News reported that items posted on eBay have also included an orange jumpsuit and a mask clearly inspired by Peters' look in the Netflix series.