First let me debunk a couple myths. American Halloween parties do not involve dunking or 'bobbing' for apples, for two reasons. 1. It's unsanitary. A person fishing with their open mouth around a tub full of water trying for an apple will invariably deposit bacteria. 2. It's dumb.
Second, Halloween Costumes have nothing to do with scaring people. You don't, as one Scottish friend suggested, have to dress as a ghost or goblin or mummy or witch or serial killer. You can dress as anything you want.
Third, Halloween is for adults. I have made up the following statistic which I stand by: 57% of Americans aged 18 and over attend a Halloween party, compared with only 31% who attend a New Year's Eve party.
Fourth, Halloween Costumes can be 'tacky' or 'tasteless'. (ie: it's ok to dress as Osama bin Laden or the Unabomber - a favorite of a few years back).
Fifth, use your imagination. Following is a list of some of some Halloween costumes of which I approve:
- A college acquaintance dressed in all brown and taped pieces of yellow paper to himself. Voila, he was 'Poop with corn in it'
- My friend Harold has chosen his costume for this year: A Devil with a Mullet
- One year Gavin grew his hair out (which obviously requires much planning and Halloween costume commitment) and shaved himself a bald spot and created a comb-over for a very authentic old man costume
- One Halloween spent in Las Vegas I came upon some young college guys dressed in plain wool trousers, wearing braces (suspenders, for the Americans), and plain grey shirts. They had grown the appropriate facial hair and were, you guessed it, Amish. This costume was made all the better by the fact that they were surrounded by women dressed as kittens and were at the craps table.
- Several friends all dressed as Madonna, but each from a different album
- Some of the old stand bys can be very good: the old lady/man, the nerd, the pregnant cheerleader, the flasher, the priest or nun (wearing sequins underneath), and the cross dresser.
I hope the above tips have been helpful.