It's hard to believe, but Halloween was once a modest holiday, one in which few adults took part. Of course, those simple days of plastic masks for kids have given way to today's mega-events. Each year, people of all ages scour gigantic seasonal stores and the Internet for costumes that reflect their tastes and personalities. 

One constant over the years, though, has been the scary Halloween costume. Seeing someone coming towards you dressed as a witch, decaying corpse, or other horrific being can provoke startled laughter and give you a fun kind of thrill. Indeed, there's real magic in seeing your family members, friends, colleagues, and neighbors decked out like creatures from your nightmares. Thus, celebrating Halloween is a way to exercise your imagination and hold on to the best aspects of childhood. 

Even if you already have your next Halloween costumeoi in mind, it makes sense to browse online. After all, you might discover an idea that you love even more. Among the countless choices that are currently available are vicious scarecrows, demons searching for souls to harvest, murderous clowns, vampires out for blood, and skeletons out for revenge. The finest of these costumes are eye-catching, and many of them boast bold colors, intimidating weapons, and flowing, elegant capes. 

Of course, movie costumes and TV costumes remain perennial hits. When you wear such an outfit, you'll form an instant connection with anyone who recognizes you as one of his or her favorite characters. You might opt for a vintage personality ― someone such as Morticia from "The Addams Family" or the evil doll Chucky from "Child's Play." On the other hand, you could portray an individual from one of pop culture's more recent smashes. A terrific example is a zombie from the cable show "The Walking Dead." 

Whichever costume you ultimately choose, try to buy it at least a few weeks in advance of the holiday so that you needn't battle crowds at the mall or find that your ideal getup has sold out. Remember as well that you can sometimes save money by purchasing a no-frills ensemble and decorating it with accessories that you make yourself. Further, make sure that your costume offers full visibility and doesn't restrict your mobility in any way. Finally, before you pay for it, verify that you're not allergic to the materials or the makeup. Happy haunting!