CALIFORNIA, U.S. - Halloween is today and in the run-up to the occasion, we've seen celebrities stepping out in their most innovative costumes. Singer Kate Perry's take on Hillary Rodham ...
• Man in Freddy Kruger costume opens fire at Halloween party
• Mixed reactions to Halloween in Australia
• Halloween this year records higher consumer spending
CALIFORNIA, U.S. - Halloween is today and in the run-up to the occasion, we've seen celebrities stepping out in their most innovative costumes. Singer Kate Perry's take on Hillary Rodham Clinton’s red pantsuit from the first presidential debate, however, stole the show; she even got friend Michael Kives to dress up as former U.S. President, Bill Clinton.
The singer is a strong supporter of the presidential nominee and performed at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia earlier this year. She even went naked in a Funny or Die skit to help promote awareness about the upcoming election.
This Halloween, she pulled out all the stops to put herself into Hillary Clinton's shoes - quite literally, including a cropped blonde wig, prosthetics to change her face shape and, of course, the red pantsuit.
And guess who her boyfriend Orlando Bloom went as? He disguised himself as a comical version of Donald Trump. In fact, the actor was only recognised by his bracelet and tattoo. The British star donned a hilarious over-the-top orange wig and mask, with accompanying hat reading 'Make America Great Again' and enormous pretend feet.
He wore a fat suit to fill his figure. He also painted his face orange and bleached his eyebrows yellow to match his peroxide hair for actress Kate Hudson's Halloween bash.
And to make it even more authentic, the "candidates" were accompanied by some serious-looking Secret Service personnel, including Sarah Hudson, who is Kate Hudson's cousin, and Ferras, who opens for Katy on tour.
Trump's hairstyle mocked
Trump costumes have been in high demand ahead of Halloween this year.
Another inventive take was that of a 10-year-old boy, who also decided to dress up as the Republican presidential nominee.
Gage DeVader of Wichita, Kansas, celebrated Halloween by wearing a golf umbrella that his mother transformed into the Republican nominee’s head of hair. The boy added an orange T-shirt to resemble Trump’s complexion and topped off the look with a giant “Make America Great Again” hat made of poster board.
Firing at Halloween party
Two men, one of whom was wearing a costume of Freddy Kruger, the villain from "A Nightmare on Elm Street" (1984), opened fire at a house party early on Sunday morning. Five people were hit by gunfire, but officials say none of their injuries are life-threatening.
The suspects ran off after the shooting.
Meanwhile, cities and law enforcement agencies are discouraging or even banning clown costumes this year after sightings of sinister clowns, some armed with knives.
Authorities fear the bizarre trend could provoke a nasty backlash when children turn out to celebrate the occasion tonight.
Halloween in Australia
In Australia, there have been mixed reactions to Halloween.
Several Australians have voiced their dislike for the festival, saying it has no real meaning.
However, there were those who thought it was fun, with the St Augustine's Anglican Church in the Perth suburb of Bayswater even opening its doors as part of a wider neighborhood celebration.
Recording "witch markings" on Halloween
In the United Kingdom, the public is being asked to help create a record of ritual markings on buildings that were once believed to ward off evil spirits.
The symbols were believed to offer protection at a time when belief in witchcraft and the supernatural was widespread.
The Halloween heritage agency, Heritage England is calling for people to document the marks, which can be found in medieval houses, churches and other buildings, most common from around 1550 to 1750.
Halloween and the economy
The U.S. economy is cheering Halloween with consumers spending more compared to last year.
“Overall, real consumer spending has been relatively strong since last Halloween due to modest consumer price inflation, low gasoline prices, better employment opportunities, and improved household finances,” Chris Christopher, IHS Global Insights’ director of consumer economics, said.
In fact, the team expects spending on Halloween candy to experience the strongest increase since 2011.
The U.S. National Retail Federation also said Halloween spending is at a record high this year, and it’s mostly because millennials want to dress up, go to parties, and participate in other festivities.
In Canada too, Halloween has ballooned into a money-making holiday.
"… Halloween is the kind of holiday where many Canadians will stray from their budget to wear the best costume, buy the best candy and have the spookiest home decorations. Although it is a fun holiday it can put you in debt if you are not careful,” according to Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada's executive director.
Halloween is celebrated every year on October 31, and is especially popular in North America.
Children as well as many adults, some of them costumed as the supernatural or the macabre, observe a night of trick or treat.
On Halloween, pumpkins are carved into lanterns, a tradition that has its origins to the time when Halloween was an ancient pre-Roman Celtic festival.
Back then, vegetables were carved to protect those carrying them. The faces warded off evil and unwanted spirits ancient Celts believed wandered the night during their sacred year-end festival.
The pumpkin, however, is a recent addition to Halloween symbology because it was easier to carve.
Doctors have, however, warned to stay away from alcohol and drugs, especially while carving pumpkins since it can be dangerous.