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Six horrifying abstract concepts to dress as for Halloween

We get you suited and booted for fright night with some of the scariest costume concepts this hell world has ever seen

Happy Halloween Dazed readers! You know what’s scary in 2017? Not goblins or ghouls or monsters. (Well, apart from the monsters we carry inside ourselves). What about impending nuclear war? The unforgiving acceleration of capitalism? Being ghosted by that guy you’re into? All scary af. Here’s how you can dress to impress this Halloween – readers, put away your witches hats, stop texting your friend asking if they’ll go as the dead girls from The Shining with you and delete those Facebook pics of you as Satan from 2009. This is how to truly terrify in original fashion.

THERESA MAY’S COUGH

Here’s a scary scenario. You’re home alone, in bed. It’s dark, your eyes are closing, you start to drift off. And then… You hear something. It’s quiet at first, and then… Oh god. There’s something there with you. It’s getting louder... an insistent, dry, rasping noise. Oh god oh god oh god. You close your eyes and pray for it to go away. A moment passes. You think it’s gone. You breathe a sigh of relief, and then it rattles like the skeleton of a national health service that’s been set upon by the hungry rats of privatisation. You know exactly what it is. It’s Theresa May’s cough. Fucking terrifying right? Right. How exactly is this a costume, you ask? Simple. Drink water all night and interrupt people. Make everyone around you so uncomfortable with long, cough-spewn rants they are desperate for you to shut the fuck up and leave. Optional: wear Tory blue and an ill-advised Frida Kahlo accessory.

GHOSTING

This year, why not dress up as the physical manifestation of our generation's fear of intimacy, general inability to communicate despite spending 14 hours a day on WhatsApp, and desire to have a constant buffet of noncommittal dating options available for those ‘you up?’ texts at all times? We’ve all done it, convincing ourselves that it’s somehow kinder to ignore someone, sending them slowly insane as they over-analyse every conversation we ever had rather than tell them we aren’t interested. For this look, just get a white sheet, cut some eye holes, and sit swiping for someone better on Tinder all night.

2017 HIGH STREET FEMINISM

‘HEY LADY!’ Screams a millennial pink billboard with a woman on it in a dress that looks like something you wore on a night out in Milton Keynes when you were 17 (just me?). ‘GRL PWR!’ ‘SLAY SISTERS!’ ‘WOMEN RULE THE WORLD!’ You stare at the airbrushed size 6 model and realise – the answer was right in front of us this entire time. Maybe all we needed to achieve total gender equality was... a £17.99 sequin bodycon minidress sewn together overseas by women in unsafe working conditions for 3p an hour?! Seriously though, is there anything more totally fucking haunting than the way feminism has been transformed into a word to be printed meaninglessly across cheaply made fast fashion t-shirts? For this look, pop into your local mega retailer and select the most offensive example you can find. Bonus points if it has the word ‘revolution’ on it.

STUDENT LOAN DEBT

Was it really worth it? Congratulations university graduate: you know who Foucault is, but you also owe some really ominous company tens of thousands of pounds, and your barely living wage job isn’t exactly helping you make a dent in it. A serious note: did anyone know the interest would be quite so cold-sweat-inducingly high when we signed up for these things? Did anyone (like, you know, our parents, who if they went, would have enjoyed totally free university education) bother to read the fine print? Anyway, it’s done now, so the best you can do is make a Halloween costume of it. My suggestion: print out your latest SLC statements and make some paper chain shackles. Whenever someone asks you what you’re supposed to be, shout words like: “post-structuralism”, “performativity”, “simulacrum” at them until they leave you alone.

FAKE MELANIA

The conspiracy theory that says everything about the state of the world in 2017: Melania Trump has been replaced by a lookalike, hiding a dark, terrifying truth about FLOTUS’s actual whereabouts behind big sunglasses and a prosthetic nose. The pinnacle of an all-encompassing maelstrom of misinformation, this look is easy to achieve with some oversized shades, a trench coat, wig, and stand in close proximity to a narcissist. Other fake news you could consider going as: the time conspiracy theorists thought Hillary had been replaced by a doppelganger (miss u 2016), the giant crowds who turned out for Trump’s election (a costume for one), or the flat earth itself – just wear a giant blue and green disc around your waist. Easy.

AN INSTAGRAM PIC WITH NO LIKES

Literally one of the scariest things in 2017. We’ve all been there (don’t lie) – the pic goes live, you’re into it, the fit is fire, think you might even hit three figures on the favs. You check back three minutes later...not a single response. “Must be bad 3G,” you think, before realising you’re at home, connected to high speed broadband. No, this is just tumbleweeding out of control. It’s too late to delete, just gotta ride this one out.

So this Halloween, don a cardboard cutout modelled on the behemothic social platform’s aesthetic to really capture one of our most zeitgeisty fears – an archived image of absolutely no-one giving a shit about you.