REUTERS - If Halloween is supposed to be spooky, at least some costumes worn this year by party-goers in the United States promise to be terrifying.
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Some of the more ghoulish trick-or-treaters will be dressed as emergency responders to people sick with Ebola, head to toe in protective clothing, according to costume previews in social media.
Ghosts, vampires and fairy princesses will likely continue to be the most popular costumes for the Oct. 31 fancy dress party. But every year, it seems edgier costumes emerge from news headlines.
Costumes are meant to lampoon, "but the world is getting more serious. This is scary stuff," said Tony Bianchi, manager of New York Costumes in Manhattan.
In past years, the store has sold such ripped-from-the-headlines costumes as White House intern Monica Lewinsky, Princess Diana after her fatal car crash and the Chilean miners trapped underground in 2010.
The Ebola virus that has killed nearly 4,000 people in west Africa seems to be this year's favorite among some planning for Halloween.
"If you wanna scare the hell out of people this #Halloween just dress up as #Ebola," tweeted @samkalidi.
Photos on Twitter have shown costumes based upon Ebola workers clad in goggles, rubber gloves and full-body protective suits.
"Im gonna be #Ebola for #halloween this year cuz thats whats hip now," @Killa_tay_tay posted on Twitter.
Bianchi predicted costumes related to Ebola would be homemade, and said that no manufacturer had produced them.
"There are certain things - you just don't go there," he said.
Some people on social media appear to be contemplating costumes based on militants from the group Islamic State, also known as ISIS, although many said it was a tasteless choice.
"Note to idiots: don't dress up as #ISIS for #Halloween unless you want a realistic bullet wound as part of your costume," tweeted @sandykaren.