The final countdown for the thrilling night has begun and this Monday night could be one of the most exciting and craziest nights of the year.

The concept of Halloween has evolved with time but its origins date back to the 18th century, with links to several ghostly and scary fables that are still believed to be true.

A more amiable tradition, that of trick-or-treating and playing skittish games is followed worldwide; it sees people dressed in either spooky or comical costumes playing tricks on each other and sharing ghostly anecdotes at parties, parades and conventions.

Popular games like snap apple, finding the ring (or a straw) inside the Barnbrack fruitcake, ringing doorbells and running away, playing knock-a-dolly and participating in treasure hunts are just a few of the fun past-times that makes the night one of the best of the year.

People decorate their houses with decorations meant for this festive season - paper ghosts, witches, goblins and carved pumpkins with lamps inside; relish traditional Halloween food like the popular Barnbrack cake, Colcannon, nuts, corn and apples.

Incidentally, the tradition of the jack-o-lantern - the carved pumpkin with a lamp inside - is followed to keep bad sprits like Jack away from the family.

Here is a compilation of the best costume ideas so far. If you have still not decided what to wear, check out these ideas, one last time and start preparing now because it is never too late!

Happy Halloween 2011!

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