Dressing up as your worst nightmare is cheaper than therapy, providing you do it with like-minded people, thus avoiding the accidental triggering of PTSD in the faint-hearted or well-mannered. Like when a friend dressed up as Jimmy Savile, at the height of the Jimmy Savile horror story revelations, and was unable to escort his kids trick or treating, in case someone murdered him; see, also, Prince Harry dressing up as a Nazi.
This year, to avoid such misunderstandings, my bad-taste friends and I (and our more resilient children, the ones unlikely to need too much trauma counselling in years to come) are repairing to a haunted, 13th century farmhouse in the middle of nowhere. A place where things really do go bump in the night. Surrounded by deep forest. Bwah ha ha haaaaaaa.
There, we will scare off any resident ghosts by being even scarier; the ghost of an Elizabethan servant bumbling around a creaky staircase will be nothing compared to one of us dressed up as a Saudi crown prince, accessorised with a necklace of freshly sawn journalist’s fingers.
A portlier member of our party is threatening to come as Kim Jong Un; there is even talk of twinning the North Korean dear leader with the Saudi princeling, as a kind of despotic famine-causing Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee.
With horrors like these, any reveller donning a Donald mask will seem like light relief — there may even be a booby prize, should the dressed-up Donald read aloud those paragraphs about mushrooms and toadstools from the Stormy Daniels book. The horror, the horror.
Another guest is keen to dress up as a suspicious package, the kind that has been turning up addressed to Hillary, Obama, and Robert De Niro. Such a costume requires little more than Sellotape, wrapping paper, and a small amount of explosives; we take our Halloween costume construction seriously, year on year becoming ever more elaborate, more conceptual. (You have to get your fun where you can in middle age, and none of us fancies swinging).
The conceptual Halloween costume that has entirely eluded us, however, is Brexit. We all want to come as Brexit, dressed up as ongoing catastrophic futility. But no matter how hard we try, nobody can come up with a costume idea that works. Which, in itself, exemplifies Brexit. So, if you are stumbling around the countryside this Halloween, and hear screams from an old farmhouse, it will be us, screaming in frustration at our inability to fashion a working costume that represents the unworkable. I guess we’ll just have to stick with murderous dictators. They’re more straightforward.