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Truly Scary Texas-Themed Halloween Costume Ideas

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There’s no shortage of scary stuff going on in the Lone Star State to inspire your Halloween costume this year. A little ingenuity and some duct tape can take you far this holiday. If you’re having trouble thinking of costume ideas, here’s my list of truly scary concepts that are, sadly, not just ghost stories:

President Rick Perry

Rick Perry’s sinking poll numbers show that maybe even Republicans are afraid to send our governor to the White House, which means this costume has what it takes to cross the aisle and scare everyone at the party. Items needed: Suit and tie (preferably red), hair gel and a cardboard podium with a presidential seal. For extra bonus, bring mangled talking points about Mitt Romney.

A Voter Redistricting Map

What could be more terrifying for Texans than a future as unrepresented voters? It could happen if the recently redrawn voter districts are approved by a federal court in Washington, D.C. And if a decision isn’t made by the December 12 deadline, we’re in for a series of confusing election cycles while the courts impose temporary districts that can then be changed in 2014. Try figuring out who’s representing you then. Items needed: A print-out of the proposed maps from the internet, all-black clothes. Tape the maps to your clothes and face-palm yourself repeatedly throughout the evening.

A Forced Sonogram

This is a group costume if we ever saw one. You’ll need one abortion patient and several men in suits, with at least one of them wearing a cowboy hat like Rep. Sid Miller, (R-Stephenville). Texas’ new abortion sonogram law hasn’t become law while its constitutionality is debated in federal court. But there’s still a chance that Texas women will have to obtain a sonogram—and listen to scripted description of the fetus—before an abortion. Items needed: A hospital gown for the patient and a print out of a sonogram. The men should point at the patient disapprovingly.

A Feral Hog

Forget the Chinese calendar. In Texas, 2011 was the year of the feral hog. All culminating with a reality show that debuted this month on A&E called American Hoggers featuring a family of Central Texas hog hunters who are much in demand. “Texas is home to nearly 2.6 million feral hogs, the largest feral hog population in the U.S.” says the Texas Department of Agriculture homepage. “Texas AgriLife Extension Service estimates that statewide annual economic damage caused by feral hogs is $500 million.” Perhaps even more terrifying, the American Hoggers website describes the porcine beasts as, “Creatures of the night that roam in packs and eat almost anything, including their young.” Gulp. Items needed: A pig mask and a leg of lamb.

A Confederate Flag License Plate

This silly thing is still being debated by the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles board, which means it could become a reality despite Texas’ exploding minority population. Want to scare all the people of color? Wear a giant Texas Confederate license plate made out of cardboard. Items needed: Cardboard, paint and an athletic cup would probably be advisable. And maybe protective head gear too.

A St. Louis Cardinal

At the time of this writing, we’re not sure who will win the 2011 World Series, but we can bet that whoever wins, a St. Louis Cardinal will be seen as a real villain to most Texas Rangers fans. Items needed: Cardinals cap and uniform, baseball bat (this serves as handy protection) and heart-shaped locket with photo of Tony LaRussa inside.

A Middle School-Aged Rick Perry Campaign Donor

In the tradition of Children of the Corn comes “Children of the GOP.” That’s what I’m calling the two kids who gave $3,500 worth of campaign money to Rick Perry in August. Who were they? According to Christina Wilkie at The Huffington Post they belonged to recently appointed Texas Railroad Commissioner Barry Smitherman. Smitherman, his wife and his college-aged son all donated the maximum of $2,500 each to Perry’s presidential campaign that month, but it was Smitherman’s minor children’s generosity that really raise some eyebrows (mine anyway):

Their only daughter, who appears to be of middle school age judging from her dad’s campaign website, also donated $2,500. And one of her brothers, who is a junior in high school according to his Twitter feed, donated $1,000. Smitherman declined to respond to questions from The Huffington Post about whether the money belonged to his children or to him.

Items needed: A Justin Bieber t-shirt and some monopoly money to wave around.

The Fast & Furious Arms & Drug Scandal

I don’t know what’s scarier, that the federal government is importing cocaine and providing arms for Mexico’s Zeta cartel or the fact that very few people are talking about it. Needed: This one is best for a pair or couple. You need one U.S. Border Patrol uniform and one Narco costume (cowboy hat, sunglasses, gold chain should do it), a fake automatic rifle and a fake bag of cocaine. If you figure out a way to create a bed to lie in together, you’re sure to win your local costume contest.

The Texas School Budget

Perhaps the scariest thing on this list. Texas lawmakers cut an unprecedented $5 billion from public education this year. Items needed: An adding machine and some illiterate children—they shouldn’t be hard to find

Cindy Casares is a columnist for the Texas Observer. She is also the founding Editor of Guanabee Media, an English-language, pop culture blog network about Latinos established in 2007. She has a Master's in Mass Communications from Virginia Commonwealth University Brandcenter. Prior to her career in journalism, she spent ten years in New York City as an advertising copywriter. During her undergraduate career at the University of Texas she served under Governor Ann Richards as a Senate Messenger during the 72nd Texas Legislature.