This weekend the nation’s city centers will be invaded by drunken witches, pissed pirates, and lairy nurses as Halloween ‘09 arrives with a ghoulish inevitability.

Halloween divides opinion. People either relish or dread the opportunity to dress up like Harold Shipman, get drunk, and stagger around town (without the fear of getting sectioned).

I wasn’t a fan until recently, because like a typical boy I didn’t think about things like ‘costume’ until the night before. This turned the actual event into a mad scrabble to find something to wear. I’d usually settle on wrapping toilet paper around 3/4 of my body and then heading out, only to find that before I made it to the first bar my costume had liberated itself from me and drifted off into the night, leaving behind only a limp few squares trailing from my heel.

My lack of forethought and effort made the rest of the night a horrible ordeal with me stuck in an anxious costume limbo, neither being part of the fun or in my normal clothes. As a result, year after year, I felt like a tit.

These days I’ve changed my approach and my last two costumes have been, if I may say so myself, magnificent. This year I’m going for the tiger costume from our Animal Magic video, which I think will be another home run. But thinking about the highs and lows of dressing up got me thinking, why should people have all the fun?

I reckon dogs look forward to Halloween like they look forward to being neutered. They get left at home alone while their owners get to go out and have all the fun, fireworks terrify them to the point that they soil themselves, and they don’t even get to dress up. Or they didn’t until now, because some creative lower East side New York arty types have arranged a Halloween party, with costumes and everything, for their lower East side arty type dogs.

Here are the pictures. (Is this a new genre? Canine party photography? I hope so)

It’s an oldie but a goodie. Hot damn, hot dog!

Lobster thermi-paw anyone?

I have no idea what a box of Crayola crayons has to do with Halloween, but it look like a herculean effort form this this poor pooch.

The thing about Halloween is that there’s always someone with the same outfit as you, but done better. It’s inevitable, like death or that the Conservatives winning the next general election.

This was actually done with Tip-ex.

The clothes truly do make the man, or dog, and he’s certainly captured the glumness of Eeyore.

The power of Christ compels you, to party!

I have a theory that people’s Halloween costumes reveal a lot about their character, their desires, and what society forces them hide under the rug. These guys look pretty butch.

The eyes say it all.

You won’t like me when I’m Ang Lee.

Finally someone has come up with a fitting tribute for the life and career of John Belushi. Rest in peace Jake Blues.

This last one isn’t from the same event, but it’s by far my favourite. There’s surely a joke about Scotty in there, but I’ll let you mull that over in your own time.

So this weekend remember, a dog isn’t just for Christmas it’s for Halloween too.