These local Halloween revelers are proof that when you study the choice of a costume, a glimpse of the true character often emerges.
Toki Barron, 38, of Mt. Lebanon said that in a nod to his mother's Japanese ancestry, he chose an image that figures prominently in that culture's tradition: a ninja.
Mr. Barron will wear a dark hood and mask and wield a fierce, sword --plastic, of course.
Adam Seese, who said people tell him he resembles -- both in physique and sense of humor -- the late comedic actor Chris Farley, will dress as a Chippendales dancer. He said he will mimic Mr. Farley's iconic Saturday Night Live skit.
The Bethel Park man, 22, who does stand-up comedy at local clubs, will wear black pants, a black bow tie, and a white dress shirt with cut-off sleeves and cuffs around his wrists.
Georgeann Kleckner, 74, of Whitehall, will be clucking in her one-piece yellow chicken costume as she hands out treats to senior residents of the Baldwin Health Center.
It is not the first time the woman, who has volunteered for a dozen years, will go for laughs on a day typically associated with horror.
"I dressed as a clown once,'' she said.
Humor is also the driving force behind the eventual costume choice of Chris Magulick, 35, of Bethel Park. While he said he hasn't made a final choice, he admitted he is leaning toward "Kermit the Frog in a tuxedo.''
Harmony Ziccardi, 8, of Pleasant Hills, said she will transform into another species for the haunting season: a leopardess.
Not only does the she like leopard prints, but she said it is a nod to her school mascot -- a jaguar.
As a comic book afficionado, Michael Cmar, 26, of Jefferson Hills, knows it merely takes the swish of a drawing pen to fashion a goatee or mustache on a character to launch a stereotypical villain.
"I'm going to wear a felt goatee to create an evil version of myself,'' he said.
Mr. Cmar's aspirations aside, Nicki Taglieri, assistant manager of Costume World in the Strip District, said superheroes from the Avengers film are among the top costume purchases this Halloween; characters such as Iron Man, Captain America and the Incredible Hulk.
Costume prices range from $70 to $90 for adults; $40 to $60 for children.
The Kosmach brothers, Isaac, 4, and Joshua, 7, of South Park, will trick-or-treat as, a Dalmation and a cowboy, respectively,
Isaac is a "101 Dalmations'' movie buff, while Joshua is a fan of the cowboy look -- hat, boots and sheriff's badge.
Even big brothers cannot resist the ageless lure of cinema and the Old West.
Bob Horvath, 63, of California, plans to dress as buccaneer Jack Sparrow from the popular "Pirates of the Caribbean" adventure film series.
"I'm a big fan of swashbucklers,'' he said.
To mimic a Johnny Depp-style pirate, Mr. Horvath will wear a ruffled shirt, black wig, eye patch, boots, wide pants and a big hat with feathers.
His brother, Jim Horvath, 64, of North Strabane, will attend the same Halloween party but dress in what he calls a ''dapper'' cowboy in white shirt and vest -- but with a menacing demeanor -- in the tradition of the Maverick TV series of the early 1960s.
"I'll have a fake .44-caliber gun strapped to my side,'' the John Wayne fan said.
"It's Halloween; I have to be somewhat evil,'' he said.holidays - neigh_south
Margaret Smykla, freelance writer: firstname.lastname@example.org.