I love fancy dress, I love the idea of it, I love looking at other people in it, and I love planning it. I am though, absolutely crap at it. There is nothing better than a fancy dress party where everyone makes a massive effort, and nothing sadder than when people turn up just with token face paint or a funny hat.

As Halloween rears its ghoulish head once again, the pressure mounts to create the perfect Halloween costume. I have always wanted to be organised enough to make myself a papier mache pumpkin outfit but it has just never happened. Instead I generally end up wearing every black, red and lacy item in my wardrobe and apply make up that makes me look like it’s already the morning after. At least I can say, hands down, that I have never resorted to being a slutty cat.

This year will be different. I noticed this morning that even the gingerbread men in Greggs are dressed up. Googling for inspiration was my first port of call. However I found inspiration limited to a) chubby babies as pumpkins b) slutty generic scary things.

I did however stumble upon something very interesting that got my imagination juices flowing. Altered Images: New Visionaries in 21st Century photography is an art book containing images from 50 contributing photographers from around the world. The images are a blur of the real and surreal, traditional photography mixed with new digital media. There is a dark undercurrent to the images reflecting the darkness in the work of the original surrealists, making you double take.

So before you pencil on your whiskers or adorn your cleavage with glittery cobwebs, take a look at these to spark your spooky imagination. You never know, you might get 1st prize for best dressed!