It's scarier than a witch or gremlin: an extended government shutdown that has frightened consumers and markets alike.
As the shutdown and looming debt ceiling remain top of mind for many, the buzz is inspiring the hunt for a clever Halloween costume.
At Halloween Express, sales of political costumes and masks—especially those of Uncle Sam and President Barack Obama—have risen. The company's chief operating officer, Holly Bowling, attributed the increase to a not-so-great economy that's making buyers more emotional.
"In election years, they're very strong and then they taper off as things settle and people get back to their normal lives," Bowling said. "But then when you have a current event like this, it causes a spike."
(Read more: It's alive! Halloween industry scares up big money)
Although there has been an increase in political costume sales, it's too early to gauge the ultimate outcome since most Halloween sales happen closer to the event, she said. Even though 2012 was an election year, Bowling estimates that political costume sales will rise this year from a year ago.
"It used to be that it would just be popular during election years," she said. "Now, it's just a staple."
Bowling said she has seen more sustained interest in political costumes since Obama's first election in 2008.
On Twitter, consumers have already begun brainstorming the best way to illustrate the shutdown.
User @Gliomach wrote, "For Halloween I'll wear a suit and demand candy while doing nothing. This year I'll be 'The Government Shutdown' #halloweencostume."
Another, @Chelsey_Arline, also tried to capture government inertia through silence, posting, "Thinking of going as the government shutdown for Halloween. I'll tape a donkey & an elephant to myself & if someone says hi I'll say NOTHING."