Halloween costumes are getting trendier and more imaginative.

For many years, the list wasn't too exciting. Traditionally, people opt for familiar costumes.

For example, the number one Halloween costume four years ago was a pirate, an outfit that's still high on the selection list. Some say the pirate costume always will be number one because it's not too difficult to create and isn't costly.

Number two on the list in 2006 was a witch or vampire. Next came a Star Wars character or a superhero.

Always popular are the Elvis costumes or any character from the Wizard of Oz or Disney.

Occupations sometimes influence costume choices, with people dressing as doctors, nurses and nuns. Then there's the frightening lumberjack. Anyone with a mask and chain-saw is spooky.

But over the past several years, the trend has been more creative and contemporary.

Current news events have influenced costume choices.

A few years ago, the Bernie Madoff mask was a hit. The stock market has been scary ever since. One time, many years ago, career military man Oliver North was a popular choice, owing to the news of the day.

Here's a countdown to the current top ten: Pollsters say the number ten costume will be a police officer, military person or doctor.

Retro outfits will be number nine on the list, such as a flapper, hippie or poodle-skirt.

But costumes will continue to reflect current events or those things we see in the daily news, say the experts.

For example, the number eight costume choice this year will be anything Michael Jackson, the King of Pop.

A much more creative choice might be number seven selection the BP oil spill. To pull if off, people are actually wearing oil-stained jumpsuits sporting the BP corporate logo. They might even carry a dead fish to complete the look.

The number six choice will be the ubiquitous pirate costume, buoyed by the film series Pirates of the Caribbean.

The number five costume choice will be any of the characters in Alice in Wonderland, thanks to the film release.

Costume folks tell us the Avatar guy; the one with the blue body suit and blue body makeup, will still be seen, and it's number four on the list.

Hard to believe, but the number three costume choice is supposedly any of the characters from the TV show Jersey Shore, such as The Situation and Snooki. I'm not sure if Jersey Shore is scary, but apparently the costume shops are pushing those outfits this Halloween.

If you plan to go trick-or-treating as a vampire of vampiress, or maybe Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, you'll be number two on the list of most popular costume choices, bolstered by recent vampire movies.

And which costume is number one?

This should come as no surprise.

The top outfit choice in 2010 will be Lady Gaga. There are about seven different commercially produced Lady Gaga costumes being sold. Or you can simply design your own using whatever outrageous things you have in your house. Sounds like an invitation for creativity.

What surprises me is that none of the lists include the classic, old symbol of evil the devil.

The devil doesn't make the cut. He's simply not a popular Halloween costume choice. Go figure.

This suggests that folks who believe Halloween is all about devil worship might want to reconsider. On the other hand, maybe the devil is in the details.

After all, for those of us watching our weight, there's nothing more evil than candy corn, Snickers and Tootsie Rolls.