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Salem's Best Dressed: the spookiest, most elaborate, and just plain craziest Halloween costumes of 2013

Posted by Jaclyn Reiss  November 1, 2013 07:20 AM

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As the witching hour approached in Salem on Thursday, thousands of people flocked to the historical downtown known for the colonial-era witch trials to celebrate Halloween.

One of the best places to commemorate the spooky holiday, Salem hosted some of the most elaborate costumes in the country.

Take a look at our countdown of who was deemed "Best Dressed" by Boston.com in Salem this year:

11. Ridiculously Tall Minion
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Whomever was behind this mask should be praised: the completely DIY Despicable Me outfit that stretched roughly 7 feet into the air attracted lots of stares and snapping cameras.

10. Darkness and Light
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Couple Chris Sciaraffa, 23, and Amanda DeRosa, 21, said they dug deep to figure out their elaborate theme: Sciaraffa went as "darkness in the heart of man," while DeRosa said she represented light. "We figured that making our own costume theme was better," Sciaraffa said. "It represents our personalities and our relationship." Sciaraffa crafted his whole outfit from scratch, while DeRosa said she hunted for thrift-shop finds to complete hers.

9. Present-Day Aaron Hernandez
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Peabody resident Ross DeRoo, 19, posed as former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez.

8. The Mad Hatter
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Salem resident Chris Scott, 36, said his entire Tim Burton-inspired outfit was comprised of vintage pieces. Scott sure also knows how to slap on some makeup: it took hims less than 20 minutes to paint his face on, he said.

7. The 2013 World Series Champs
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This group dressed as the World Series-winning team ran through the streets of Salem, sparking “Let’s Go Red Sox” chants and doling out high fives to anyone who would take them. This is the type of energy that wins championships, fellas.

6. Live Scarecrows
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Two grisly scarecrows on the Commons stood so still that many thought they were decorations… that is, until the pair would change poses, soliciting gasps of surprise from unknowing passers-by.

5. King Kong
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Salem dads Matt Smith and Phil Higgins deserve points for creativity with their family's King Kong theme, casting their 2-year-old son Felix as the title character.

4. ZZTop
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The Hildebrand family were all good sports in ZZTop outfits. The inspiration? Dad’s very long – and very real – dark-colored beard, he said.

3. Hilltop Steakhouse
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Sam Magro, 28 of Beverly, mourned the closing of Saugus’ iconic Hilltop Steakhouse with his apparel.

2. Lord Voldemort
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People were lining up to take pictures with 38-year-old Salem native Joshua Madruga, who for the past four years in a row has dressed as the bone-chilling villain from Harry Potter. Madruga said it took him three hours to apply the veiny white makeup to his face, neck and hands.

1. Zoltar
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The life of the Salem-street Halloween party, Josh Witham, 32, of Amesbury doled out business cards with a fortune on the front and his contact information on the back. His ultra-portable wooden booth took 45 hours to build, he said. Once Halloween is over, he'll take it apart and save the wood for next year's to-be-determined costume.

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Jaclyn Reiss can be reached at jaclyn.reiss@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter: @JaclynReiss

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