A real-life version of that one Snapchat filter.EXPAND
A real-life version of that one Snapchat filter.
Benjamin Leatherman

The 10 Best Costumes We Saw During Halloween 2017

When it came to impressive costumes, Halloween weekend didn’t disappoint.

While out and about at various parties and events in Scottsdale and elsewhere (including the Wicked Ball at Talking Stick Resort and the Haunted Hotel Ball at The Saguaro), we encountered plenty of eye-popping and attention-grabbing get-ups.

There were enormous dragons, impressive acts of nerdery, intricately created outfits, spot-on takes of beloved characters, and plenty of clever references to television shows and movies.

Here are the best costumes we saw in metro Phoenix during Halloween 2017.

One more job and he's done.EXPAND
One more job and he's done.
Benjamin Leatherman

Baby Driver
Spotted at the Haunted Hotel Ball at The Saguaro

It seemed liked everyone saw Baby Driver in theaters this past summer. So it’s a bit surprising that almost no one recognized that this attendee of the Haunted Hotel Ball at The Saguaro was dressed as Baby, the film’s protagonist. He even sported the exact jacket and ear buds.

He lit up when we IDed his costume, telling us that few people knew who he was portraying. Glad we could make your night, pal.

Aaron Peterson of San Diego (left) and Mitch Davis of Phoenix.EXPAND
Aaron Peterson of San Diego (left) and Mitch Davis of Phoenix.
Benjamin Leatherman

American Gladiators
Spotted at the Wicked Ball at Talking Stick Resort
Long before American Ninja was a thing, American Gladiators was the cheesy competition show that everyone watched. The syndicated television program, which originally aired from 1989 to 1993, featured ordinary folks battling with muscle-bound gladiators in over-the-top contests.

Aaron Peterson of San Diego was a fan of the show back in the day and wanted to portray some of its gladiators for Halloween. So he enlisted his pal, Mitch Davis of Phoenix. "I'm an '80s child and it's been a dream of mine to be an American Gladiator," Peterson says. "It's a very comfortable costume, breathes really well, and then on top of that, you get to carry around giant Q-tips."

Go, Gadget, go!EXPAND
Go, Gadget, go!
Benjamin Leatherman

Inspector Gadget
Spotted at the Wicked Ball at Talking Stick Resort

Speaking of television shows from the '80s, Chandler resident Ryan Smith used his love of bumbling cartoon investigator Inspector Gadget to inspire his Halloween costume. He told us he grew up watching the show, which featured the late Don Adams as the main character.

“I was definitely a fan of the original cartoons,” he says. “Nobody else has really done it as a costume and you don't see it very often.”

Our mom told us never to accept candy from weird people. Ice cream, on the other hand...EXPAND
Our mom told us never to accept candy from weird people. Ice cream, on the other hand...
Benjamin Leatherman

Ice Cream Truck
Spotted at the Wicked Ball at Talking Stick Resort
Creepy doesn’t even begin to describe this hard-to-miss sight we spotted at the Wicked Ball. Operated by an insidious looking female clown, it cruised around the lobby area of the event blaring its chimes and dispensing actual ice cream bars and Popsicles to people.

No idea if the frozen treats contained anything nefarious.

"Kidnap the Sandy Claws/Lock him up real tight."EXPAND
"Kidnap the Sandy Claws/Lock him up real tight."
Benjamin Leatherman

Oogie Boogie and Friends
Spotted at the Wicked Ball at Talking Stick Resort
The Nightmare Before Christmas is a staple this time of year. Typically, folks portray either Jack Skellington, Sally, or both. So when we encounter something different from the classic film, it stands out.

This group, for instance, came to Wicked Ball dressed as the villainous Oogie Boogie and the trio of Lock, Shock, and Barrel, his accomplices from the flick. Not only do they get points for originality, the costumes were excellent as well.

Scourge of the Mother Brain.EXPAND
Scourge of the Mother Brain.
Benjamin Leatherman

Samus Aran
Spotted at the Wicked Ball at Talking Stick Resort

Sam Lawson of Mesa spent more than four months recreating the spacesuit of Samus Aran, the protagonist of the Metroid video game series. And, yes, he’s well aware that the character is a woman.

"It's just a cool character. I know she's a female and I'm not, but I just wanted to do it for Halloween,” he says.

The longtime Metroid fan spent many a long night crafting the get-up from EVA foam, and he was pleased with the results. “The armor looks totally awesome,” Lawson says.

And by the way, he wasn’t wearing a swimsuit underneath.

Where's your copy of the Handbook for the Recently Deceased?EXPAND
Where's your copy of the Handbook for the Recently Deceased?
Benjamin Leatherman

Magician's Assistant from Beetlejuice
Spotted at the Wicked Ball at Talking Stick Resort
Megan Fulp of Phoenix worked with her stepmom to create a costume depicting a famous background character from Beetlejuice who was seen in the waiting room for the afterlife.

“We made it together,” Megan says. “It took us about a month and a half, and we put a lot of hours into this. It was fun to make it, and it's fun to take pictures with people.”

As you’d guess, she’s a huge fan of the 1988 Tim Burton flick that inspired her costume.

“I couldn't even tell you how many times I’ve seen the movie,” Fulp says. “I love Beetlejuice.”

The 10 Best Costumes We Saw During Halloween 2017EXPAND
Benjamin Leatherman

Game of Thrones Dragon
Spotted at the Wicked Ball at Talking Stick Resort
Jessika Pastrana of San Tan Valley was inside this towering beastie seen at the Wicked Ball. It was inspired by the dragons of hit show Game of Thrones and took her approximately 300 hours of work to create.

Besides boasting light-up eyes, the creature also would occasionally blast out jets of CO2 from its nostrils, which wowed the crowd at Talking Stick.

The 10 Best Costumes We Saw During Halloween 2017EXPAND
Benjamin Leatherman

Zoltar
Spotted at the Wicked Ball at Talking Stick Resort
First things first: This recreation of the mystic arcade machine, which helped transform Tom Hanks into a kid in the movie Big, wasn’t able to grant our wish, no matter how many times we tried.

That said, it was fantastic to look at and actually accepted money and dispensed tiny cards. Well done.

Make way for Ghost Rider.EXPAND
Make way for Ghost Rider.
Benjamin Leatherman

Ghost Rider
Spotted at the Wicked Ball at Talking Stick Resort

Casey Tsosie and his wife, Michelle, came all the way from Santa Fe to attend this year’s Wicked Ball at Talking Stick. And they came prepared.

The couple astounded plenty in attendance at the event with their awesome-looking version of Ghost Rider, complete with bone-covered motorcycle.

"We just love to do this,” Casey says. “We love making costumes and seeing people's reactions. It's awesome."

And, for the record, he was portraying Johnny Blaze, the first incarnation of the legendary Marvel Comics character.

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