Halloween 2016: This Election Is Everyone's Idea of Frightening

  • Parade marchers dress up in costumes during the the New York Halloween Parade in New York, N.Y., on Oct. 31 2016.
  • A woman carries political paraphernalia during the the New York Halloween Parade in New York, N.Y., on Oct. 31 2016.
  • A parade attendee dresses up in a Donald Trump mask during the the New York Halloween Parade in New York, N.Y., on Oct. 31 2016.
  • A parade attendee dresses up in a as Hillary Clinton during the the New York Halloween Parade in New York, N.Y., on Oct. 31 2016.
  • Attendees are pictured in costume during the the New York Halloween Parade in New York, N.Y., on Oct. 31 2016.
  • A man is pictured in a Donald Trump costume during the the New York Halloween Parade in New York, N.Y., on Oct. 31 2016.
  • Scenes of the participants during the the New York Halloween Parade in New York, N.Y., on Oct. 31 2016.
  • A parade attendee wears a Donald Trump mask during the the New York Halloween Parade in New York, N.Y., on Oct. 31 2016.
  • Scenes during the the New York Halloween Parade in New York, N.Y., on Oct. 31 2016.
  • Scenes during the the New York Halloween Parade in New York, N.Y., on Oct. 31 2016.
  • Parade attendees are pictured in costume during the the New York Halloween Parade in New York, N.Y., on Oct. 31 2016.
  • Parade attendees are pictured in costume, including one of President Abraham Lincoln (L), during the the New York Halloween Parade in New York, N.Y., on Oct. 31 2016.
  • Parade attendees dress up as Donald Trump and President Bill Clinton during the New York Halloween Parade in New York, N.Y., on Oct. 31 2016.

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New York City - This Halloween, as children overran the streets with merry mischief—collecting candy and gallivanting ghoulishly—there was a slightly more sinister air than usual about the start of Allhallowtide: It’s marking one week from the U.S. presidential election. 

The night provided its standard scares: little ones dressed as ghosts, vampires, witches and warlocks. But perhaps the most frightening costumes among the parties and parades were those masquerading as uncomfortably realistic imitators of presidential nominees Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton—the two most unpopular presidential candidates in American history.

With political clones en masse amid the already underlying election dread, and anxiety about how the election results will be received by both candidates and supporters, the traditional chant for a trick or a treat took on a new light. Though it has become more playful than destructive, the phrase has historically been used to present an ultimatum. Give the children their treat or face misfortune. It is an uncanny call as November 8th looms.

Legendary street photographer Bruce Gilden hit the New York City Halloween parade for MSNBC Photo to capture all of the Trumps and Clintons at their scariest.  

For more feature photography, go to msnbc.com/photography

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