Adapting Our Halloween Traditions For a Covid-19 World

Ghosts with Jack-o-lanterns

Traditions. It is the center of fond memories from the past to future generations. Whether it’s getting the family together for a tasty turkey on Thanksgiving, leaving cookies and milk for Santa Claus, or handing out candy for Halloween. You can’t help but feel a sense of comfort and unity as you reminisce on those past memories. Among the laundry list of worries faced in the world of COVID-19, one problem faced by modern-day society is how to continue our traditions given the new circumstances. And what’s currently front and center of that problem is Halloween! Halloween is riddled with all sorts of strange traditions that we have grown accustomed to. Here’s how some of our most popular Halloween traditions can still be enjoyed safely in a Covid-19 world.

Trick or Treat!

The Halloween tradition of shouting “Trick or Treat” in exchange for candy is without a doubt the top five thoughts when thinking of the particular holiday. For kids, Halloween is filled with screams, laughter, and what feels like an endless supply of candy. With our current pandemic, the CDC has named this popular Halloween tradition (going door to door for candy) as a high-risk activity and strongly advises against it. If you decide to trick or treat, here are a few ways to participate safely.

Wear a mask! You may be thinking, “my costume comes with one, so I must be all set”. Unfortunately, that’s not gonna cut it. According to Melissa Held, MD, if you plan on trick or treating, you must wear a 2 ply face mask. Additionally, she recommended incorporating hygienic actions, such as using hand sanitizer, in between every stop. Practicing safe distancing and limited group sizes were also recommended, but get the full list here.

Can’t Forget Haunted Houses!

Haunted Houses are a little strange, to begin with, as you are paying someone to scare the living daylights out of you. But hey! If you’re into that, it’ll create some of the funniest memories you’ll ever have with family or friends. Dating back to 19th century London, the Haunted House tradition is inextricable from the Halloween holiday. But, like many traditions associated with Halloween, the pandemic has forced us to adapt.

Were haunted houses your favorite part about Halloween? No worries, I’ve got a few ideas on how you can have your own haunted house extravaganza! One idea is to go the extra mile with Halloween props this year. Such as bringing your front door to life with simple everyday supplies: sheet wood, sharpies, and some paint! Here’s an article that provides very easy DIY haunted house props to spruce up your Halloween. If that still doesn’t fulfill your haunted house craving, do it yourself (DIY) Haunted Houses are a lot easier than you think! Check out this video of an easy build on a budget. Want a video of how to get your whole house a haunted house makeover? Here’s a video of a Halloween enthusiast that spent a little around $500 to make an 800 square foot haunted house in his front yard!

Carving Pumpkins!

This tradition can be traced back to an old Irish myth based on the person, Stingy Jack. According to the myth, Stingy Jack conned the devil and as punishment wasn’t allowed in Heaven or Hell thus being stuck as a wandering soul. The Irish natives then started carving turnips (then pumpkin after immigrating to the US), to scare him away.

Carving pumpkins is a fun way to bring your inner creativity out, with a Halloween twist. But you can’t help to worry if, by some chance, this tradition was another victim to 2020. Lucky for you, carving pumpkins is one of the most resistant traditions! According to the CDC, carving pumpkins is a low-risk activity that is a safe alternative for Halloween celebrations. Tired of your go-to design and want to match the 2020 vibe? Well, check out these boo-utiful designs that’ll keep trick or treater on their toes!

Planning on not going out this Halloween but still want to celebrate? Check out these two articles on safe alternatives to celebrate here and here.

Thank you for reading and good luck with your Halloween traditions!

About the Author

Christian Redding is a student at one of New Hampshire’s premier state colleges. When not gaming or running to his next class, you might find him working, this semester, here at! Adapting Our Halloween Traditions For a Covid-19 World is Christian’s second, in a series of blog posts, he will complete during his Fall 2020 internship.


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