Illustration by April Morton
Illustration by April Morton

A Very Quarantine Halloween

By Caroline Smith 

There’s so much to love about Halloween: watching your favorite horror movies, the old candy smell of the decoration bin, plastic skeletons and fake spiderwebs haunting your street, the satisfying crunch of dry leaves on the sidewalk. As of now, Mayor Garcetti’s Stay at Home order is still in place over Long Beach and Los Angeles County and the public health crisis needs to be taken as a serious responsibility for all. Nevertheless, there are plenty of ways to enjoy Halloween this October in a safe and responsible way.

Leading up to the holiday, you could decorate your home to bring some cheer- or fear- to your atmosphere.  Maybe you would like to plan ahead and work on a more elaborate costume this year- try sewing or crafting a part of it. You could support the US Postal Service by making Halloween cards to send to friends and brighten their season.

Even virtually, you and your friends can get up to some spooky shenanigans. Virtual watch parties are a great way to connect and get into the mood. Plan an evening for you and your friends to meet, make some snacks, get cozy, and watch Hocus Pocus or What We Do in the Shadows to your heart’s content.

Your coven of friends can hop on a Minecraft Halloween server event and play like it’s 2012. Other games like Among Us and Jack Box Party Pack can be spooky with enough determination. Over Zoom, you can challenge each other to draw their best ghost, pumpkin, or witch; play Mafia- a classic for friends with trust issues; or see who can find the creepiest, most cursed, or funniest image in an internet scavenger hunt. See who can make the best costume from the things in their closet in under ten minutes or a pumpkin carving contest. Even a PowerPoint night where each person comes up with arguments, such as all the plot holes in the Halloween town series (there’s a lot of them) or ranking their past Halloween costumes.

If you want to do something in-person, you can still do so responsibly. Try having an outdoor movie night, like I did. My friends and I gathered in a backyard, brought blankets to sit on (6 feet apart from each other), masks and snacks, and we watched the original The Witches using a projector. And after, if you have time, you could try communing with ghosts and learn what unfinished business they have.

On Halloween, go for a walk around your neighborhood, with your mask of course. Look around at all the spooky decorations adorning homes. Take it a step further by getting in costume with your pals to bike, skateboard and roller skate around town.

First year Elena Garcia has her plans for Halloween, “I still plan to get dressed up with my friends. Only two friends because we want to limit the number to be safe. We’re planning on going to a pumpkin patch, then over to someone’s house to watch movies.” She continues, “We’ll be staying safe by wearing face masks to the pumpkin patch and distancing from others.”

Trick-or-treating, haunted houses and parties may take a year off this time around, but that just means Halloween next year will be that much more special. For now, stay safe, stay responsible, and stay spooky. Happy Halloween!