[Editorial] Halloween Isn't Cancelled, Pandemic or Not

As I write this, we’re around three months away from Halloween, and if you’ve been around this site for any length of time, you know that is a pretty big deal for us. That said, we’ve been in possibly the bleakest possible timeline for the last four and a half months, or about two and a half years in pandemic time. Aside from the pandemic that is still raging on in the States, we have civil unrest that hasn’t really gone away for a while now, an unraveling of centuries of racial injustice, and top it all off, we have a presidential election coming up in November, and not a whole hell of a lot else to look forward to.

Personally, the most boggling thing is how Halloween is set to play out, all that aside. October 31st falls on a Saturday, and at 2am on November 1st, Daylight Savings Time ends. Oh, and it’s a full moon. To call it epic is an understatement.

As a former haunt actor, a former drag performer, and a horror aficionado, it pains me that Halloween isn’t going to be the same this year as it has been in the past. No costumes, no trying on all of the things at Spirit Halloween, no going to the theater to catch the latest popcorn horror flick, no haunted houses or corn mazes, and I don’t want to think about the logistics of socially-distanced trick or treat.

But Halloween isn’t cancelled. Not by a long shot.

I mean, yes, Halloween Kills and Halloween Ends have been delayed, but work with me here.

I’m not about to go on some Disney Channel “Halloween is what it is in your mind and in your heart” sort of nonsense. But in some sense, maybe I will. As has been the case for everything else in this COVID-19 world we’re living in, during these (groan) unprecedented times, we must adapt and overcome. As I’ve grown fond of saying, when the going gets tough, the tough get crafty.

The tough also appear to be going outside without masks, but as far as that goes, you may reap what you sow.

Instead of lamenting what could have been, I think it’s worth trying to figure out what we can do to enjoy our favorite holiday without putting ourselves and others in harm’s way. If you’re looking to get out and gather, I can’t say I recommend it, but that is your prerogative. For those airing on the side of caution, there is always a way. With everyone using Zoom, maybe a costume party that’s as BYOB as one can get is in order. Fortunately, stores like Spirit Halloween are always open online. There are loads of short horror films available on YouTube for free, from channels like CryptTV, so maybe a watch party among friends with the help of Skype or Discord. For those with a bit of spare change to throw around, pick your favorite streaming service and hop down the horror film rabbit hole.

And the candy? Come on. Grab a bag from the grocery and treat yourself. We’re all on edge and could use a little chocolate right about now. And with the current state of affairs, those that would feel awkward about buying a big honkin’ bag of candy can maybe ease their anxiety, especially when people are fighting over toilet paper and hand sanitizer like it’s mid-March all over again.

Is Halloween going to be the same this year? Probably not, and I don’t know how confident I am in Halloween 2021 at this point. But if we take a minute, accept things for what they are at this point, and make do with what we have, then perhaps the real most wonderful time of the year can suck just a little less.

And for those pining for some sense of normalcy? Totally valid. But if all of our favorite horror icons can wear a mask or hours worth of make-up, maybe thirty minutes in ALDI isn’t the worst thing we can do.


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