Staff Picks: Fear & Candy in a Pandemic

Photo by David Menidrey on Unsplash

We’re in the lead-up to a very spooky night—no, not November 3! We’re talking October 31st. Whether you believe in ghosts, goblins, ax murderers, killer pumpkins, or none of the above, Halloween is a time when we traditionally seek out fear (and candy). Why should this year be any different? Sure, there are all kinds of real-life horrors keeping us up at night, but that doesn’t mean we can’t indulge in some fun Halloween-related festivities this weekend. 

Our staff shares what they’re planning to get up to—from scary movies to favorite tricks or treats to pandemic-approved costumes. What are you doing?

Halloween used to mean dressing up and going to a bar for dancing and drink specials. However, since COVID makes going outside more treacherous than encountering any zombie or vampire, my Halloween will be spent with my significant other dressed up as Joe Exotic and Carole Baskin from Tiger King watching horror movies, playing horror games, and drinking ghoulish wine and IPAs.

—Andrew Hulett, legal fellow

My plans for Halloween are unfortunately not going to be the stereotypical college student, party-filled weekend, but it’ll be fun nonetheless! I’m planning to watch some horror movies with my roommates and—if I find a vampire costume in time—dress up just to take some pictures.  I want to watch movies that I haven’t seen before, so Sinister and The Babadook are two options I’m considering – though I wouldn’t mind rewatching my favorite, Ringu.

— Kamilah Arteaga, social justice programming intern

Even though we can’t participate in the usual Halloween festivities this year because of the pandemic, I won’t pass up the chance to celebrate one of my favorite holidays. So instead of meeting in a large group, my household plans to stay home and get creative. From carving pumpkins, making costumes out of papier-mâché, and baking Halloween themed treats, to watching horror movies, reading scary stories, and taking a nighttime walk, we’ll be doing as much as we can to celebrate.  After all, Halloween this year will take place under a full moon… whatever that means.

—Meredith Thompson, development associate

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. It was my mom’s favorite growing up so I take it very seriously and despite the current state of our world, I will be in costume. Although I will not be handing out candy because of the virus transmission risk, I’ll be eating it! A small sacrifice. My partner and I are dressing up as coordinated devils (“The Sleepy Devils” as seen in this photo) and we put together Halloween gift baskets of stickers, themed socks, and lots of candy for ourselves and our housemate. Leading up to Saturday, we’ve watched the mandatory line-up of Hocus Pocus (1993), Goosebumps (2015), and The Haunted Mansion (2003) with a planned finale of the Rocky Horror Picture Show.

—Izzy Oldfield, paralegal

There’s a tiny silver lining in every crisis, and for me this Halloween it’s that I don’t even need to pretend that I don’t want to dress up in a costume this year. I’m moving houses within my city the day after Halloween, and so on Saturday night I might take a break from packing up my kitchen to watch some classic sitcom Halloween episodes, specifically Parks & Recreation‘s “Greg Pikitis” and 30 Rock‘s “Stone Mountain.”

—Peter Bjork, web content manager & managing editor

My connection to Halloween for the last several years has been through trick-or-treating with my two nephews, who live close by. Every year, they don costumes and go from house to house with other kids from the neighborhood and the adults follow along, admiring Halloween decorations and taking pictures. This pandemic year will be different, of course. My sister’s block has multiple families with children of trick-or-treating age. Using the neighborhood text chain, they’ve created a plan for a socially distanced Halloween. (Fear not: I’ve created a bubble with my sister’s family during the pandemic.) Each family is going to set out a table at the end of their front walk or driveway with separate baggies of candy for each child. Then, at a set time, the kids can go safely from house to house in their costumes with appropriate pandemic masks, collecting their candy, and we adults can watch and wave from the door. After this new version of trick-or-treating, my nephews are going to pick a line-up for a Halloween movie marathon at home.

—Nicole Carr, development director

After looking through my local thrift store, I found the perfect dress for a costume of Carrie from the 1976 film adaptation of Stephen King’s classic. Carrie happens to be my favorite scary movie, and I am going to watch it to get inspired for my costume. This year, to stay in the spooky spirit and be safe, my housemates and I are going to dress up in our costumes together and eat lots of candy!

—Caroline Peters, HERE for Climate intern

My family and I are dressing up in costumes while we play games, watch movies (nothing scary), drink plenty of wine, and get stomach aches from eating lots of candy. I’ll be dressing up as a pirate, arrrrr! My favorite Halloween candy is Twizzlers, but really anything but candy corn.

—Anna Clay, member services assistant

On Friday, October 30, I’m excited to join my friend Tori Noquez‘s Zoom magic show (free and open to the public). She’s bringing some magician friends together to celebrate her birthday, Halloween, and to raise funds for Crisis Text Line, a free 24/7 support for those in crisis to be connected to a trained crisis counselor. To continue the celebration, I also will watch one of Tori’s favorite movies, especially around this time of year, The Nightmare Before Christmas.

—Emily Newman, education coordinator