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Rumors Of Halloween’s Demise Have Been Greatly Exaggerated, So Many Demons, And More.
The Bite #129

Rumors Of Halloween’s Demise Have Been Greatly Exaggerated, So Many Demons, And More.

October 06, 2020

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Rumors Of Halloween’s Demise Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

By Brandon Hardy

Historically, Halloween has always been a last hurrah before the arrival of the colder season. We’d dress up to ward off ghosts and celebrate the harvest, gathering to fill ourselves with the energy of togetherness before we found ourselves spending more time tucked away from the winter. This year, we’ve already spent a LOT of time tucked away. The itch for togetherness is stronger than ever, and I think we’re going to need to scratch it before winter sets in. BUT! We have to be smart, and we have to be safe.

This Halloween brings a lot to look forward to; it’s going to have a rare Blue Moon, it falls on a Saturday, and Daylight Savings takes hold at 2 AM on November 1st. If we needed an omen, we have three – all great excuses to celebrate into the night. At first glance, it looks like a lot of the staples are at risk, but we just have to get creative. How do we transform our traditions while staying safe, and what new traditions can we create?

Never fear — ingenuity is here.

Firstly, come up with a budget for decorating — it doesn’t have to be big — and then focus most of that money on lighting. Light has the power to totally transform your space, so stock up on colored bulbs, string lights, and candles. Keep light sources low as light from below feels unnatural and automatically moody, and let it cast lots of shadows. Add to that something as simple as rearranging your furniture, even temporarily, and you’ll be amazed at how different your space will feel before you’ve even put out any “real” decorations.

If you’re on a budget, focus on picking up a few decorative pieces you love. Fill out the space around those items by hitting the Dollar Store – they have lots of options that can flesh out your decor for very little money. This applies outside, too. Think of decorating your yard as a gift for yourself and your neighbors. With fewer haunted houses and parties to go to, I think people will start driving around to look at decorations like they do at Christmas.

Outdoor movie screenings became popular this summer, so why not bring the projector out to your newly-decorated yard and have Halloween movie nights? Invite family and friends you know will respect safety guidelines, set up seats to maintain safe social distancing, and encourage people to bring their own snacks.

Looking for a quiet night in? Lucky for us, some of the best Halloween traditions are perfectly suited like watching scary movies at home, reading scary stories, carving pumpkins, or going for socially distanced walks through the leaves.

If you’ve got kids who are looking to trick or treat, don’t despair: it can happen, but it will take some planning. Reach out to your neighbors to see who’s looking to participate and map out which households are both interested and taking proper precautions. Handing candy out to kids like normal is not advised – useful alternatives include leaving candy placed separately out on the porch rather than in a big bowl and even sliding candy down a tube so everyone can stay distant. Avoid contact with the candy beforehand by using gloves when giving it out, keeping sanitizer handy, and avoiding cross-contamination.

Have you been working on a costume? Wear it to work. Wear it to the store. Wear it to your socially-distanced movie night. Or even just wear it at home – if you’ve got other people in your household, encourage everyone to participate. On your own? Do it anyway, despite the silliness. You have my permission.

Halloween has always been what you make of it, and that doesn’t have to change this year. What changes is how we make the most of it. With an eye for bringing the holiday spirit into our homes and being safe when we leave them, I think we can make Halloween 2020 one for the books.

Working in a number of disciplines, Brandon Hardy is a New York-based artist. A longtime contributor to New York’s Village Halloween Parade, his work has been featured on Broadway, television, in haunted houses, and in stage productions across five continents. Be sure to check out his TikTok for detailed tutorials on how to make your home spooky this Halloween.


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