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10 Ways to Celebrate Halloween During a Pandemic

If your experience is anything like mine this semester, college is looking a lot different in the midst of a pandemic. With the majority of my course load being taught online, a typical day has begun to consist of an all day pajama party in my dorm room fueled by caffeine (and probably sponsored by Zoom). In this time of uncertainty, it’s important to enjoy the small things in life, and with October upon us, the season for scary movies and pumpkin spice is well underway! So I’ve compiled this list of 10 ways to feel a little spooky and get into the Halloween spirit!


(Re)watch Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas

There’s always the debate of whether this Burton classic should be considered a Halloween or a Christmas movie, but I’ve always considered it appropriate for both seasons (mostly because this gives me an excuse to watch it twice a year!). Even if you think you’re bored of Halloween, like the main character Jack, watching all the lovable, creepy characters of this movie try to spread Christmas cheer could make you change your mind!

Invest in a pair of Halloween themed socks

If you haven’t developed an obsession with holiday socks, now is the time. What better way to show your love for all things spooky than with some adorable patterned socks? My personal favorites are these ghost socks from Target … Yes, they glow in the dark!

Toast up some limited edition Pumpkin Pie Pop-Tarts

When I came across these in my local Wegmans mid-September, I could barely make it through the drive home without tearing open a pouch. With the classic pop-tart base, vanilla glaze, and stuffed with a spiced pumpkin filling, these are truly the breakfast of champions. 

Make your own Jack-o’-Lantern

I recently found out that not everyone spent an October night once a year pulling out pumpkin guts at their kitchen table and was shocked. If you’ve never carved a pumpkin (or even if you have), making your own jack-o’-lantern is a great way to get excited for Halloween! You can even use the finished masterpiece to make your dorm or suite feel festive! Plus, if you do it outside you can avoid the mess and maintain social distance.

Have a ghost photo shoot

If you’ve been on TikTok in the past couple weeks, you’ve probably seen the newest trend where people are cutting holes in sheets or wearing them underneath sunglasses to create a cool ghost costume to wear in these eerie but hilarious photoshoots. Whether you’re bored or just need some new Instagram content, this is a super fun way to celebrate the season!

Indulge in Starbucks new pumpkin cream cold brew (because basic never tasted so good)

As an avid lover of all things pumpkin spice, I obviously had to try Starbucks new pumpkin themed drink they released this year—and let me say, they hit the mark with the Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew. While there is almost nothing that could make cold brew coffee better, topping it with pumpkin cream truly elevates it to a new level, giving you a caffeine boost to get you through tons of spooky activities.

Go apple picking

Since planning socially distanced events inside can be challenging, what better time to enjoy the outdoors and spend time with friends in an apple orchard? Plus, most apple orchards are family owned, making it a guilt free use of that COVID-19 stimulus check!

Have a horror movie marathon

As a horror movie fanatic, my favorite part of October is having an excuse to pop some popcorn and grab a blanket for a night of binging on all films creepy/crawly. One of my favorites, the classic Silence of the Lambs can currently be found on Netflix alongside Carrie and many others.

Bake a tube of Pillsbury Halloween cookies

If you grew up during the 2000s, Pillsbury “Ready to Bake!” shaped cookies have probably been a staple treat for every season. For Halloween, the sugar cookies come sporting a ghost or pumpkin design, and with nearly no prep involved, there’s no reason not to add a tube of these to your grocery list!

Decorate your dorm room

Sure, it might not be necessary (or financially responsible) to find the closest Spirit Halloween and spend your entire grocery budget for the week on that adorable ghost decoration and tacky battery fueled clown that maniacally laughs every time you enter its vicinity, but … let’s write it off as self care. Treat yourself by decking out your dorm room for what is, objectively, the best holiday of the year!


While Halloween festivities might look a little different in the midst of a pandemic, there’s no reason to ditch celebrating all together! Turn up “The Monster Mash,” grab a couple of pumpkins and have fun!

Lily is a sophomore at SUNY Geneseo studying neuroscience with intentions of progressing on to medical school. In her spare time, she enjoys listening to music, hiking, and trying new coffee shops.
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