How to Celebrate Halloween in a Pandemic

Okay, so that moment you’ve been waiting for since last Halloween, where you rock up to the party and reality becomes slow-mo as everyone turns to stare at the impeccable Euphoria-inspired makeup you spent hours on…isn’t happening this year. But please, hold your tears! Although you can’t be that mysterious girl at the party (because we’re not throwing parties, RIGHT EVERYONE?!), that doesn’t mean you can’t have a very fun, Pinterest-y Halloween with your closest circle of friends. Fear not – you can still certainly sport all the glitter your heart desires, so much so you’ll be finding remnants of it for months to come.

  1. 1. Fall Themed Potluck

    pumpkin pie on table, fall meal

    I know, I know- Cooking? Baking? Who do we look like – the Pillsbury Doughboy? Hear me out, this is not your regular potluck that has you running to the grocery store bakery section last minute and plating things for that “homemade feel” (Just me? Ok, cool). Choose a theme or an autumnal ingredient everyone has to use in their recipes, like cinnamon! If you doubt your individual baking/cooking skills, pick the simplest recipe, like this pumpkin soup, open up a bottle of wine, and make it together. I promise it’ll taste even better because of all the collaborative effort you put in. And if the secret ingredient of teamwork doesn’t make it a delectable dish, there’s always UberEats.

  2. 2. Scary Movie Night

    red haired witch saying I'll put a spell on you

    This one’s a classic – everyone chooses a movie and you have a viewing marathon…maybe vote on a few if you have more than a couple people in your group, or else you’ll have no choice but to pull an all-nighter. If, like me, you don’t want to spend 90% of the night hiding your head behind a pillow and peeking through your fingers because the characters KEEP following the suspicious noises to the basement, then watch a fun classic like Disney’s Halloweentown! A blast from the past never gets old and the comforting, shared nostalgia among movie watchers is the cherry on top. Binge-watching a spooky Netflix series, à la The Haunting of Bly Manor, is also a very good option. If you want to go all out, get your space ready with fairy lights, blankets, pillows, a projector, and your favourite snacks and relive those sentimental childhood slumber party memories.

  3. 3. Cocktail-Making Contest

    Search up some spooky-looking cocktail recipes to make for your circle of family or friends. I’m thinking something in a deep purple hue in a martini glass like this one called The Witch’s Heart. Gather some cocktail garnishes like cherries, berries, olives, limes, even whipped cream and have your mixology dreams come to life. Make enough for everyone, then have your group guess what ingredients went into making each drink. Non-drinker? Imagine the most extravagant virgin cocktail you can think of, add some dark tones, and make it a reality!

  4. 4. TikTok Ghost Photoshoot Trend

    ghost Costume

    I know, I know, TikTok trends move a mile a minute and just when you register one as the newest thing, it’s already old news with seemingly all of TikTok moving onto the next. Nonetheless, I am proclaiming the TikTok ghost trend as viable until Halloween! Grab some old, white bed sheets, cut two eye holes, and throw them over your heads. Have one of your ghost friends wear sunglasses for that indie, spooky aesthetic. The beauty of this trend is that you can do it on your street if you don’t feel like going anywhere. The more mundane the background of your pictures the better, really. Have two friends pose together at dusk in different places, take a bunch of photos, and then have fun editing the best shots to give them a grainy, eerie feel (and, hey, film a TikTok while you’re at it).

  5. 5. Pumpkin Carving

    jack-o-lantern pumpkins

    Yeah, yeah, I know – the creative juices were really flowing for this one. But when is the last time you actually carved a pumpkin? Pick out a variety of pumpkins (go to the pumpkin patch if you have time or just to your neighbourhood supermarket) – big, little, orange, white or multicoloured, and set up a carving station with knives, cutting boards, markers, and any other decorations. Have candles at the ready as the final touches and you can even rate each other’s final products in the end to crown the pumpkin carving champion.

  6. 6. Costume Contest

    Girl in witch hat

    Here we go – what the sixth-grade version of you has been patiently waiting for. Dig out those animal ears and outrageous makeup you have saved just for this occasion and go crazy! Maybe you’ve been dying to ironically or un-ironically dress up as a Riverdale character or add random splotches of blood to an otherwise completely normal outfit (a classic). Everyone can give each other’s costume a score of 1-10 and have the highest score win something, or have a fun photoshoot with your friends with a bedsheet as a backdrop and the self-timer on your phone being all you need.

  7. 7. Makeshift Haunted House

    a skeleton in a chair, jack-o-lanterns, and cobwebs.

    Those LED lights you bought on a whim are finally getting their time to shine. Picture this – every room in your abode transformed into a haunted house theme. Skeletons, ghosts, little jack-o-lantern shaped string lights, decorative stretchy spider webs, and anything else you can find can serve as your chill-inducing room adornments to create different worlds for exploration. Think – that one Modern Family episode when Claire gets “imaginative” with her house of horrors vision.