A COVID-19 Halloween forces families to rethink how they celebrate the beloved holiday.

 Halloween during a global pandemic sounds like the perfect plot for a horror movie. When COVID-19 first arrived in the U.S. in the early months of 2020, no one expected the virus to have a controlling grip on the year for quite so long.

Throughout this year, people have been uniquely and innovatively adapting to the challenges brought up by the pandemic, but celebrating Halloween is scared to some.

“I can deal with Easter, I can deal with Fourth of July, but no one is going to mess up Halloween for me,” said Stephanie Griggs Bridgers. 

Bridgers, owner of The Local Buzz in Five Points, said Halloween is her favorite holiday, so she devised a plan to keep trick-or-treating fun for kids and safe for her family.

Bridgers’ idea for a pandemic-friendly way to trick-or-treat is to cover her Shandon yard with small, plastic prize capsules filled with candy. A sign positioned at the front of her yard states that a Halloween candy hunt will take place from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Halloween night. Bridgers believes this will be fun for kids while still maintaining social distancing rules. 

“I was just trying to think of something fun. The kids can still come in [to] our yard, but they can find the candy,” said Bridgers.

Rachel Reeves, a graduate of UofSC, has lived in Rosewood for seven years. “This year I decided to go overboard. With COVID, just kinda everybody [has been] down in the dumps from that,” said Reeves. 

Reeves said that she never gets trick-or-treaters, but she decorated every inch of her yard and house “to give everybody a little bit of Halloween spirit. If trick-or-treating is or is not in play, at least it’s kind of a little something special to do in lieu of that,” said Reeves.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a list of guidelines of what to do and what not to do when celebrating Halloween this year. The most important takeaway is to maintain at least a six-foot distance when dispensing candy, and that is exactly what Conar Scott plans to do.

“What would allow me to sit on my porch and drink beer and still give the kids candy on Halloween night? And I said, ‘throw it through a PVC pipe at them, and they can hold their little bags under there,” said Scott.

Scott, a court researcher, moved from Texas to Columbia with his wife, 7-month-old baby and three dogs six months ago. Halloween is his wife’s favorite holiday and  Scott said they decorated their Texas home more, but he laments that their new home doesn’t have enough outdoor electrical outlets.

“Halloween is giving out candy. I mean, yeah, it’s lights and spooky movies, but the purpose is so kids can walk around and get candy,” said Scott.

Stephanie Griggs Bridgers doesn’t think that traditional trick-or-treating would be safe during the pandemic.

An example of one of the “eggs” for Stephanie Griggs Bridgers’ “Halloween Egg Hunt.”

Rachel Reeves has never had any trick-or-treaters come to her house, and she’s not sure this year’s Halloween will be any different.

Conar Scott is planning to build a PVC pipe to dispense candy to kids on Halloween to allow him to maintain appropriate distance.

Spooky homes in the Midlands