Halloween: When masks are cool
Ooooh, Halloween - the time of year kids and cosplayers plan for months in advance. Costumes are designed, parties are planned and for the kids, the most bountiful routes through the neighbourhood are plotted. Yes, well, the tables have turned this year.
The doors to many big events, parades, and haunted houses will stay nailed shut for 2020 but that doesn’t mean Halloween is cancelled. On the contrary. Carve that pumpkin, sew that costume, get crafty and enjoy the spookiest time of the year.
First, follow the protocol set out by the health authorities. Don’t go out or hand out candy if you feel ill, wash your hands, and wear a mask – as in a covid protection mask - not Freddie Kruger.
Tips for trick-or-treaters
- Incorporate a non-medical mask into your costume. (visit the fabric store and make a Halloween-patterned mask)
- Trick-or-treat with gremlins from inside your bubble and keep your distance from other monsters and unicorns.
- Don’t ring doorbells or touch doors or railings. Yell “TRICK OR TREAT, SMELL MY FEET or GIVE ME SOMETHING GOOD TO EAT!” (That always worked for me!)
- Wash your hands and disinfect the packages before eating the candy
Tips for handing out candy
- Bundle up and sit on the driveway or porch to hand out candy to the brave little ghosts and witches.
- Package the candies into little bags and space them out on a table.
- Use a slide, a catapult, or fishing line to drop the candy into the goblin’s goody bag from a distance.
Where to get scared in B.C. and Alberta
If going door-to-door isn’t in your comfort zone, check out these events that will either delight the family or scare the be-geezers out of the older crowd. Be forewarned, the scary part about all these events is they will sell out fast. Book tickets in advance.
Haunted Corn Mazes
I get tingles up my spine just thinking about haunted corn mazes. The Maan Farms & Estate Winery in Abbotsford goes all out to cause endless years of nightmares. The Reapers haunted “Maze of Terror’ in Chilliwack is ready to scare you, too. Over on Vancouver Island, the Ocean View Estates Corn Maze in Saanichton sounds less scary…more my speed. They also have pumpkins to purchase.
Scary Events, family fun drive-bys and ghostly walking tours
The Haunted Sea returns to the Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site in Richmond BC. The month-long Halloween event has guests of all ages follow a path into the darkest depths of the sea. From 3-5 pm on October 31, pint-sized ghouls can wander the streets of Steveston Village to collect goodies.
Family friendly Halloween events are happening during “Ghouls’ Night Out” at Heritage Park in Calgary and ZooBoo is held at the Calgary Zoo. Both events are aimed at the miniature monsters in your house.
Take the kids (ages 12 and older) on a haunted walk through Old Strathcona in Edmonton with the Edmonton Ghost Tours. Fact or fictional tales will delight everyone.
“Dark” presented by Fort Edmonton is an online experience so you can leave as many lights on as you want while you virtually wander through Hotel Selkirk looking for ghosts.
Slayland at the PNE in Vancouver is keeping the scream meter dialled up for the older crowd. For the first time ever, witches, superheroes and aliens don’t have to hide their true identities. Yup, costumes are allowed. (No face paint or face coverings though) Tickets are bought in advance. Also at the PNE is this cool idea…the Drive-Thru Tricks & Treats. Buckle the horde of Halloweenies in the car and head down to the site. Drive through the staged events of spooky characters and Halloween décor. Every vehicle leaves with a bag full of goodies.
Usually Cobb’s Adventure Park in N.E. Calgary is all fun and games, but during Halloween, it’s the Field of Screams. Haunted houses and Halloween inspired outdoor events take over. However, the Pumpkin Palooza during the daylight hours will entertain the entire family. Tickets are sold in advance.
The Vancouver Police Museum is actually the former city morgue where maybe…just maybe there are still ghosts lingering about. Scared yet? The Morgue Ghost Tours is an evening of tours and tales but, limited to two nights and I’m happy to say…is sold out already. That means I can build up my courage for next year.
Fun facts about Halloween from History.com
- It started out over 2000 years ago as a celebration of the final days of harvest and the crossing of spirits over into the other world. People (as in those that are living and not passing into the other world) would wear costumes to ward off ghosts.
- Did you know more people are buying costumes for their pets?
- Oh, here’s a good one for all your singles…skip Tinder. just toss apple peels over your shoulder. When the peels hit the floor, they will fall in the shape of your future husbands’ initials!
- In the USA alone, over $6 billion is spent annually on Halloween making it the second largest commercial “holiday” after Christmas.