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Halloween does COVID-19: Global ideas for safe spooking

Halloween may be just around the corner, but the COVID-19 pandemic shows no sign of slowing. Not to worry! Around the world, fans of this annual fright fest have been working hard to come up with ways to celebrate this annual event while respecting current social distancing rules.

Website TMZ reports that in Michigan, United States, a man named Matt Thompson has set up a trick-or-treating zip-wire system which sees a ghostly figure deliver candy to kids — or beers to parents — all from a safe distance. This original and fun idea is perfectly suited to the current situation, nailing the spooky theme to boot.

Halloween
Around the world, this year’s Halloween celebrations could be seriously impacted by the ongoing covid-19 pandemic. Image: AFP/Frederic J. Brown

Similarly, YouTube channel Wicked Makers came up with a terrifying “candy slide” decorated with skulls. This two-meter-long tunnel delivers candy to kids in costume.

Horror at the drive-in

One key trend of this COVID-tainted Halloween is the haunted drive-in. In the United Kingdom city of Manchester, a spooky drive-in called “Scare City” will offer an immersive open-air movie theater experience, complete with props and actors to give visitors a fright. The Halloween drive-in will be open from October 9 to November 1 and will screen horror movies such as “The Ring” and “Annabelle”.

With visits to traditional haunted houses off the agenda in the current context, Orlando, U.S. has been particularly inventive with its haunted drive-in. The attraction, called “The Haunted Road,” offers visitors a real-life storytelling experience, with actors and special effects creating a theatrical event. It’s a great way to get spooked from the safety of your car.

Several drive-in experiences are planned in California, including one “Stranger Things” themed event. Meanwhile, in Japan, an entire festival will be geared up to the public health crisis, with the first “With Corona Horror Fest 2020” in the Lagunasia theme park near Nagoya.

With the help of Kowagarasetai, a specialist horror attractions and events company, the park has created a series of attractions that maintain social-distancing rules. Thrill-seekers can, for example, visit haunted toilets — inspired by a Japanese urban myth — which will only be accessible to one person at a time and systematically disinfected after each visit.

Another attraction invites visitors to be shut in a coffin with a window, allowing an actress in costume to come frighten them while also keeping them safe from contact, droplets and anything else lurking outside. Frights are guaranteed without compromising health and safety. IB

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