Seattle Residents Share Ideas and Tips on How to Have a Safe and Safer Halloween Despite COVID-19


Seattleites are determined trick-or-treaters. Rain or hail? No problem, there is a fleece for that. But when the pandemic struck in 2020 and cities like Los Angeles called off the trick-or-treat, many wondered if Halloween would become a ghost itself. Seattle neighborhoods rose to the challenge, however, in surprisingly creative ways. So even though the nation’s top infectious disease expert Dr Anthony Fauci has allowed outdoor trick-or-treating this year – especially for those who are already vaccinated – people who are feeling very cautious can still love to reuse these ideas on how to deliver safely. spooky fun and candy at home or in the neighborhood.

Gizmos and gadgets

Last year, an original thinker from Ohio made a 6-foot candy chute to propel candy at a distance. Her video went viral in September, and Seattle residents raided their attics in search of pieces and decorations.

My husband made a chute from a 10 foot cardboard tube, which we decorated with streamers and propped it up on a sawhorse. He rigged a wire to a bell that the deceivers rang for service. It worked very well. The notable costumes we saw that night were kids in an inflatable shark and a yellow submarine – which of course have a built-in distance. We can improve our fall with some of the ideas here.

On the one hand, this year we’ll be marketing our drop so people know where to find it – using a crowdsourced map like the one Melinda McClure Haughey of Columbia City created last year to map compliant Halloween sites. to COVID, from houses to pumpkins. Haughey says 2,300 homes registered to participate last year. You can find this year’s card at You can even see who has the full-size candy bars!

“I had to change the card category from ‘chutes’ to ‘remote candy delivery’ because so many people had gotten creative with safe ways to deliver candy!” Haughey said. “We saw pulley systems, candy throwers, people dropping candy from the porches on the second and third floors. She made a chute powered by a leaf blower to “throw” candy into people’s bags.

“I think the constraints (of social distancing) forced people to be creative and have a lot of fun with how they would organize themselves for the holidays,” Haughey said. “We also saw more people donating for the decorations than ever before. “

In Tacoma, Kass Howdoroski formed the Candy Chute Network on Facebook with a map ( “We had a lot of people just going, ‘You saved Halloween, it’s the best I’ve had in a long time. It really felt like a community effort, ”Howdoroski said. One of the highlights of the past year was a pirate ship flying over the wire to deliver candy.

Mount Baker’s Alan White flaunted his 25-foot PVC drop on Nextdoor last October, and on Halloween he estimates he had about 90 visitors. “We have reviewed all of our candies. People loved it.

White covered the drop stand with a ghost costume – the ghost’s mouth distributed the candy. This year he plans to add a smoke machine for more weirdness. One problem: Due to the steep drop, the candies picked up a significant speed. Some of the smaller visitors, excited to approach their mouths, were hit by candy. If you have a similar setup, maybe have a basket underneath and have the kids wait to collect the goods.

White said his neighbor had an interesting twist on remote delivery – by tying his electric drill to a wire and pulley, he was sending candy to the children waiting below. In Phinney Ridge, Sheila Cane’s husband used a fishing rod to roll up a witch’s skeleton with chocolate down and back.

Elsewhere in the North End, Aley Mills’ son Willis was only too happy to borrow their dog’s ball launcher to toss candy from the candy porch. Meanwhile, at Queen Anne, Karl Fezer took it to the next level with a voice-activated treat dispenser that worked like a tennis ball serving machine. (You can see the specs here.)

In contrast, Siobhan Wilder’s Operation Queen Anne was entirely human-powered – her team of assistants tossed candy from the balcony, porch, and “graveyard,” with flashlights ready to hunt for escapees.

Serve yourself

Self-service methods have also abounded last year. Prefabricated bags were arranged on tables, ideally in several stations to minimize clutter. Abdiel Rosa Martinez from Tacoma put bags of candy on a “potions” table as she dressed as a plague doctor.

Others hung bags of treats on clotheslines, fences, put them in monster-shaped trash cans, or hid them in the yard under gravestones.

Halloween at home

In search of even safer ways to enjoy the holidays, some people have celebrated with family at home, invited friends to their backyard, or held a block party.

Angela Fleagle’s boulder in Tangletown hosted a costume parade, in which children grabbed treats from the sidewalk tables of the houses they walked past. “Everyone on our street liked it so much, they said they wanted to do it every year, COVID or no COVID! Said Fleagle.

Seattle is offering Trick or Street one night block permits for Halloween or – new this year – Dia de Muertos. (You can apply for a permit at If you live on a Stay Healthy Street, no permit is required.

Other people have gotten even more elaborate with their pandemic Halloween setups. Nancy Johnson from Phinney Ridge has turned her garage into a haunted house with karaoke and a peach bowl for her grandchildren’s treats.

Ultimately, “Halloween is the original community party,” said Aleister Black, the creator of the Nightfall orphanage in West Seattle, an elaborate pop-up haunted house performed annually with actors. Donations benefit a local food bank.

“I think in general, if we can do it safely, if we can find the right balance between COVID and life, communities can find ways to come together,” Black said. “I think this Halloween isn’t just about fear or fear, it’s about hope.”

And sometimes hope is like a tennis ball thrower.


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