Celebrating Halloween ft. Covid-19

I have always loved Halloween – loved, loved, LOVED it. I love candy, I love making Halloween cookies and other snacks, I love carving pumpkins, and I love dressing up. This year is obviously different, and as Halloween fast approaches, college students everywhere are trying to figure out how to still get into the sinister spirit within the confines of a pandemic. Fear not friends! I have plenty of tips for having a ghostly, ghoulishly, great time this year.


I talked to Yael Dryer, about her plans for the holiday – and her bubble is going all out for this Halloween! They’ve made orange and green lemon bars, went apple and pumpkin picking, mixed Halloween themed cocktails (for my readers over 21), made matching Halloween masks, and scenting their house with fall candles – cinnamon, apple, pumpkin pie – with more baking projects still to come. (Fun hint: if you microwave marshmallows for a few seconds, they can be stretched to create very realistic and delicious spider webs for cake or cupcakes).


Scary movie marathons are also a very popular suggestion, and totally combinable with any of the above snacking options. All of the group chats I’m in have been blowing up with suggestions – Hocus Pocus, The Adams Family, Friday the 13th, Ghostbusters, The Shining, Corpse Bride, The Haunting of Bly Manor – the list goes on and on.


Moving onto my favorite part of Halloween as mentioned above – a ton of my friends are still planning to dress up (yay!) It’s one of the easiest ways to celebrate, since if you have a simple outfit planned (or are just really brave) you can go to class right in your costume. You can even plan your mask to match! I have friends going as Dio from Jojo, a serial killer, and fellow UR blogger Kayla Zilke is planning to be a Slumberjack.


And of course, decorating is a great way to set the mood. I recently picked up my very own pumpkin for carving, and am looking into grabbing some cute pumpkin lanterns. I know friends who are covering every inch of their living spaces with cobwebs, ghost cutouts, bat string lights, and skull goblets. Even just a few plastic spiders or orange and black streamers can make any dorm more festive, although of course, they can’t hold a candle to my mom’s lawn skeleton flamingos.


Many of the clubs and organizations on campus will be hosting their own events – there’s “Mix or Treat”, a music mixing competition by the Audio Engineering Society, Pumpking painitng sponsored by UR Late Night, and “Hallowgreene” – a Greene centered event with snacks, cider, and spreading info about he services they offer, just to name a few. The University itself will be holding a Halloween movie night on October 24th, as well as stargazing, mask decorating, DIY luminaries and campfire stories all on October 30th. You can register for all these events on CCC.


But even with all the fun that a holiday brings, life still goes on. Senior Anna Gardner will be working a MERT shift, protecting us crazy kids on campus. I myself will be co-moderating a panel on Police Reform for the University’s Debate Union. And I know plenty of people who are going to be doing homework or studying for exams. In the same way that when I was a kid, whether or not it was a school night determined how late I was allowed to stay out, schoolwork will continue to play a part in the festivals (honestly, the spookiest part of Halloween is midterms *shudder*).


So whether you’re dressing up to drink hot apple cider and watch The Nightmare Before Christmas (it’s a Halloween movie!!) consuming an entire bag of miniature Reese’s cups, or hunkering down in the library to cram for a test, have a spooky, scary, (socially distanced) Halloween!

About the author

Madeleine Fordham

My name is Madeleine Fordham, I'm from Amherst, Massachusetts, and I am a sophomore at the University of Rochester. Right now I am planning to double major in American Sign Language and theatre, with clusters in web design and British history. I also do every extracurricular activity I possibly can, including (but not limited to) ASL Club, Debate Union, TOOP, Todd Theatre, Campus Times, and Quidditch—go UR Thestrals!

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