Find out how haunted houses stay scary while keeping communicable disease prevention in mind, and learn other Halloween safety tips for 2021.
Haunted house organizers have changed the way they scare people during the pandemic. One organizer described the challenges of keeping people 2 metres apart, to meet physical distancing requirements.
“How do you elicit a really big scare from somebody that you’re scaring when you can’t, you know, jump right in front of them?” says Angela Grant Saunders, quoted in this CBC news story, Pandemic brings new creativity and scaring tactics to haunts across Canada.
For example, she says the actors at Saunders Farm’s haunted attractions in Ottawa are finding new ways to scare guests, by using broader physical movements within larger spaces. They have also rehearsed how to keep distance by stepping into nooks and alcoves that guests can’t see. The entire space is designed so guests are kept on the move. A worker monitors everyone by camera to ensure each group of guests is kept about a minute and a half apart from other groups.
They’ve also stopped using what’s known in the industry as STIFs (“stuff in faces”) because there is no way to sanitize these items. This includes cobwebs and “fear flaps” — pieces of rubber that hang in doorways to separate different parts of the house.
Don’t let bears eat your Jack-o-lantern
And in other news, WildSafeBC reminds us that carved pumpkins can attract bears — as well as deer, coyotes, and rodents. WildSafeBC advises bringing our Jack-o-lanterns inside at night, not carving pumpkins too early, and discarding pumpkins in a responsible manner to avoid attracting wildlife. (Read more about how to keep A WildSafe Yard that doesn’t attract wildlife.)
Celebrate outside as much as possible
Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s chief public health officer, is quoted in the North Shore News as encouraging people to “keep it outside” as much as possible. She advises people to keep distance while giving out treats at the door by using candy chutes, slides, and tongs.
BC Centre for Disease Control offers Halloween safety tips too, including these:
- Stay bright: Wear bright colours and/or utilize reflective tape, buttons and lights for costumes.
- Clean hands frequently: Wash your hands before and after going trick-or-treating. Keep hand sanitizer with you if eating treats on the go. You don’t need to clean every treat.
- Check candy: Check the treats before eating them and be wary of unsealed or broken wrappers. When in doubt, throw it out.
- Don’t crowd: Leave space between you and other groups. Be patient and wait for other groups to finish before taking your turn.
How about you? What are you doing this Halloween to have fun while still keeping safe?