Happy Halloween? it’s still not out of the question

Increasing in popularity over the years, Halloween is now the favorite holiday of many. Due to COVID-19, many are wondering what Halloween will look like this year, as well as how to safely celebrate. 

Though California health officials strongly recommend not to go trick-or-treating and encourage folks to refrain from gathering, there are alternative ways to celebrate. One just has to keep an open mind. 

One sweet way of celebrating Halloween is to have a movie marathon complete with an orange and black, bat-shaped and pumpkin-flavored candy feast. California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) provides students with free access to HBO Max, which has a  spectacular selection of horror films.

“Hocus Pocus” delivers a taste of nostalgia with family-friendly frights. There is the classic slasher route, where viewers can enjoy watching the incomparable Jamie Lee Curtis as she runs for her life (again) in the “Halloween” series. For a marathon viewing, tune in to watch Sigourney Weaver fight against space monsters in the “Alien” series, all of which are available on the streaming service. 

Another fun idea is to watch the Conjuring Universe in chronological order. The films line up as “The Nun,” “Annabelle: Creation,” “Annabelle,” “The Conjuring,” “Annabelle Comes Home,” “The Curse of La Llorona,” “The Conjuring 2” and finally, “The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It.” 

HBO Max also features some great classic horror. Kitschy, fun and full of vintage reminiscence, you can watch titles such as “Mothra v Godzilla” and “The Blob.”

Instead of viewing traditional Halloween films, CSUMB students can also virtually stream “Creature Feature,” a feature length burlesque film, through the Beauty of Burlesque to celebrate. Otters that happen to reside in SoCal can attend the event in-person, which will play in Sherman Oaks at the Westfield Fashion Square drive-ins. All ticket proceedings are given to the Marsha P. Johnson Institute, which provides resources and protection for Black transgender individuals.

Although parties are out of the question this Halloween, that doesn’t mean decorating still can’t provide a taste of normalcy. Target and Michael’s are tried-and-true places to get modern Halloween decor with Dollar Tree and the 99 Cents Store offering low-cost options. For something a little more unexpected, check out any local vintage and thrift stores as they are known to have statement-making Halloween pieces. 

In addition to watching movies, there’s nothing like the comfort of Halloween baking to bring ease and familiarity. Halting social circle celebrations doesn’t mean sacrificing the delicious baked goods. Funfetti cupcakes complete with orange frosting and sprinkles, Pillsbury’s ghost or pumpkin printed sugar cookies and Trader Joe’s haunted house chocolate cookie kit are hands-on activities for all ages, allowing people to add their own special spooky twist to traditional treats.

Though Halloween will be radically different this year, there’s nothing to stop folks from celebrating responsibly and having a great time. Memories can still be made, pumpkin shaped Reese’s can still be devoured and horror movies can still be jumped at. All it takes is a little creativity.

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