This story is not a trick, and it’s certainly no treat: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released guidelines for families wanting to celebrate Halloween late next month.
Those guidelines — which you can read here — discourage people from most of the fun activities associated with Halloween.
- No trick-or-treating
- No costume masks
- No indoor costume parties
- No haunted houses
The reason, of course, is the COVID-19 pandemic. The CDC says all of the activities listed above represent a high risk for exposure.
The COVID-19 pandemic can claim another victim: traditional Halloween trick-or-treating.
According to guidelines released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the practice of going door-to-door asking for candy on Oct. 31 is a “higher-risk” activity that should be avoided.
Among the other higher-risk activities are crowded costume parties, indoor haunted houses and going on hayrides.
The CDC does offer some medium- and lower-risk alternatives.
For example, instead of handing out candy hand-to-hand, participate in “one-way trick-or-treating where individually wrapped goodie bags are lined up for families to grab and go while continuing to social distance.”
The CDC says small group costume parties held outdoors are medium risk, as would be visiting a pumpkin patch or a haunted forest.
However, if screaming will likely occur, “greater distancing is advised. The greater the distance, the lower the risk of spreading a respiratory virus, the CDC warns.
Voice of America
A car horn beeps and the horror begins: a bloody murder and rampaging zombies. But this drive-in haunted house in Japan protects against the most terrifying enemy of all — coronavirus.
Inside a car, guests can scream as loudly as they like, with no mask required, as hideous creatures daubed in blood swarm towards them.
In fact, the new format might even be scarier than a traditional haunted house, producer Kenta Iwana, 25, told AFP.
“At the drive-in haunted house, guests are confined in a car so they can’t escape the horror until the end,” he said.
A disturbing video shared on social media shows the moment a group of black teens held a white teen at gunpoint while they stole items from him.
The video, filmed near a park in Olathe, Kansas, on Halloween, shows the white young man being threatened by four black teens who point at least three guns at him while telling him to empty his pockets and hand over his cell phone.
“What do you want?” the teen asks the assailants.
It’s inevitable — every Halloween, there are costumes that are bound to spark backlash or, in the case of Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau, whose past costumes involving blackface and brownface recently resurfaced, result in a major political scandal. Some schools have canceled Oct. 31 festivities in an effort to avoid potential costume controversies, while others, such as Furman University in South Carolina, are issuing guidelines and urging students to avoid wearing something that might “reinforce stereotypes or [be] otherwise demeaning.”
Though Halloween is still a week away, some get-ups have already fanned the flames of controversy thanks to concerns about cultural appropriation or accusations of bad taste. In Australia, Kmart has pulled a bride costume aimed at girls as young as four after an outraged mom started a petition saying it normalized child marriage. And according to High Country News, a publication covering tribal issues, the popular costume and lingerie retailer Yandy has quietly removed its Native American-inspired outfits after a Change.org petition started last year fetched more than 26,000 signatures. (Yandy, which also yanked a “sexy” “Handmaid’s Tale”-inspired costume following backlash last year, continues to sell Day of the Dead, geisha girl and other takes on cultural dress.)
Scottish School Bans Halloween Costumes to Promote ‘Inclusivity’
Students at a school in Edinburgh, Scotland, have been forbidden from wearing costumes to an upcoming ‘Halloween’ party in an effort to promote inclusivity and lower costs for parents.
The parent council of St. David’s RC Primary School reportedly made the decision over concerns children who do not celebrate the holiday might not feel ‘included.’
“The Catholic school shares a campus – including a shared dining hall – with the non-denominational Pirniehall Primary School, where children are allowed to dress up,” the Daily Mail reports.
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A Kentucky man who wore a Nazi costume and dressed his 5-year-old as Adolf Hitler for a local Halloween event is defending the anti-Semitic outfits by calling himself a history buff.
Bryant Goldbach of Owensboro, Ky., posted a Facebook photo of himself dressed as a member of Hitler’s Schutzstaffel, or SS, his young son dressed as Hitler, wearing a fake mustache and a blazer adorned with swastikas, and his daughter (who wore a fairy costume).
The photo was taken Thursday in downtown Owensboro at an annual event called “Trail of Treats,” during which children trick-or-treated at local businesses. The family costume understandably offended many attendees, and afterward, Goldbach shared his indignation in a Facebook post that has since been deleted. “Anyone who knows us knows that we love history, and often dress the part of historical figures,” he wrote in a post. “Tonight as we walked we saw people dressed as murderers, devils, serial killers, blood and gore of all sorts. Nobody batted an eye. But my little and I, dress as historical figures, and it merits people not only making snide remarks, but approaching us and threatening my little 5 year old boy.”
Skeleton of a baby discovered at the ‘birthplace’ of Halloween in Ireland
The 3,000-year-old remains of a baby were found during an archaeological excavation at a site in Co. Meath that is believed to be the birthplace of Halloween.
A fully intact skeleton of a baby between seven and 10 months old was discovered at the base of a 1.5-meter ditch at Tlachtga, on the Hill of Ward, Athboy.
Archaeologists do not believe the child was the victim of any type of human sacrifice ritual at the site.
“We may never know what caused the death of the child. The skeleton probably dates back 3,000 years and was found in the bedrock at the base of a 1.5m ditch,” Dr. Stephen Davis, lead archaeologist on the site, told the Irish Examiner.
He described the remains, which will be taken to the School of Archaeology at University College Dublin for further study, as “an exciting find.”