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MAKING THE MOST OF A PANDEMIC HALLOWEEN BY ZEA KARMADI

With Halloween coming up this weekend, it’s easy to feel as though the pandemic has thrown a wrench in your initial plans for the holiday - but don’t dismiss Oct. 31st as another victim to 2020. Here's how you can safely enjoy the last night of the spooky season with your friends and family.

Trick-or-Treating

Whether you’re staying at home to hold the fort for potential trick-or-treaters, or you’re heading out to the streets yourself, make sure to follow the Halloween safety regulations provided by Naperville. Trick-or-treating is still entirely possible this year, so long as you keep these regulations in mind for yourself and those around you.

At-Home Haunted Cinema

When the trick-or-treating hours have passed, it’s time to don your PJs and get your popcorn for a night of Halloween binging -- whether it be on your own or, for the faint of heart, with a few others. For those of you wanting to recreate in-person Halloween movie marathons with your friends, many streaming apps and websites now offer a virtual watch party option that allows multiple people to watch a movie or tv show in real time and interact with each other via messaging or video chats. Several streaming services like Amazon Prime and Hulu provide this option directly within their apps, and for services without this option, there are plenty of third-party apps and extensions that have been developed to bring this feature to you. Two user-friendly sites -- Teleparty, a service tailored specifically for Netflix watch parties, and Scener, which supports watch parties across the most streaming services -- have become popular during the pandemic. Both of these are free to install and easy to use on computers.

Seasons of Scares and Horrors

  • “Julie and the Phantoms” (Netflix)

Genre and Rating: teenage boy ghost choir, musical, drama of the teen variety, supernatural, comedy. TV-G.

Season(s): 1 season, 9 episodes

  • “The Haunting of Hill House/The Haunting of Bly Manor” (Netflix)

Genre and Rating: supernatural, mature themes, gothic themes and aesthetic, mature themes, really scary ghosts. TV-MA.

Season(s): 2 seasons, 19 episodes

  • “Killing Eve” (Hulu)

Genre and Rating: crime, drama, spy fiction, dark comedy, killer vs. British intelligence,strong female leads, mature language. TV-14/TV-MA depending on episodes.

Season(s): 3 seasons, 24 episodes

  • “Buzzfeed Unsolved: Supernatural” (Hulu, Amazon Prime, and YouTube)

Genre and Rating: supernatural elements, snarky, goofy, creep music and loud ghost boxes, mystery, lots of banter, local Ghoul Boys. PG.

Season(s): 5 seasons, 47 episodes

This isn’t strictly one series, but many of us can still remember when Disney Channel’s “Monstober” events rolled around and each its series would air their special Halloween episodes. Get together with your siblings or set up a call with your friends and spend the night revisiting these classic episodes!

For the Movie Marathoners

  • “Coraline” (Amazon Prime, available to rent)

Genre and Rating: fantasy, horror (but for kids), stop-animation, Strong Female Lead and Horrifying Other Mother. PG.

Length: 1h 40min

  • “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” (Amazon Prime, available to rent)

Genre and Rating: fantasy, wizarding world, the Boy Who Lived in his third year, adventure and (some) time travel. PG.

Length: 2h 22min

  • “The Mummy (1999)” (Hulu, Freeform, and Amazon Prime)

Genre and Rating: classic mummy film, flesh-eating beetle, supernatural, action and adventure. PG-13.

Length: 2h 5min

  • “The Babysitter/The Babysitter: Killer Queen” (Netflix)

Genre and Rating: horror, comedy, teenage cult activity, evil babysitter teams up with Bella Thorne and her friends, sharp objects and blood, mature topics. TV-MA.

Length: 2 movies, 1hr 25min and 1hr 42min

It's Not Just About Candy

It’s true -- Halloween is largely defined by the monstrous amounts of candy that is collected and consumed at the end of the month. But just because you’ll have Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Snickers and the entirety of Walmart’s candy aisle on hand doesn’t mean you can’t try brewing a potion or two in your kitchen. The following list has links to a few simple recipes you can whip up at home for you and your family. Or maybe one or two of these will become a midnight snack just for you.

Ingredients needed: semi-sweet chocolate bars, white chocolate bars, Halloween-themed candy of your choosing

Cooking time: 45 minutes

Ingredients needed: refried beans, taco seasoning mix, salsa and cheese of your choosing, cherry tomatoes, onions, guacamole, tortilla chips

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Ingredients needed: almond bark/white chocolate chips, milano cookies, mini chocolate chips

Cooking time: 10 minutes

Ingredients needed: sugar, chocolate, salted butter, mini marshmallows, vanilla extract, rice cereal, Halloween candy of your choosing

Cooking time: 1h 15 minutes

Ingredients needed: bell peppers, ranch dressing

Cooking time: under 30 minutes

Ingredients needed: shoestring licorice, Oreos, chocolate frosting/melted chocolate, M&Ms

Cooking time: under 30 minutes

Ghost-Shoot

If you’ve been on social media, it’s more than likely you’ve seen the latest “ghost trend” photoshoots going around, whether it might be on Instagram or Tiktok. When it comes to the spirit of Halloween, there’s nothing more trendy than taking the classic sheet-style ghost costume and getting together (six feet apart) with a small group to find photo-worthy locations and have fun. Don’t feel limited to just a plain sheet - dress it up with a pair of funky sunglasses of your choosing, have fun with cutting out eye holes, or even wear a pair of snazzy shoes that will stand out. Even though a thin sheet is no substitute for a face mask, the aesthetic of the ghost look is not lost— the sheet is a perfect cover for your face mask. Finish the photoshoot by using filters of your choosing to give the photos a vintage or disposable camera look, and they’re ready to keep as fond memories or to post to your social media.

Spooky, Scary Songs

Now that you’ve made Halloween plans and are ready to face a night of ghosts and ghouls, we’ve cultivated a playlist that’s sure to get you into the Halloween spirit. Ranging from the classics like Thriller to newer hits that social media has popularized (Oh Klahoma to go with your ghost-themed photoshoot, anyone?), you’ll be sure to find a few favorites for the spookiest night of the year.

When 2020 first began, hardly anyone predicted that this year’s Halloween would be happening alongside a virus. Admittedly, many of us were looking forward to the “perfect” Oct. 31 falling on a Saturday with a full moon high in the sky. And yet, despite the cards we have been dealt and the compromises that will have to be made this weekend, there’s no reason that Naperville still can’t have the perfect Halloween -- it’ll just have to be with skull-themed face masks and virtual get-togethers.

Created By
Zea Karmadi
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