Halloween cancelled!

Bad news, everyone: Minnesota has cancelled Halloween.

Like many things in the year of the COVID-19 pandemic, Halloween might have to be virtual this year — or at least celebrated at a safe distance.

That’s the recommendation from the Minnesota Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

What’s out? Trick-or-treating, Halloween parties and haunted houses are all considered high risk by health officials.

This virus is ruining everything.


  1. blf says

    @2, “Halloween is a pretty stupid celebration” — Teh USAlien commercialised variant generally is (in my opinion (I detest it)).

    No comment on the non-commercial xian versions, which seem to be quite varied. As was the original Gaelic Samhain festival (xians steal most of their holidays). Both are based on myths and misunderstandings, which is not the same as “stupid”.

  2. blf says

    Full moon on Halloween… A Night in the Lonesome October (Roger Zelazny)!

    That might explain why this has been such an awkward year. Events are building up to a possible opening, when “the Great Old Ones will come to Earth, to remake the world in their own image (enslaving or slaughtering the human race in the process).”

  3. etfb says

    We’ve made a similar decision here in our little Tasmanian town. For the last several years, we’ve run an entirely opt-in Australianised version of Halloween, and it’s been reasonably successful. This year it’s all too hard. I hope next year we can give it another go.

    This is the page about it, with a photo of me and my kids in costume, and answers to common questions about it: https://flurf.net/orange

  4. etfb says

    @6 I like the theory that the reason George RR Martin still hasn’t finished the last book of his crappy torture porn saga is that he’s been way too busy writing 2020.

  5. nomadiq says

    I thought maybe Halloween was canceled because in Trump’s America Halloween is socialism? No, wait, it’s enterprise? I guess it is whatever the grift needs it to be to extract as much money as possible and avoid jail time.

    Anyway I think socially distant trick or treating should be doable. It’s my first Halloween in the suburbs and it would be a shame to miss out on the fun costume parade even if it must be done from 6 ft/ 2 m away. Wrapped candy only that can be washed before being unwrapped? I’m already seeing pumpkins out. Halloween isn’t canceled it will just look different this year.

  6. Akira MacKenzie says

    Halloween is NEVER cancelled as long as we hold it in our hearts… that we keep under the floorboards.

  7. hemidactylus says

    I think Halloween could still be doable if everyone dressed as CDC hot zone investigators. Make Halloween a two week event with the protective suits and watch the COVID numbers plummet.

    Without Halloween how will Big Sugar and the Cavity Creeps survive? Wonder if canceling Halloween will effect subsequent prevalence of dental caries in near future.

  8. Akira MacKenzie says

    We never get Trick-or-Treaters at our house so this is a small loss. I usually spend Halloween at home watching vintage horror movies and munching on reasonable amounts of candy.

  9. raven says

    Yes, this is a tragedy but not the least bit unexpected.
    Everything has been canceled this year!!!

    This pandemic has taken the lives of people we knew.
    It has taken the health of people who got the virus and never quite recovered, the long haulers.
    It’s also taken our arts, entertainment, and social lives away.

    Not least, it’s taken away the jobs and livelihoods of tens of millions of people.
    It hasn’t done the economy any good either.
    My 401(k) plan isn’t dead but it is whimpering a lot these days.

  10. says

    Feh, amateurs and quitters.

    No trick or treating? Have a Hallowe’en egg hunt, hiding candy around the house. Walk around the neighborhood in costume and sing Hallowe’en carols (socially distancing, of course). Decorate your home inside and out.

    No in-person parties? Dress up like everyone at Quarantine-o-we’en (March 31) and have online parties, posting your pictures.

    Watch horror movies.   Dance to spooky music.   Listen to creepypastas.

    There’s too much fun to be had to be a stick in the mud.

  11. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I decided not to give out treats this year. Usually, there are 200-300 treats given out, as I live in the oldest, mostly densely housed part of town. Not worth the risk.
    Saw an article in the Trib this morning where Halloween candy sales are up. Hoarding?

  12. says

    nomdeplume (#2) –

    As I mentioned last year, for Transgender people Hallowe’en may be the one night of the year when they can dress up and feel normal without harassment and judgement from society. Any release is better than no release. For the younger me, it was the only night where I could be myself.

  13. PaulBC says

    I have been giving out treats every year since I had a house, but I think I’ll just turn out the lights this year no matter what the official Halloween policy. I like Halloween, but it can take a year off.

  14. consciousness razor says

    A small price to pay. The War on Christmas isn’t going to wage itself, you know. We’ve been way too casual about it in recent years, if you ask me. I mean, come on … uttering “Happy Holidays” to our unsuspecting victims? Pathetic. We can do so much worse.

    Now, maybe it seems like a pandemic is stepping a bit over the line. Reasonable godless heathens can disagree. But it’s kind of late for that, isn’t it? I guess next year we could try out the plague of locusts thing and see how that goes. I’d prefer frogs, but whatever.

  15. Mrdead Inmypocket says

    The holiday where masks are encouraged, cancelled because of a pandemic. Irony. (Yeah I know Halloween masks aren’t “masks”. Whateva)

    I also noted that NYC, after having dropped the ball on Covid metaphorically are now going to drop the ball on the New Year virtually.

  16. JustaTech says

    blf @5 Again? I swear it was a full moon on Halloween not all that long ago. I read that book every year in October, a page a day. Highly recommend for anyone who get get a copy.

    I imagine Halloween will be canceled here soon enough. One of my cousins was talking about setting up a candy chute to slide candy down from her front door to the sidewalk. Nice and safely distant.

  17. blf says

    JustaTech@25, According to this list (Full Moon Dates Between (1900–2100)), “Oct 31” was last a full moon in 1974. and before that, in 1955, 1944, and 1925. The next one is in 2039. Amusingly, that means this upcoming October 31st’s will only be the second in my entire life.

    However, it depends somewhat on how you define things. Nominally, apparently (I haven’t confirmed), a full moon occurs every c.19 years on the same-ish date, with, indeed, some sites listing 2001 as the previous occurrence. My current (vague!) understanding is that did not meet the technical definition. (This also suggests there is a second “missing” October 31st full moon — 1974+19=1993, but 2001-19=1982 … not a big deal as such, as the 1944–1955 interval isn’t the alleged 19 years-ish.)

    And I totally second, third, and thirty-first your recommendation to get / read / listen to the book. (There are several excellent readings on YouTube, including one by Roger Zelazny himself. I’d link to it, but my Generalissimo Google-fu isn’t fu-ing at the moment.) There was also at least one song based on the book, but it seems to have been deleted?

  18. charley says

    I’m thinking about rigging up a candy slide from an upstairs window to the driveway out front. Maybe some Christmas lights on the side to draw attention to it.