Metatalktail Hour: Halloween time October 31, 2020 11:43 AM   Subscribe

Halloween tidings to you, Mefites! Lovely Mefite too bad you're not me asks for everyone to share their "Halloween-y things (costumes, jack-o-lanterns, etc)"; what have you got for us, let's hear it!
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) to MetaFilter-Related at 11:43 AM (46 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

I've been caregiving for my Mom this year so I've been mostly living in my suburban childhood home. One thing in the neighborhood that surprised me is "Halloween lights," which are orange and purple strings of the small Christmas lights that are put on trees, and put up in the same way along roof edges, around windows, etc. There are even some houses who look like they're just gonna cover the whole rest of the year with Christmas lights and be done with it, but in general the roof lights thing is a large step beyond regular Halloween decorations of fake cobwebs and tombstones on the lawn. I'm thinking that, if it isn't already happening, houses are going to start getting built with electrical sockets in the eaves, if not built-in hooks along the gutters/roof edges.

We have nothing up. I'm skeptical that anybody is going to come by, but I'll go get a bag of candy to hand out just so Trump doesn't win.
posted by rhizome at 11:59 AM on October 31, 2020 [1 favorite]

I love Halloween! While it's disappointing that we can't do all the traditional things this year (passing out candy, big parties, bar crawls, etc), I still wanted to do something fun and celebratory. I ended up dressing up for some work meetings yesterday and people got a kick out of my costume. They even gave me a prize, even though there wasn't an official contest! Here's the costume - it's Maurice from the movie Little Monsters (reference image).

I'll be dressing up again later today, as I'm having a few folks over for a socially distanced backyard hang. Gonna have chocolate cookies, black bean dip (with chips and carrot sticks) and sweet potato fries with black ketchup. Lots of orange and black foods to keep it in the spirit.

Have fun and be safe.
posted by too bad you're not me at 12:03 PM on October 31, 2020 [6 favorites]

Happy Halloween! We had our first snow in Boston yesterday - a solid 3-4 inches - and so I took the opportunity to dress up as Tiffany Aching countering the Wintersmith. Friends with kids have sent me pictures of their kids' costumes, and this evening I will introduce my boyfriend to Nightmare Before Christmas.
posted by ChuraChura at 12:16 PM on October 31, 2020 [5 favorites]

I got seriously into blaseball this fall and, after buying far too much merch, it occurred to me that I could make a fun costume out of it. (The nice thing about making undead costumes is that it works fine that my level of embroidery skill is nil.)
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 12:17 PM on October 31, 2020 [2 favorites]

I had my big backup eyeglasses, my black graduation robe from last year, and a dilapidated old Charlotte Russe lace blouse which, stuffed down the front of the robe, could almost pass for a jabot.

So, RBG it was. Took some goofy pictures in the backyard, and said hello to my two best friends on our weekly “brunch” video chat, and I imagine that’ll be about it.
posted by armeowda at 12:39 PM on October 31, 2020 [4 favorites]

Got my usual jack o lantern shirt on.
Folks on our block made a list of kids' names so we'll be putting out individually wrapped bags of treats on tables in front of our houses. I think they'll round everyone up around 4ish for photo ops.
posted by The Ardship of Cambry at 1:03 PM on October 31, 2020 [1 favorite]

I've been very into my garden this year and had gotten a lot of people stopping by to say how much they like the giant sunflowers. Inspired by some awesome altered sunflowers on Pinterest, I kept the theme going for Halloween.
posted by BoscosMom at 1:23 PM on October 31, 2020 [8 favorites]

We've done our best to set up for safe trick or treating. We have a six foot tube to slide candy down from the front door and a gong the kids can ring rather than come up to use the doorbell. We'll have a one-way path up the yard marked with glow sticks and require one kid or family at a time. I don't expect we'll get too many kids but I'm not going to deny them the one fun thing they might get to do all year.

My kid is too old for costumes and of course Halloween parties aren't happening this year so I didn't get to make a costume. We had three inches of snow last night and I just don't feel very much like it's Halloween so I didn't even carve a pumpkin.

Tonight I will be sitting by the fire, sipping scotch, and watching the Phish Halloween triple feature webcast. As one does.
posted by bondcliff at 1:31 PM on October 31, 2020 [6 favorites]

Our AC died and we had to replace it. The whole thing. So the AC company said, Trick or treat! And we gave them $5000.
posted by Splunge at 1:42 PM on October 31, 2020 [7 favorites]

Spouse is doing the candy handout (Outside, masked and gloved) while I walk with the kiddo. He is dressed as an exhausted businessman Zombie. I am wearing a Pusheen kitty bat sweatshirt which is not terribly warm, but keeps to the spirit of the day. We will also be masked and gloved.

No idea how many kids we will get. In a usual year, anywhere from 150 - 300. We cut back on treats as neither of us can pawn the leftovers on officemates.
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 2:30 PM on October 31, 2020

My kid is officially in quarantine as of Thursday evening, since one of her preschool teachers has covid. We had planned a neighborhood walk with one of her classmates but she accepted the substitute activity of a backyard candy hunt on her own with no fuss.

I am not sure what has happened to my emotions, I’m waiting for some kind of reaction to kick in. I’m not even thinking about the election anymore, now that I know our ballots are accepted. It’s like March all over again, the days break down to hours and as long as we are all fed and rested at intervals that will have to be enough.
posted by Lawn Beaver at 2:32 PM on October 31, 2020 [3 favorites]

We have a nice fire going in our fire pit. Spouse decided this would be a candy-free Halloween. We have lots of toys set up on a table at the end of the walkway, maybe 15 feet from the fire pit. Also some tampons for those trick or treaters who menstruate, based on our relatively newfound interest in menstrual equity. We’ve had a few teenage girls avail themselves of tampons, and a few elementary age boys take toys. A win so far. Delivery pizza is en route. A pretty good Halloween given the challenging times!
posted by cheapskatebay at 3:00 PM on October 31, 2020 [1 favorite]

I wish Halloween was more popular in Sweden because costumes and giving out candy sounds like the best thing ever.

My nieces were supposed to go trick-or-treating today but I made sure they got their sugar fix just in case their neighbors would stiff them 🎃
posted by Foci for Analysis at 3:36 PM on October 31, 2020 [3 favorites]

We are making chili-traditional “eat this protein before candy” Halloween meal. Then we are making little bags of candy to take to some friends’ houses as a reverse trick or treat. My 11 yeah old is desperate to wear his store bought Assassin’s Creed costume which he has declared the best costume he’s ever had so it feels like we have to do somethjng.
posted by purenitrous at 3:52 PM on October 31, 2020 [3 favorites]

I just threw together what I think is a half-way decent socially-distanced Halloween set-up. I gave out both candy and Halloween rubber duckies last year, and I have some left-over duckies, plus some left-over stretchy rubber skeletons from the year before. I put a table in my driveway, and I put the duckies and the skeletons on the table, along with some battery-operated tea-light "candles" that I had and a teal fake pumpkin that I bought at Michael's a couple of years ago. (Teal pumpkins are to signal that you have allergy-safe goodies, which is why I give out toys as well as candy.) It almost looks like I planned it. I did not plan it. I feel a little guilty about not having candy, but I'm not going to make a separate trip to the store to buy candy, and they didn't have any Halloween candy last week when I did my grocery shopping.

There are definitely some kids out Trick or Treating. Not a ton, but some.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 4:03 PM on October 31, 2020 [3 favorites]

Trick or treating in my town was 3-7pm. We set up a decorated table at the end of our driveway with the candy in individual drawstring plastic bags so the kids could just grab one or two and go. My husband and I sat way back and waved and wished everyone a great Halloween. We had about 50-60 kids, which is 1/3-1/2 of a normal year.

bondcliff: I don't expect we'll get too many kids but I'm not going to deny them the one fun thing they might get to do all year.

Exactly. I feel like we all banded together to give the kids a touch of normalcy. The warmth (metaphoric, it was in the 40s and this summer lover is chilled to the bone) of today is something I hope we can carry with us as we're plunged back into darkness for a while.
posted by kimberussell at 4:44 PM on October 31, 2020 [2 favorites]

I purchased candy just to be on the safe side, but I had zero trick-or-treaters last year and will probably have none again this year (because plague). This was rather a change from my previous house, where I had over two hundred kids every year, but that was in a tract that is the central Halloween destination for much of this area.

Normally I'd bring in candy for my students, but that's difficult when you only see students virtually and aren't allowed to bring in any food for them anyway :(

(A colleague tells me that my current house is also very forbidding, which, ironically, may have the opposite of the intended effect on trick-or-treaters...)

My mom says that her California neighborhood is doing an outdoors thing where everyone sits in their driveways to wave at the kids, while the candy is all put out near the sidewalk. That seems like a nice compromise.
posted by thomas j wise at 4:48 PM on October 31, 2020 [2 favorites]

I live in an apartment building on a street surrounded by other apartment buildings, so I was not imagining i was going to get trick-or-treaters. I wore my cat ear headband to work yesterday and that was enough I think? Tonight the cats and i are snuggling in with The Fifth Element and maybe a few episodes of The Queen’s Gambit.
posted by janepanic at 6:10 PM on October 31, 2020 [1 favorite]

Our town must be on some list for best places to trick or treat in New Jersey. In normal years we have 300+ trick or treaters. We had about 150 this year, and my wife packed it in at 7:30 PM, with 9 out of 140 prepackaged treats left. Most people were wearing masks, and my wife called out the people who weren't. If you're gonna let your kids come begging for candy at my home in the middle of pandemic, at least be respectful, sheesh.
posted by mollweide at 6:26 PM on October 31, 2020

Trick or treating is banned here for COVID-19, so we did some basic decorating and tried to stay inside.

Well, ok, my wife and I did stroll for an hour, me wearing the plague mask.

Then back in for movie watching.

And me reading a favorite scary story.
posted by doctornemo at 6:39 PM on October 31, 2020 [1 favorite]

My neighborhood seems to have agreed to forego trick or treating this year, which is unfortunate because I have a gazillion Halloween temporary tattoos from last year and can't give them away. I have a huge jack-o-lantern with a cat face (my kid's) and a huge jack-o-lantern that says VOTE! (mine) outside. The kid is with her other parent, doing something in their condo complex that involves people throwing candy from their balconies. She decided to be a ninja butterfly (butterfly costume, but everything is black).

I'm vaguely pagan and often do a write-down-last-year's-bullshit-and-burn-it type ritual on Halloween, but this year I'm too emotionally fried to be that present. Instead I spent the day text-banking Florida voters, and now I'm cleaning and making a glorious pumpkin soup with homemade stock. I'll reflect on the last year after next week.
posted by centrifugal at 6:56 PM on October 31, 2020 [1 favorite]

We ended up doing a card table with pre-bagged candy by the sidewalk and then me 20 feet back, masked, to wave and say happy halloween. We got a lot of kids, maybe 75% of a normal year? In a normal year there would be a lot of big groups, multiple families going together, but this year it was more smaller groups, one or two households. Kids very excited and a little overwhelmed, which is sort of usual.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 7:00 PM on October 31, 2020 [2 favorites]

Trick or treating is banned here for COVID-19, so we did some basic decorating and tried to stay inside.

Trick or Treat is banned here too which I don't really know how that's legal but it is all starting to become even more isolating!

However the neighborhood decided to go Halloween like it ain't no thing. Like I've always said restrictions bring out the best creativity in people.
posted by geoff. at 7:12 PM on October 31, 2020 [2 favorites]

Also, I am watching the movie of What We Do in the Shadows, which is about the appropriate level of Halloween scary for me tonight.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:33 PM on October 31, 2020 [2 favorites]

The trick: today was my first day of physical therapy as I recover from a broken knee.

The treat: it wasn't that bad at all! And the friend who drove me there took me out for a cheesesteak after!

And my roommate got into a reverse trick-or-treat situation - we have a standing agreement with one of our neighbors downstairs that if there's any vegetables I get in my CSA box that we can't/won't eat, we share with her. Today my roommate went to bring her our castoffs (a cauliflower, some radishes and a pair of rutabagas), and she stopped him and said "oh, I prepared this for you to trade this time as a thank you" and gave us a little homemade apple cake, studded with raisins and rich with fall spices.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:04 PM on October 31, 2020 [6 favorites]

My mother called me yesterday to come over and pick up some orange popcorn balls and I am 41 damn years old but I did anyway. Our area is having a COVID explosion so I’m being fairly cautious but we did go for a little distanced outdoor walk as well.

Today, I enjoyed my 45 annual seconds of dressing my dog up in his minimalist costume while he glares at me balefully and waits for a treat, and that was festive enough for me. Currently enjoying a break from grading on the couch, and we’re about to pick up pho (‘tis the season, it was 7F this morning!).
posted by charmedimsure at 8:06 PM on October 31, 2020 [2 favorites]

Relatively few kids here (California), but I got to toss treat bags from a safe distance at 16-18 kids (normally would be circa 75), which I don't know how to feel about. On the one hand, hurray for everyone 'round here taking the Plague seriously, but on the other hand ... dang ... 2020 I guess.

So, thus we proceed on to the failsafe decision for 2020, drinking! Yay alcohol!
posted by aramaic at 8:40 PM on October 31, 2020 [1 favorite]

We live in an apartment, so no trick or treating here, but we walked around in the neighborhood nearby and saw some good decorations and some creative candy delivery systems. There were various candy chutes made from stuff like cardboard, pieces of dryer venting, pieces of downspout, etc. (and there was a large double chute at this house). Some houses had tables with individually bagged stuff laid out, some had stuff hanging on clothes lines, and some people tied stuff to little stakes stuck in the yard. Some houses were just decorated with signs saying "Happy Halloween, see you next year", and some people just skipped Halloween entirely. There seems to have been enough going on to satisfy the kids, and everyone was wearing masks.
posted by gudrun at 10:21 PM on October 31, 2020 [1 favorite]

I'm not much a Halloween guy. I met with a close friend and we sat under a tree in the gorgeous afternoon, from 4 PM til coming on 7 PM. And there was a bit of chill in the air now, we put the lawn chairs in the bed of my pickup and went walking down the road a few hundred yards to where we could see that huge, orange full moon rising, and it was just beautiful, the first full moon on Halloween since 1944.

I've studied some on that period, not formal study, just an interest in that huge death-fest -- the British and the Canadians and the Americans were slicing across France, I don't think that they'd yet crossed the line into Germany but they were closing in, Eisenhower the huge task of keeping all the huge egos of his generals from leaping about so it was more cohesive. So I knew about that but my thoughts were with the soldiers, not so much the generals, what was it like for them on full moon Halloween as they went streaming/screaming across Europe, closing in for the kill.

They had No. Idea. the huge surprise the Germans had in wait for them in December, battle of the bulge, that was a month and a half in their future and it looked real good on Halloween, best I can recall. That battle was one of Hitlers largest stupidities, he took elite divisions out of the fight against the Russians, in the east, put them up in the west, his hallucination that he'd be able to break through to the coast, force the coalition forces to surrender. Which might have worked, if he had fuel for his tanks, if he had any air force left; he did get a huge stroke of luck in that the skies were all socked in, but once the skies cleared the Germans, caught in the open, blasted to shit by coalition air power...

So Happy Halloween to all those soldiers, and the citizens who they were displacing.
posted by dancestoblue at 2:33 AM on November 1, 2020 [2 favorites]

Was going to set up some sort of candy delivery system, but with the recent Covid spike here in Maine decided to not do candy at all. Surprisingly few people out and about all night and our normally busy street was mostly dark houses.

First time I haven’t made decorations for the house, but I did make some Halloween drawings, my favorites being a Halloween planet and a ghost motivational poster.
posted by mikepop at 5:24 AM on November 1, 2020 [5 favorites]

My wife is an old toy dealer and always decorates around the holidays with great vintage stuff. For example:

This is Icky Vicky she's a life size doll from the 60s. She lives next to the fireplace. During the holidays she likes to dress up. Here she's wearing a child's Romani costume from the 1920s. It's okay, we're Romani ourselves and we understand it helps her feel more like one of us.

Here's a bunch of vintage tin noisemakers from the first half of the 20th century. Kids took mischief a little more seriously back then. In the left corner you'll find an aerosol canister of spray jinx remover from the 60s.

Here are some old trick-or-treat candy buckets.

And these are a couple of papier-mâché Halloween decorations probably from the 1920s.

Here's an actual x-ray from the 1950s and a papier-mâché rat.

Vintage witches.

Ceramic satans and pumpkins.

Halloween cards, because that used to be a thing.


As you can probably tell, we don't just like our Halloween spooky, we prefer it to be a little creepy too.
posted by Stanczyk at 7:06 AM on November 1, 2020 [6 favorites]

Our town must be on some list for best places to trick or treat in New Jersey. In normal years we have 300+ trick or treaters.

That's my neighborhood too, a slightly less-rural section of a very rural area. Many people come in to the neighborhood from the surrounding hills to go trick or treating there. And yeah 300+ trick or treaters. In a town of 4500, it's a LOT. Usually I team up with friends and we all staff ONE house and give out candy, take pictures etc. I always dress up. This year trick or treating was less of a deal, my friends were mostly scattered and even though our COVID numbers are low, there was a spike recently (hockey-related!) so I figured best to stay home. I made an EPIC pan of mac and cheese, watched Darwin for movie night with not_on_display (distanced by a few hundred miles) and am slowly finishing up Ancestral Night which is a pretty good cargo spacer. I heard a very loud owl in the trees outside before I went to bed.

I am watching the movie of What We Do in the Shadows

So good! And then there's a whole TV series you can watch afterwards (which has none of the same characters but a lot of the same vibe).
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 7:47 AM on November 1, 2020 [3 favorites]

I posted spooky/scary artwork all last week on my Twitter and Mastodon feeds.
posted by seanmpuckett at 7:55 AM on November 1, 2020 [1 favorite]

I dressed up as a gum ball machine for work (childcare). I was bummed because for some reason, they told the kids to wear pjs instead of a costume. I don't know who made that decision because the kids have dressed up the last two years I've worked there. I got a lot of cute pictures with my babies last year (especially the one who was dressed as a werewolf).
posted by kathrynm at 8:39 AM on November 1, 2020 [4 favorites]

The nieces couldn't go trick-or-treating due to Covid-19 so I'm super happy they got their treat buckets 😛
posted by Foci for Analysis at 9:42 AM on November 1, 2020 [1 favorite]

I was a comfy couch potato.
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:23 AM on November 1, 2020 [1 favorite]

I went for a walk in the city Arboretum yesterday with a friend I haven’t seen in the forever, and had the second-easiest costume imaginable- I have a heavy black wool cloak and I remembered to dig it out and wear it instead of a jacket. And a COVID mask with a lot of black in it.

Way more compliments than the effort deserved, plus a head nod from someone who was there for a photo shoot of ?possibly a costume? ?possibly fashion? Looked really good and totally unlike any trend I know of, but much like delivery Kiki grown up. Linen, I think, the drape was delicious and the colors subtle. And the trees in autumn leaf had delicious colors and subtle dehiscence.
posted by clew at 11:40 AM on November 1, 2020 [2 favorites]

Target still had bags of candy yesterday, and when I went to get dinner last night I saw a few groups walking in the neighborhood. I also saw a house that had a clothes drying rack on their porch with bags of candy clothespinned onto it, so I copied them. Five or six bags got taken, which was heartening.
posted by rhizome at 11:52 AM on November 1, 2020 [1 favorite]

I didn't dress up (I do not have the heart to), trick-or-treat isn't a thing here, but I did watch four plays over the course of the day. A couple were pre-recorded, so that was distracting. I did, however, make a Stitch hat for Baby Yoda.
posted by jenfullmoon at 1:53 PM on November 1, 2020 [1 favorite]

I didn't make a candy cannon, alas, but I did put some candy out for the trick or treaters. This is my second Halloween in this house and last year we had hardly any; this year I don't think there were any at all. There certainly weren't any after 6:30, which is when I got home from the Astoria Big Head parade, which is something a friend of mine just made up last summer. We made big heads out of papier mache - this is mine - and wore them and marched around downtown - all masked under our masks; I was stifling! - and it was fun and I hope people enjoyed it. I wish I could link to some video but they all seem to be on the Facebook group which is private and so it won't let me, sigh. There were a fair number of kids in costumes walking downtown; I remember this from last year, the trick or treating down the stores on Commercial Street. I am glad to report that numbers were much lower than last year and everyone seemed to be social distancing and masked.
posted by mygothlaundry at 4:22 PM on November 1, 2020 [1 favorite]

On Friday night we watched Get Out for the first time. What a perfect movie! Watching Daniel Kaluuya’s many flavors of side-eye was such a pleasure.

On Saturday we’d meant to go sit maskedly around a fire pit with the family of Little e’s best friend while the kids ran around, but with the governor begging everyone to stay home it didn’t feel right anymore, so we had videochat-pizza with the family instead. Many things about parenting in this pandemic are so hard to stare in the face, but the kids I know have pretty much been taking it in stride, the masks, the weird school, even wrenchingly disappointing things like cancelling Halloween. If they can get it together, why can’t my legislature?
posted by eirias at 6:23 PM on November 1, 2020

I created a Giant spider on a web with candy and Utz cheese balls pinned to it as bait. Looks like we gave away about 15 candy bars and a few cheese balls. So, actually pretty successful!
posted by vespabelle at 6:56 PM on November 1, 2020 [1 favorite]

We built one of those candy chutes to send candy to trick or treaters while maintaining social distance. It worked great, but came in a little more expensive than we planned at about $715. The PVC cost $15 and then it was $700 for a new windshield after DOT Jr. slammed the back gate shut and hammered the pipe into the windshield.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:03 AM on November 2, 2020 [4 favorites]

I don't get trick or treaters in a normal year, so I wasn't expecting any this year. Turned out my porch light anyway, since I am taking sheltering in place very seriously. I played Animal Crossings and had fun with the Halloween celebration on there--my best friend who lives in another town has a Switch and so does her daughter who is in Pittsburgh. We all played together and visited each other's islands while chatting on a group phone call. It was a very nice way to spend the evening.
posted by agatha_magatha at 2:00 PM on November 2, 2020

My favorite Halloween story is one I've told before and from thirty years ago or so. When I was a work-study student worker for the PC/Mac repair center at university... one Halloween I came to work as Dr. Frank N. Furter. Teddy, panties, fishnets, high-heels all half naked-like. I won the 'she-ist' at the afternoon IT kegger (oh yeah, late 80s the afternoon department shindig was a fully catered and booze driven afternoon). I had a BigBoss who was annoyed because he was an occasional cross-dresser and had always won the 'she-ist' award. I got a little talking to by my Boss the next day that I went a little bit over the top (students get away with everything all HR and Diversity-wise). I had skateboarded all over campus that day barefoot carrying heels and walking into offices half naked saying "I'm here to fix your computer". It still makes me chuckle.
posted by zengargoyle at 5:38 PM on November 2, 2020

Anyways on the chat side of things....
Metafilter is a bit chatty and I'm all loosey-goosey here. IRL I'm a bit even more cold and calculating, Like two or three carefully crafted sentences.

I've been in a bit of an email back and forth with my off-site apartment manager who's like just a bit of a go-between for the tenants and the apartment owners. It seems that I've played my hand well and moving out to another apartment while they remodel my apartment and then moving back in is on the table.

Fedora wearing me thought that this was the first thing they should have done, just shuffle people into next door instead of trying to clear out everybody at once.

But evidently they are now willing to just relocate while remodeling. Keeping my fingers crossed and trying to be very I am My Own Lawyer shit together but I might just manage like a full on 20+ year old beater apartment refresh.
posted by zengargoyle at 11:24 AM on November 3, 2020

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