Student Halloween celebrations during the pandemic


Cade Wooten

Cade Wooten’s dog Cosmo dressed up as an astronaut.

It is that time of year again: spooky season has finally arrived.  This time of year involves apple cider drinking, scary movie watching and pumpkin carving. With Halloween only a few days away, students, faculty and staff share how they are planning to celebrate. This Halloween may look very different due to COVID-19 guidelines and protocols, but that doesn’t mean the fun has to end! 

“We are planning to celebrate in a way that prioritizes the health and safety of others,” said Director of Public Safety Jermaine Thomas. “I do think the focus on health and safety is creating an opportunity for my family to become more creative in planning our Halloween experience.”

Halloween includes many traditions such as candy consumption. Guilford students shared their favorite Halloween sweets.

“My favorite candies are Skittles and Reese’s, but I’m also one of those people who likes candy corn,” said junior Cade Wooten.

Similarly, first-year student Katy Farr shared her love for Halloween treats: “My favorite candy to eat on Halloween is either Twizzlers or Hershey’s Kisses.” 

My kids know that any Twizzlers, Mike & Ikes or Sour Patch Kids that they receive will be automatically taken. All other candy they can have after a package inspection first of course,” said Thomas. 

Some potential ideas for celebrating Halloween this year could be socially distant pumpkin carving, a virtual costume contest with friends and family or a Halloween movie marathon with your roommates. 

Juniors Brent Apple and Cade Wooten shared similar ideas of celebrating. 

“Honestly. I would go to a drive-in movie. A ton of people are starting to do it, and I bet they would be playing scary movies for Halloween,” Apple said. 

“I think a good idea might be to set up an outdoors movie for people to go see and eat candy,” Wooten added. 

There are three drive-in movie theaters that are less than 50 miles away from Guilford College: Bel Air Drive In in Walkertown, NC, Eden Drive-in in Eden, NC, and Badin Road Drive-In in Albemarle, NC.

“I grew up watching ‘Twitches’ so that’s definitely still a favorite to watch during spooky season,” said sophomore Michelle Boyce.

“My favorite Halloween movie would probably be ‘Halloweentown,’” Brent said. 

“My favorite Halloween movie is ‘Hocus Pocus,’” Farr shared. 

This year most families were upset with the news that ‘It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown’ would not be shown on national television this year,” said Thomas. “The rights to all the Peanuts holiday episodes were bought by Apple TV. Apple TV is promising that they will show all of the Peanuts holiday episodes free this weekend, but the change hurts as I am a big Peanuts fan.”  

Thomas added that he will have to help his daughter celebrate Halloween safely. 

“My 5-year-old daughter really loves trick or treating, and we had several conversations about how to keep her smiling while being safe,” Thomas said. “As an alternative, we will drive through or walk and visit houses, but then have a candy scavenger hunt in our own home, with the same amount of candy that my daughter would have received if she was participating in the traditional trick or treating.”

Boyce’s festivities will also look very different this year. 

“My usual Halloween tradition would be to celebrate the whole week (Halloweek) dressing up everyday, going to different events,” Boyce said. “Usually people I know will host a get-together, and typically my Halloween just looks like lots of celebration and …fthis year, following COVID-19 guidelines, it will be toned down…I don’t plan on trick-or-treating, but my friend and I agreed on celebrating with a girls’ night and Halloween-themed activities, of course in costume.”

Boyce is not the only one getting into the Halloween spirit. 

“This year my girlfriend, my dog and I are going to do an outdoor socially distanced party, but normally I would go to a friend’s house/apartment party,” Wooten said. 

 Apple shared his plans for the holiday weekend. 

“This year, me and my roommates carved pumpkins to put out on our patio, and we’re going to stay inside and give out candy to kids who knock on the door,” Brent said. “I’m not sure if students will be wearing costumes. But I have a bee costume to wear when trick or treaters come to my door.” 

There are several different ways to celebrate Halloween from home. Students can bake Halloween-themed desserts like  cookies, brownies and cupcakes, or dress up and take pictures with roommates.

“If you’re not dressing up, you can still enjoy Halloween movies and candy,” said Farr.

While students can incorporate face masks in their costumes this year, there are some important safety guidelines to remember.

“A costume mask (such as for Halloween) is not a substitute for a cloth mask,” Thomas said. “A costume mask should not be used unless it is made of two or more layers of breathable fabric that covers the mouth and nose and doesn’t leave gaps around the face. Secondly, do not wear a costume mask over a protective cloth mask because it can be dangerous if the costume mask makes it hard to breathe. Instead, consider using a Halloween-themed cloth mask. These and other Halloween activity recommendations can be found in the CDC’s Holiday Celebration Guidance Document.” 

However you choose to celebrate this year, keep Guilford’s COVID-19 policies, as well as state restrictions, in mind. Halloween can be both fun and safe for you and members of your community.