Do jack-o-lanterns have to wear facemasks?

How the most frightful holiday might look like during a pandemic and ways to still celebrate


Vae O’Neil, A&E Editor

With COVID-19 continuing to maintain its current popularity, things that folks haven’t thought would change, have changed; seeing friends, going to the dentist, and even grocery shopping are a few of the “normal,” banal routines that were completely upended. In the same design of protecting lives, another kind of cultural norm that faces intense physical changes are holidays; the nearest of which, Halloween. 

Halloween plays a massive role in the economy, in last year raking in nearly $9 billion for the candy, card and costume companies, according to a survey conducted by the National Retail Federation; such a fat rushing river of cash dependent upon children (of questionable hygiene) going up to the homes of strangers (also of questionable hygiene) and asking for the strangers’ candy. It should be safe to assume that the conventional trick-or-treating would be ill-advised, given the high probability of it resulting in more than a few sick children, if people don’t stay safe. 

And sure, if people do stay safe, there will be no house-to-house trick-or-treating, no big and messy Halloween parties; but in their place will be a bunch of healthy families, hosting their own private costume contest and spooky movie night, with a lot more candy for themselves. 

But, if you just can’t contain all of your fall festivities under one roof, here’s a short list of attractions that are still open for business that operate with safe practices: 

Ghostly Grove Haunted Attraction 

10055 Dexter Pinckney Rd, Pinckney 

Friday to Saturday, 8 p.m. to midnight 

Sunday, Oct. 18, & 25, 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. 

$18 per person 

This most bone-chilling haunted forest trail holds much to discover, like the mystery of the late Abigail Appleseed, whose tormented spirit may very well linger somewhere within the depths of Ghostly Grove. Best you hope not to run into her along the way, yes? 

Morrow Road Haunted Trail 

1890 S Bartlett Rd, Saint Clair 

Isabella’s Path: Fridays during Oct. from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. 

Lost Child’s Path: Saturdays during Oct. from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.  

Kid-friendly Trick-or-Treat Events: Oct. 16 and 23 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.  

VIP NIGHT: Thursday, Oct. 29, 8p.m. to 11p.m. 

Another haunted trail plagued by restless souls long since passed, Morrow Road Haunted Trail tells the story of a woman named Isabella who died under mysterious circumstances while searching for her lost child, with a trail dedicated to each person’s story. 

Hush Haunted Attraction 

37550 Cherry Hill Rd, Westland 

Dates, hours and prices can be found here 

What on Earth could be a step further than a haunted house?  

In the case of Hush, a haunted small town, of course; Hush Falls is what this dreary old town is called, and it is you who begins a frightful journey when you first check in to the Hush Falls Hotel. Curiosity, hubris – whatever it may be – leads you into the basement; that is your first mistake. You see things you are not meant to see, and uncover long-dead secrets of Hush Falls, its people and its tragedies.  

To make sure everyone’s as safe as can be, there will be limited capacity, mandatory face masks, and prioritized contactless interactions with staff, among other precautions to minimize any possible infection. More information can be found on their website. 

Photo courtesy of Colton Sturgeon.