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Sadia Sharif / Staff Illustrator

The pandemic has changed many of our favorite holidays, including Halloween. Even so, this year might just be the perfect opportunity to expand your trick-or-treating network beyond your neighborhood. Though most Halloween activities need to be virtual for safety purposes, this creates an opportunity to connect with your friends who may not be in your physical neighborhood. Here are some ideas to kick-start your Halloween party.

Themed video chat

Video-calling friends and family has become the norm for most of us in 2020. That being said, there is more to it than just hopping on a call. Decorating your room or picking a Halloween-themed virtual background can go a long way toward generating spooky vibes. More importantly, going virtual means no geographical limitations. Take this opportunity to reconnect with friends in other states or even other countries and have some fun together.

Costume contest

One of the best things about Halloween is dressing up, so don’t let COVID-19 stop you. Costume contests can be hosted virtually, and the option of turning off our cameras can make the costume reveal much more interesting. Beyond just a Zoom costume contest, you can take it a step further by doing a photo contest, allowing each participant to leverage their current location. Sharing pictures of Halloween costumes with unique landmarks in the background from all over the world is a fun way to take celebrating Halloween this year to another level.

Swapping ghost stories

Halloween wouldn’t be complete without scary ghost stories to give us goosebumps. Whether it’s watching these nostalgic Halloween movies curated by Spectrum, virtually visiting the haunted Queen Mary ship, or sharing your paranormal experiences with your friends, make sure you have some scary stories ready for the night.

Halloween game night

If you are throwing a party at home with your family or roommates, board games—like Clue or Ultimate Werewolf—are a great option for the night. If not, going virtual might be safer. Although virtual board games and other thrilling role-playing games (like the good old Slenderman series and Friday the 13th: The Game) are viable options, Among Us is a great, popular alternative for any friend group. Just make sure you don’t enter Electrical alone.

Virtual escape rooms

Another entertaining possibility for Halloween night is a virtual escape room. An escape room is a room full of mysteries that you and your friends have to solve in a specified amount of time in order to get out of the room. There are many on-site escape rooms, but given the pandemic, virtual ones have gained popularity. You can start with this Harry Potter themed escape room, or visit other websites like this one to find curated lists.

Mailing your friends

For the ultimate Halloween enthusiast, up your trick-or-treat game by mailing candy, Halloween-themed gifts, or spooky notes to your friends. Mail your Halloween gifts early to surprise your friends and make sure the package arrives in time for the spookiest night of the year.

Staff writer Time is looking forward to the virtual aspect of this year’s Halloween festivities because he lives in Bangkok, where Halloween is not widely celebrated. He can be contacted at Follow Spectator on Twitter @ColumbiaSpec.

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