December 1, 2020

COVID-friendly Halloween activities

Halloween may look a bit different this year due to the ongoing pandemic, which means that parties will look very different this year. 

This isn’t a reason not to celebrate Halloween at all, though. 

Many people will likely settle for a small gathering of people on Halloween rather than a huge party, but there are others who might prefer to stay in this year. With the state of the world being what it is, people have already started getting creative with their COVID-friendly Halloween plans. 

Virtual Halloween Watch Party 

When the pandemic first hit and we were all quarantined to our homes, one of the most popular ways to stay connected with friends virtually was by hosting a Netflix Party to watch movies or shows together. 

The Google Chrome extension is now known as Teleparty rather than Netflix party, and offers the same features across Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, and HBO. 

This is a great option for a virtual Halloween activity since you and a bunch of friends can get together virtually to watch a scary movie. You could even make it feel a bit more like a party by creating a Halloween-themed recipe and cocktail list so that everyone can share the same food and drinks during the movie. 

Virtual Haunted Location Tour

This idea is perfect for those people who live for real life haunted places. It is a unique Halloween activity that some might consider even if the pandemic was no longer an ongoing threat. 

There are several haunted locations that now offer virtual tours in addition to in-person tours. This is a great opportunity since traveling and seeing new places is not the most convenient option, especially given the current circumstances of the pandemic. 

One of these real life haunted locations is the Winchester Mystery House, which now offers self-guided mansion tours via video that you can either rent or purchase. This special experience allows viewers to see parts of the mansion that are not even included during the in-person tour. 

Another popular spooky location that offers a virtual tour is the town of Salem where the infamous witch trials took place. This option is perfect for both history buffs and fans of the supernatural. This one is free, however, and shows you pictures of different locations throughout the town along with corresponding facts. 

Virtual Halloween Events

Many annual Halloween events that would normally take place in person, such as parties, costume contests, etc. will be going virtual this year due to COVID. These events are likely to be streamed live or pre-recorded to be experienced later. 

One that Columbus locals might take an interest in is the Short North Arts District’s HighBall Halloween event, which is going virtual this year. The event will feature a costume couture fashion show, performances from Columbus-based artists, and a costume contest that the public can take part in.

Tickets are only $5 and those who purchase a ticket will receive a private link to be able to stream the event. 

Virtual Escape Rooms

Escape rooms are another example of an in-person activity that now offers a virtual experience, too. Many escape rooms have horror themes that would be perfect for a virtual night in with your friends on Halloween. 

Because most travel is restricted, Airbnb has promoted the event-booking feature of their website.

For example, there’s one called Haunted Mansion Escape Room Adventure that’s a part of Airbnb’s new online experiences. The experience allows groups of up to five people to join the game from a computer, phone, or tablet and solve the mystery of the haunted mansion.

Columbus Zoo & Aquarium: Boo at the Zoo

Boo at the Zoo is a good way to celebrate Halloween without the fright. This family friendly attraction is perfect for a laid back night. 

At Boo at the Zoo, you can experience Jama’s Jack-O-Lantern Journey Seek-N-Find, Tommy C. Turtle’s Trick or Treat Trail, Cali’s Pirate Palooza Rolling Celebration, and much more.

This attraction is not only perfect for younger children, but for all ages as well. 

Ohio State Reformatory: Escape from Blood Prison

Located in Mansfield, Escape from Blood Prison is the perfect haunted attraction to go to if you are looking for something utterly terrifying. 

The Ohio State reformatory is one of the most haunted places in Ohio, so that alone is nightmare material. The reformatory has been the center of many different TV shows and movies, such as “Ghost Adventures” and “Shawshank Redemption.”

Escape from Blood Prison centers around a group of escaped inmates who seek shelter in the reformatory. The police close the investigation and it is up to you to escape the prison without getting caught by the deranged inmates. 

Escape from Blood Prison offers not only an interactive haunt, but a thrilling haunt as well. 

13th Floor Haunted House

If youre looking for a more local haunt, then 13th Floor Haunted House Columbus is for you. 

This attraction has two features: Tales of the Unknown and Darkest Dreams.

Tales of the Unknown focuses on a group of cannibals who have escaped the WIMM Asylum. Your task is to escape the town these hungry flesh eaters inhabit. 

Darkest Dreams focuses on a family who is having vivid nightmares, causing them to refuse sleep. Due to this, the family is starting to have hallucinations. Those who enter the house must decipher what is real, a hallucination, or a dream. Unable to do this successfully, one may never leave the plagued house. 

13th Floor Haunted House is a great way to pick your own adventure and experience a first-hand horror movie. 

The Dent Schoolhouse 

Copyright 2015 The Dent Schoolhouse, Photo by C Brielmaier.

This Cincinnati haunt is one of the best on this list for many reasons. The main reason being that The Dent Schoolhouse not only does haunts Sept.- Oct., but they also have a lights out haunt in Nov., and a Christmas themed haunt in Dec.

The main Halloween haunt focuses on a deranged school administration who will let none escape the schoolhouse. 

Although the Lights Out haunt is only available after Halloween, this haunt is the scariest of the three. It has the same concept as the first haunt the schoolhouse offers, but the only way an individual can navigate throughout the building is a single glow stick they are given when entering. 

A Christmas Nightmare is offered in Dec. and the characters that are listed sound terrifying. For the 2020 season, The Dent Grinch, Krampus and others are promised to be in attendance. 

The Dent Schoolhouse is a greeted haunted attraction because it offers spookiness after Oct.

Carnage Haunted House

Ranked number five in the country and number one in Ohio by The Scare Factor Review in 2018, Carnage Haunted House is the place to go to if you are looking for a terrifying haunt. 

With 30 detailed rooms, this spooky attraction is guaranteed to make you scream. To even enter without a legal guardian, one must be 16 years of age. 

On selected nights, Carnage offers showings of horror movies and live music. 

All of these spooky activities also enforce CDC guidelines, meaning that everything in each location is constatly being cleaned, social distancing is enforced, and all who participate must wear masks. 

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