Halloween in the Time of Coronavirus

Hollywood Gothique is about to launch a series of articles about Halloween in the Time of Coronavirus. Basically, the series will consist of several short articles focused on individual attractions, followed by a longer piece providing an overview.

This will be somehow akin to last year's exploration of interactive Halloween plays, but this time we will not be focusing on a single kind of attraction. Covid-19 has impacted events of all kinds: Halloween Theme Parks are closed; Halloween Mazes and Rides are few and far between, replaced by drive-through attractions; Halloween Home Haunts are mostly reduced to yard displays instead of walk-throughs.

Halloween Cinema is not doing too badly; in fact, it may even be flourishing due to the lack of competition from the usual haunted house attractions; however, it is limited to pop-up drive in locations that fall short of the premium viewing experience provided by indoor venues.

Ironically, the hardest hit area may be Halloween Theatre, the immersive variations of which seemed poised to replace traditional pop-up haunts in 2019. We profiled several last year, none of which are returning for Halloween 2020, because the risk of up-close interaction between actors and audience is too great when Covid-19 infection rates remain high.

Instead, pop-up drive-ins and drive-throughs are dominating the marketspace. Which succeed and which fail? Can established attractions recalibrate for safety precautions while still providing scares? Is it possible to do a walk-through safely? And why hasn't virtual reality become more of a thing? To learn the answers to these and other questions, come along with us...if you dare.

Feature Image Credit: Photo by Dzmitry Dudov (Dead__Angel_) on Unsplash

Note: Since starting this series, we have retroactively incorporated previous posts touching on the subject of Covid-19's impact on Halloween. This may make the numbering of the installments confusing: the "third" post in the actual series might be the fifth or sixth post post on the topic, because those previous posts were meant to be one-offs, made before we had settled on creating an entire series.

Steve Biodrowski, Administrator

A graduate of USC film school, Steve Biodrowski has worked as a film critic, journalist, and editor at Movieline, Premiere, Le Cinephage, The Dark Side., Cinefantastique magazine, Fandom.com, and Cinescape Online. He is currently Managing Editor of Cinefantastique Online and owner-operator of Hollywood Gothique.

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