How to celebrate Halloween safely

Here are six ways to celebrate Halloween safely this year. Photo courtesy of Society19.


Halloween is going to look a lot different this year at Butler University. Due to COVID-19, many seasonal events have been canceled, leaving students to safely celebrate on their own.

Typically, students have the opportunity to visit Butler president James Danko’s home, drink apple cider, enjoy homemade Halloween-themed treats and mingle at the annual Halloween Open House. Additionally, due to the COVID-19 guidelines mandating that students should not gather in groups of more than 10, many student organizations will not be holding Halloween events. 

Many students enjoy dressing up for Halloween and showing off their carefully cultivated costumes. For students like Matt Boucher, a junior finance and accounting major, the cancellation of these events is disappointing. 

“In past years — my freshman and my sophomore year — Halloween weekend was kind of probably one of the more fun events on campus,” Boucher said. “I do kind of miss the more community aspect of Halloween and being able to see everyone in their costumes and all that stuff.”

Right now, the scariest part of the spooky season is the possibility of catching COVID-19. The options are slim, so what exactly can students do this year? 

Luckily, there are a variety of Halloween traditions and festivities that students can partake in from the safety of their pumpkin-spice scented rooms. 

Pumpkin Painting

Instead of attempting to carve pumpkins in a dorm room with a stolen Atherton Union butterknife, students can opt to safely and easily decorate pumpkins by painting them. 

Big pumpkins and small pumpkins alike serve as great canvases and make for excellent fall decor. There are several pumpkin patches near campus such as Adrian Orchards or Tuttle Orchards in Greenfield, so students can even make a socially-distanced day out of it. Students can dress in their best Christian Girl Autumn fit and pick out their favorite pumpkins in the patch, Charlie Brown style. 

Dorm hallway trick-or-treating

At this point, many college students feel they are too old to go trick-or-treating, but some students living in residence halls have placed baskets full of candy outside their dorm rooms as an informal trick-or-treating activity. This way, students can stay inside their residence halls and still enjoy their favorite Halloween candies.

Harvest at Newfields

Newfields offers an abundance of fall activities and photo-ops at Harvest, an annual fall-themed event. During the day, guests can visit the Newfields garden, which has been decorated with thousands of Indiana-grown pumpkins and a variety of horticulture displays. At night, guests can purchase tickets to visit the Harvest Nights installation, which includes thousands of lit-up jack-o-lanterns along a newly-unveiled path on the Newfields grounds. Tickets are $25 apiece, but if you’re a Halloween fanatic, the experience could be worth it. 

JP Clark, a junior anthropology and environmental studies major, visited the Harvest Nights installation alongside his fellow apartment community assistants as part of an activity sponsored by Residential Life.

“It was decently cool,” Clark said. “I didn’t have to pay, so I probably would not have paid for it, but I understand the ticket price, especially during COVID-19. They need to be able to make money. I support museums a lot, being an anthropologist, but also being a broke college student —  I probably wouldn’t have gone.” 

Whether you are a Halloween-fanatic or museum enthusiast, Harvest is a great way to support Newfields and celebrate the spooky season.

Watch Halloween-themed movies

Pandemic or not, one common Halloween tradition is watching spooky movies. To make things extra festive, students can enjoy caramel apples and apple cider while they watch classic Halloween movies such as Halloweentown, Ghostbusters or Beetlejuice.

Hannah Norton, a sophomore international business and marketing major, said that she watches her own Halloween favorites every year. 

“I always try to watch Hocus Pocus, all the Halloweentowns and Twitches, like the Disney Channel ones,” Norton said. “So I’ve been watching those and then also scary movies. They don’t [all] have to be Halloween-themed.”

Jam to Halloween music

What is Halloween without some monster-themed music? “The Monster Mash” is begging to be played, and if students don’t already know the “Thriller” dance, this Halloween season could be the perfect time to learn it. There is never a bad time for a dance party — except for during quiet hours.

Some students enjoy Halloween music with a more modern twist. Norton said that she has been listening to a remix of “Spooky Scary Skeletons” on repeat.

“Everyone in my pod will just listen to it on their speakers,” Norton said. “They made it to WAP, so we were listening to the WAP remix of it.”

Wear a Halloween costume

Students who want to get in the full swing of Halloween spirit can still dress up in costume —  despite not being able to go to parties to show off their looks. It is easy to get creative with clothes and makeup — no visit to Party City required. Even if there is nowhere to debut the outfit in person, there’s always an Instagram picture waiting to be taken. So go ahead, dress up and show off your costume on the timeline. 

While this Halloween may not be the same as in years past, there are still plenty of ways to make it enjoyable. This spooky season may be more tricky to navigate, but it still has the potential to be a treat.   


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