The Halloween decorations outside Scott Anderson’s Surrey home are pretty frightening, but he figures the COVID-19 pandemic might scare away a greater number of trick-or-treaters.
“Usually we get over 200 kids, but I don’t think we’ll come near that this year,” said the Fleetwood-area resident.
Anderson, a lover of Halloween since he was a kid on Sea Island in Richmond, said he adds more thrills to his yard every year.
This year it’s a “Camp Covid” theme, with mask-wearing skeletons seated outside tents and a “campfire” – all physically distanced, of course. “Be calm, be kind, be safe, or else,” reads a sign stuck in the lawn, at 15527 94th Ave.
“It’s very kid-friendly, no blood or gore,” said Anderson’s wife, Dana DeWolfe.
“It’s good fun, lots of things that make noise. We have a big front lawn, and it takes up all of the lawn.
“We don’t have any kids outselves, but the kids in our neighborhood love it, she added, “and so do all our grand-nieces and nephews.”
"Camp Covid" theme for #Halloween at #SurreyBC home where decorator ponders trick-or-treat numbers. "Usually we get over 200 kids, but I don’t think we’ll come near that this year,” says Scott Anderson.
STORY: https://t.co/saNEH2m4gB pic.twitter.com/PveFG7fmSl
— Tom Zillich (@TomZillich) October 26, 2020
B.C. health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says Halloween trick-or-treating is a go this year, but encourages mask wearing and precautions to maintain physical distancing.
“This is not the year we’re going to have hundreds of kids going to hundreds of houses in large groups,” Henry said during a media briefing Oct. 19. “That can’t happen this year. This has to be Halloween in the time of a pandemic, and for many families, that will mean staying at home and maybe having a candy hunt in a house and watching a scary movie.”
She encourage parents to consider having small in-home gatherings, “in a very small way, in a limited way.”
“I think that’s important for us to remember that ceremonies are things that children remember as well, and that this one (Halloween) will be different and it needs to be small,” Henry said. “We need to have distancing and we need to really, really respect that some people don’t want to play this year (or) have people coming to their house.”
Anderson and DeWolfe will use a tube to drop chocolate bars into trick-or-treat bags of kids who knock on the their door.
“Whatever doesn’t get given out, we’ll give it to the Surrey Food Bank,” DeWolfe said. “Usually we bring it to the office but it’s not open right now, so that won’t happen.”
Anderson, an IT guy, starts building his “Halloween house” in September each year.
“That’s when all the boxes come up from the crawlspace,” DeWolfe explained. “I don’t know how many Rubbermaid containers he has in there, probably 20.”
DeWolfe is more of a Christmas person, Anderson reported. “We’ll do those decorations, too, but not as much outside as inside,” he said.
“I just love Halloween,” Anderson added. “The people in the neighbourhood thank me for doing it, which is nice, and the kids like it.”