Scott Anderson stands among the “Camp Covid” Halloween decorations he’s put on the lawn of his Fleetwood-area house. As B.C. continues to deal with the pandemic, Anderson isn’t sure how many trick-or-treaters he and his wife, Dana, will get on Saturday night (Oct. 31). “Usually we get over 200 kids, but I don’t think we’ll come near that this year.” (submitted photo: Dana DeWolfe)

Scott Anderson stands among the “Camp Covid” Halloween decorations he’s put on the lawn of his Fleetwood-area house. As B.C. continues to deal with the pandemic, Anderson isn’t sure how many trick-or-treaters he and his wife, Dana, will get on Saturday night (Oct. 31). “Usually we get over 200 kids, but I don’t think we’ll come near that this year.” (submitted photo: Dana DeWolfe)

‘Camp Covid’ for Halloween at Surrey home where decorator ponders trick-or-treat numbers

Dr. Henry: ‘This is not the year we’re going to have hundreds of kids going to hundreds of houses’

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.”

(Story continues below)

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.”

• READ MORE:B.C.’s top doctor encourages Halloween costumes to include masks.

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.”

Meantime, Surrey student Mehakpreet Dhaliwal emailed the Now-Leader with some thoughts about staying safe while having fun at Halloween this year.

“Many of the ‘traditional’ Halloween activities, especially trick-or-treating and costume parties, are considered high-risk for the spreading of the virus,” wrote Mehakpreet, a Grade 10 student. “However, with a little bit of planning and a dash of creativity, you can still celebrate the spookiest time of year with your family and friends. Here are a few ideas to help you get started:

“Go big on decorations. To get in the Halloween spirit, decorate your house, apartment or living space – interior and exterior – with either store-bought or DIY decor. Engage your children by having ‘Halloween craft sessions,’ or hit your nearest dollar store for fabulous, yet affordable, decorations.

“Host a virtual costume party. Use any of the multitude of video calling apps available these days to host your own virtual Halloween costume party. Invite your family and friends, and if you’re feeling competitive, you could even turn it into a costume contest!

“Have a horror movie marathon. If home is where your happy place is, get ready to snuggle up with a bowl of popcorn, a bag of candy, and your favourite blanket for a spooky Halloween movie night.

“Bake Halloween goodies. From eyeball cake pops to ghost shaped cookies, a quick Google search of ‘Halloween treats’ will give you hundreds of different recipes and options to choose from. Spend time and have fun with your children by having them help you out in the kitchen. If baking isn’t really your cup of tea, you could binge watch others accomplish the daunting task in Food Network’s iconic Halloween baking shows.

“Organize a Halloween-themed scavenger hunt. Rather than going house-to-house, have a spooky scavenger hunt at home. Hide some candy inside your house or around your backyard, create clues, and get your family involved. Be creative and have fun with it!

“Carve pumpkins. Luckily this Halloween tradition is one of the very few that’s pretty pandemic-proof. Step up your game this year by trying some creative pumpkin-carving, or painting, ideas. Have a pumpkin carving contest in your family, and see who can come up with the scariest (or silliest) creation.”

CoronavirusHalloween

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Tanvi Pandhi, a Grade 12 student at Fleetwood Park Secondary, took part in the Surrey school district’s survey of students in grades 10 to 12, with a focus on health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Surrey students voice concerns about mask wearing, distancing in schools

Surrey school district has been surveying students in grades 10 to 12

Cambridge Elementary School music teacher Darlene Lourenco is “on the mend” after contracting COVID-19. She had a two-week stay at Surrey Memorial Hospital, including in the ICU. (Photo: submitted)
Surrey music teacher at home after two-week hospital stay battling COVID-19

Meantime, Surrey Teachers’ Association sends letter with safety demands to board of education

The Peninsula Community Foundation is set to host an online poker fundraiser on Dec. 11. (Unsplash photo)
Peninsula Community Foundation plans online poker tournament for charity

December fundraiser to feature pair of Surrey/White Rock poker pros

Lacey, a palomino paint, is in “amazing” shape now, compared to when she was rescued in August 2015. (Leanne Peniuk photo)
BC SPCA’s horse-rescue program offers equine intervention

Book Rescue Me raises funds, awareness for animal-welfare agency

Hugh Dobbie’s South Surrey-based tech business Yare Media was recently acquired by California’s Visaic Inc. (SFU photo)
South Surrey tech company acquired by California business

Hugh Dobbie founded Yare Media in 2016, and ‘will remain involved’

Mary Cox and Jack Plant dance in their pyjamas and slippers at the morning pyjama dance during the Rhythm Reelers’ 25 Annual Rally in the Valley Square Dance Festival in Chilliwack on June 4, 2011. Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 is Square Dancing Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Nov. 29 to Dec. 5

Square Dancing Day, Disability Day and International Ninja Day are all coming up this week

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Kevin Bieksa during his days playing with the Vancouver Canucks. (Photo: commons.wikimedia.org)
Bieksa to guest on free Canucks Alumni ‘Hot Stove’ on Zoom app

Former NHL player has become a game analyst on Sportsnet

114 Canadians were appointed Nov. 27 to the Order of Canada. (Governor General of Canada photo)
Indigenous actor, author, elder, leaders appointed to Order of Canada

Outstanding achievement, community dedication and service recognized

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
2 Lower Mainland churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

A big job: Former forests minister Doug Donaldson stands before a 500-year-old Douglas fir in Saanich to announce preservation of some of B.C.’s oldest trees, July 2019. (B.C. government)
B.C. returning to ‘stand-alone’ forests, rural development ministry

Horgan says Gordon Campbell’s super-ministry doesn’t work

Peter Wilson, left, and Micah Rankin, right, formed the Special Prosecutor team that was tasked with reviewing and litigating charges stemming from the Bountiful investigation. Trevor Crawley photo.
End of Bountiful prosecution wraps up decades of legal battles

Constitutional questions had to be settled before a polygamy prosecution could move forward

Alexandre Bissonnette, who pleaded guilty to a mass shooting at a Quebec City mosque, arrives at the courthouse in Quebec City on February 21, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mathieu Belanger - POOL
Court strikes down consecutive life sentences; mosque shooter has prison term cut

The decision was appealed by both the defence and the Crown

Most Read