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Why We Need Halloween More Than Ever This Year

By Laura Anderson

There’s no denying that Halloween is the community spirit upper that we all need right now.

While social distancing and masks are de rigueur in these pandemic times, Halloween is an opportunity to crank up your scare factor and put your best home-decorating skills to work.

You don’t want to be that house that didn’t make an effort, do you? Kids and adults love nothing more than seeing the locals add some Halloween spook to their front yards – and with all of us spending more time at home; we’re sure that everyone will be watching.

While Halloween isn’t for everyone (yes, we’ve heard it before, it’s a American tradition and we’re in Australia), but surely letting your preconceptions go just a little in the name of community spirit is what it’s about this year.

You can still enjoy the fruits of this event by buying a costume or making one, and sprucing up your home with ghoulish decorations too.

Even the tiniest of effort goes a long way when it comes to filling our streets with cheer.

So it’s time to get crafty.

DIY is about as therapeutic as it gets – try carving pumpkin heads to adding a gothic ambience to your front porch, plant plastic spiders in the garden to frighten the neighbours, hang skeletons from balconies to stir the curiosity among passers-by, and when it comes to trick or treating do so with pandemic care by leaving out lolly-bags that are already individually sealed.

Maybe even have some hand sanitiser on the side for extra Halloween generosity.

Home decor hits peak passion mode with balconies and gardens brimming with accessories. And nothing looks creepier than a 1800s terrace decked out in Halloween attire to plant the fear in ambitious trick-or-treating kids.

From RIP plaques in garden beds to cobwebs dangling all round, spooky doorbells and wicked witches, the key is to decorate as if your suburb is going to blitz it this Halloween.

Australia’s favourite homemaker and DIY crafter Chyka Keebaugh offers some Halloween hacks for who want to lean into the dark side. Her website is chock-full of food theme ideas as well as how to nail it this Halloween.

“The easiest way to decorate your home is using masses of spider webs – hang them over the front gate, garden and front door for a really dramatic effect. Buy tombstones for the front garden, rats in traps, massive spiders to hang in the web,” says Keebaugh, who has also created a Halloween Spotify list for extra boo factor when she hits the play button.

“Creating a really strong look at home is better than having lots of little things around; it’s about drama and more is more.”

She’s all about using masses of black tuille and old candles in any kind of vase or discarded wine bottle. And she also suggests spray painting your pumpkins black.

“Most importantly, do it all together and have fun while you’re doing it,” Keebaugh says.

“The great thing about Halloween is it comes every year, so you have the ability to build on your collection. There are no rules, but I believe more is more.”

October 31 is the time to make your social comeback, even if it’s baby steps, but it lets your suburb know you’re still around. Keep an eye on your Facebook Good Karma networking sites for what’s happening and encourage other families to take part too.

“This year has been such a tough time for all of us, but the kids in particular,” Keebaugh says.

“Being locked away from friends and school has been a hard one. But Halloween is such a fun time to be socially distanced yet out together with friends.

“The conversation of what you’re wearing, how are you decorating home and what you’re eating for dinner that night is a real reason to celebrate.”

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