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hows everyone adapting social distancing to their haunt?
just thinking about it has been somewhat daunting.
simple stuff like..oh...we cant do a maze because people reach out in the dark to touch stuff....oh...how do we sanitize costumes every night...oh...we cant have stuff that hangs down in people faces etc.

hows everyone approaching the 2020 haunt season
 

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We do a yard display for one day only that is not a walk-through (or at least isn’t supposed to be:)), so there are minimal to no issues with anyone coming into contact with anything. The only process we need to adapt is passing out candy - my current thought is to dump it in a bowl and use tongs or wear gloves to handle it. We’ll likely have to set up a candy distribution spot away from the front door to help with the social distancing thing.

It’s entirely possible that trick-or-treating will be cancelled this year, depending on local circumstances, but we should still be able to decorate for the holiday.
 

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I'm bringing sexy back
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Trying to get a plan in place but like everything else with Covid, we will probably have day-by-day updates from the states about Halloween when the time comes.

I already was thinking of a face mask to make to go with my outfit and I do wear gloves (cloth). I will just have to wear black latex gloves. The candy I'm not worried about but I usually give each TOT a glowstick which I put together the night before to give out. I might have to nix the glowsticks. To be determined. :rolleyes:

I also do a yard display and usually no one touches anything. I might add chains to each side of the walkway to as an added precaution. Sometimes they like to "pet" Wolfie or have their picture taken with him.

Another situation that I have is when the TOTers come up the walkway and steps it bunches up when I get a surge. I always have that problem because TOTers are coming up to the door while others are trying to get down the steps safety. I'm always trying to direct the TOTers traffic so no one falls/trips or the little ones get safety down. I was thinking of making a sign to remind of social distancing or just being on the sidewalk so on one has to come up the steps/walkway. I don't have an alternative route as to usher the TOTers in a different direction once they get their candy. Another fact is that there are not a lot of people practicing the 6-feet distance. That went out the window a week before Memorial Day weekend. I've been dealing with that every time I go to the supermarkets. :(


Even it we don't have TOTers, I still intend to have a display and celebrate.
 

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Just a walk-up yard haunt here and average numbers of ToT's in the teens with one block-buster year hitting the low 20's, so no real reason there could not be *plenty* of social distancing.

Though I could see several reasons for issues:

Town could just 'cancel' Halloween - they have already canceled the 4th of July celebrations, and banned fireworks years ago. Though I'm sure individuals will still celebrate... with fireworks.

Going to a strangers house and taking candy? Well, we braved the razor blade apples, cyanide candy bars and hypodermic needle popcorn when I was a kid... makes deadly virus seem almost tame by comparison.

Either way, I will still set things up - though have been scaling back in years past, anyway. It is actually somewhat refreshing to just chuck a non-working/busted prop in the trash and move on with the rest of the set-up vs pulling my hair out over every minute detail that which probably doesn't amount to much in the grand scheme, anyway.
 

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This is the exact thread I was hoping to find today, so thank you for asking and starting the discussion, GhostshipManistee.

I like to put candy and goodies into brown paper bags anyway, because you can brand or decorate them, and it keeps anyone from needing to grab a handful of stuff. Granted, it's not ideal, but if done a week in advance or so, it should be safe. I have not left home in so...very...long. But there will be no games or wheel spinning this year I guess, which really bites.

Really, really hoping it doesn't get cancelled this year. Not only is it on a weekend but it's a blue moon Halloween, which only happens every 19 years.
 

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We thought long and hard. Usually we have a yard that people are welcome to go through, a mausoleum they who through with a mini maze with pitch dark ceiling hangings, popcorn machine and balloons.
I wanted to do more than just putting masks on everything 😞. I came up with incorporating all our yard decorations in a 9 hole putt putt course. We are in healthcare, so will sani wipe the clubs between users, we have several hundred balls from a previous prop, gloves on for everything and clearly defined paths with lights. Hopefully we hit all the marks. Even if they "cancel" Halloween, especially since it's a Saturday, I don't think everyone will stay home, but it may be a light year for TOTs.
 

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Yes we are also thinking about whether we will go ahead with our Scouts fundraiser this year. We will definitely have to change our layout and not go with the shredding hanging plastic we usually use to divide up the scenes. Social distancing will only be a problem as everyone lines up because we limit the number of TOTs inside at any one time to allow the scares to work and reset. But it is a whole new world, so who knows by October what we'll be doing.
 

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... Even if they "cancel" Halloween, especially since it's a Saturday, I don't think everyone will stay home...
You bring up a good point, possibly deserving of its own thread...

What are the legal aspects if:

- We, as haunters, setting things up - especially any sort of walk-through, interactive props, activities, etc
- At some point in time the governing body 'cancels Halloween'
- ToTs still show up and we interact with them in any manner other than to say 'go home'.

Seems at a minimum, this might result in a 'shut down' from the government? (We've had other instances reported of haunts being shut down due to various other reasons.) Moving up the ladder - could it result in a fine due to violating emergency orders? Opening up to a lawsuit if someone were to get sick in the few weeks following attending your haunt (whether or not they were actually infected at your haunt), up to/including a major lawsuit if someone were to become seriously ill or die in the weeks following. (again - whether or not they were actually infected at your haunt)

It seems in the lawsuit happy / zero personal responsibility culture of today, it would be very easy for someone to single out an 'illegal' haunt as the source of their troubles and file a lawsuit. Once that happens, even 'winning' the suit may feel like loosing, overall?

Possibly keep an eye open as to how local bars, restaurants, etc are handled for operating during a forced shutdown?

I don't know all the answers... just thinking out loud...on the old typewriter, here!
 

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Good points, corey. Even with a yard display, someone could claim a haunter was putting others at risk by setting up the legal equivalent of an “attractive nuisance”.
 

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My neighbors have asked that I decorate. I just have a cemetery and typically kids walk up to the door. This year I am thinking pre-portioned bags of candy on a table at the end of my driveway. I think it would be cool to bookend the table with coffins and skeletons inside. Also adding a speaker so I can use a wireless mic to talk to folks in a creepy voice. I wish I had the funds for a skull that moved with my voice. Alas, a speaker hidden in one of the coffins will be good enough.
 

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I'm bringing sexy back
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Even with the 4th of July events that were cancelled, I still put up decorations - of course, nothing like my Halloween display.

If TOTing was cancelled, I would still put up a display - maybe not as elaborate outside. Halloween always takes a hit with some degree of negativity and I don't want to draw that kind of attention and give the oppressors any more nitpicking/reasons to point this out.

But, as I always said from the beginning, I decorate for myself to celebrate the Holiday that I love the most. All else is an added bonus. I decorate the inside of my house first so I can enjoy that regardless of the weather or theft.

I'm sure if there will be any TOTing, each state/city would have guidelines to follow.
 

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I think for safety sake, the best route for distributing candy is for you, the host, to drop the candy, gift, etc. into the TOT's container. If you are offering a selection, then you can let them tell you which one they want, but YOU do all the handling. I'd be wearing gloves, something very visible, while doing it. The fact that the TOT's tend to touch everything within reach is a potential nightmare on its own. If they knock on your door, ring a doorbell, it's just an open invitation to spread the virus. Maybe having a display that is only seen/scene from the sidewalk with the candy distributor being right there to do their thing. It may not be as rewarding for you or them, but nobody will thank you if you end up spreading the virus. For some of us, catching that virus would be a death penalty.
 

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You bring up a good point, possibly deserving of its own thread...

What are the legal aspects if:

- We, as haunters, setting things up - especially any sort of walk-through, interactive props, activities, etc
- At some point in time the governing body 'cancels Halloween'
- ToTs still show up and we interact with them in any manner other than to say 'go home'.

Seems at a minimum, this might result in a 'shut down' from the government? (We've had other instances reported of haunts being shut down due to various other reasons.) Moving up the ladder - could it result in a fine due to violating emergency orders? Opening up to a lawsuit if someone were to get sick in the few weeks following attending your haunt (whether or not they were actually infected at your haunt), up to/including a major lawsuit if someone were to become seriously ill or die in the weeks following. (again - whether or not they were actually infected at your haunt)

It seems in the lawsuit happy / zero personal responsibility culture of today, it would be very easy for someone to single out an 'illegal' haunt as the source of their troubles and file a lawsuit. Once that happens, even 'winning' the suit may feel like loosing, overall?

Possibly keep an eye open as to how local bars, restaurants, etc are handled for operating during a forced shutdown?

I don't know all the answers... just thinking out loud...on the old typewriter, here![/QUOTE]

True, there are litigious happy people out there, but i counter that they were endangered first by being allowed to TOT in the 1st place. If there is a strict stay at home again, we probably will cancel any overt activity, but still decorate. Short of a full stay at home order, I say enter at own risk! We will do our part for safety, and we always livestream to our FB page on Halloween so we will have proof of the protocols in place. It's all we can do. Someone could sue during a normal year for anything as well 🤷‍♀
 

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I think for safety sake, the best route for distributing candy is for you, the host, to drop the candy, gift, etc. into the TOT's container.
I have always handled candy and dropped into bags, buckets, pillowcases. this is for portion control since some kids think that "take one" means the entire bowl of candy. I also wear cotton gloves with all of my costumes. Mostly because I don't want my real skin to show and alter the perception of the character. My idea I posted previously is mostly for my safety.
 

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We normally do a black light 3D walk through that guests wear plastic chromadepth glasses to see the 3D effect. We won’t be doing that this year. Even wiping the glasses between use, I don’t want to take that risk. But that’s ok, because it will allow me to use that space for some projections I’ve wanted to try.

The cemetery will go up as usual. It’s all fenced off, so no one touches anything. I was thinking of placing jack o’lanterns at 6-8 foot intervals around the perimeter just to visually remind people of social distancing. We also have a short walk through on one side of our front yard where the pneumatic props are. I think I will still set that up and allow people to walk through there. It’s out in the open and no one touches anything.

I liked Oak Lane Cemetery’s idea of a 6’ PVC candy delivery tube with a skull on the end. Trick it out Halloween style. I think the kids might get a kick out of catching their candy from that.

That’s the plan so far. Ready to change at a moments notice. Fingers crossed Halloween still happens.
 

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I'm seriously thinking of building a catapult and a target funnel. Kids put their bag under the funnel and I catapult the candy to them. Would take some engineering but should work if it is not windy. The alternative would be a crank + treadmill system. I like the catapult but there is a lot of room for failure there. I might do both for fun.
 

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Sadly, I see that because of Covid-19, that even though Halloween falls on a Saturday this year, the haunts need to avoid situations where you can and will get crowds into a small, contained area. Crowded conditions are just begging to be hot spots to spread the virus. I'd advise having our haunts as walk-by situations rather than walk through or a trail to a doorway, where you would have guests crowding in and passing each other coming and going. As much as I love haunts, I can't see risking the lives of TOTs, young or old, just to put on a haunt.
 

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Same here, I am watching what is happening in our area of Maryland. I am going to give it until the 1st of Sept. before I make me mind up but either way we are going to do like we have done the past 3 years. Make up small paper bags with candy (with nuts and without nuts) and hand them out. As much as I love doing this, it is not worth going to jail or being slapped with a fine.
Dave
 

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I am making some big changes this year, assuming and hoping it will not be cancelled. I have bought or made at least 10 new props for this Halloween so I hope it doesn't get cancelled! Let's hope it is almost over by then. Ths biggest change is making 4 foot high fencing out of PVC and 1X2 wood. Last year kids were climbing over the 2 foot fences and taking pictures with the props. No more. I am also going to set up lines with tape just like they do with the stores so do 6 foot social distancing around my yard haunt. Also putting up a sign with disclaimers in case anyone want to get legal on me. This year I am actually advertising my haunt on a Chicago Haunt Builders web site because many people I know are NOT putting up displays. I say the opposite- people are so tired of being cooped up, Halloween is the perfect day to get out and see the haunts- (all rules to be followed, of course!) I am lucky because we installed a new sidewalk across the from of my yard so I now have a square path the visitors can follow so they are not back tracking on others. BRING ON HALLOWEEN- I'M READY FOR 'YA!
 
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