Saturday, November 27

Halloween at alert level 3: ‘Obviously it’s going to be a little different’

It’s Halloween on Sunday, but the traditional trick or treating will be out of the question for thousands of kids this year.

Auckland resident Dee Crooks and her family opted for the cobweb and skeleton theme.

Auckland resident Dee Crooks and her family opted for the cobweb and skeleton theme.
Photo: RNZ / Kate Gregan

Despite the restrictions, many families at Alert Level 3 are determined to celebrate.

Auckland resident Dee Crooks is looking forward to this weekend’s festivities with her two children and has decorations throughout her home including skeletons, pumpkins and a giant spider in the mailbox.

Crooks said that while his family was unable to celebrate the occasion as they normally do, they will make the most of it.

“Obviously it’s going to be a little different, but we’re going to have a candy hunt in the backyard, and we’ve still decorated the house, but not to the same extent,” he said.

Crooks said that while it was disappointing to be locked up, there would still be a good supply of goodies for her children.

“For the kids, it’s about the candy, right? It’s about the candy,” he said.

“We’ve explained to them why we can’t cheat or try this year, but we will try to make sure we can have fun in the backyard.”

Crooks said costumes are a big part of the day, his daughter is dressing up as the Addams family Wednesday, and his son will be a skeleton.

Dignan Street in Auckland’s Point Chevalier usually welcomes hundreds of tricks or handlers, but this year things are different.

Despite this, resident Gina von Sturmer said her family was already in the spooky spirit.

His home is covered in decorations including coffins, spider webs, and skeletons.

Gina von Sturmer's family covered their house with Halloween decorations.

Gina von Sturmer’s house is one of 15 in Point Chevalier competing for the best decorated house.
Photo: RNZ / Kate Gregan

With three children under the age of six, von Sturmer said Halloween was a great time for his family and others in the neighborhood.

“I love it. It’s a lot of fun and I like the expressions and reactions of the people who pass by, and I think that’s what I am most happy about, plus all the children get very excited,” he said.

Her house is one of 15 in the suburb competing for the best decorated house, but she admits that Halloween will not be the same as in previous years.

“It is much more difficult because we are not going to do tricks or treats this year, but we are still getting into the decorating spirit.

“It’s great that people can go for a walk with their bubbles and stay safe and just enjoy the decorations,” he said.

Brittany Chan, owner of Desiree Costume Hire in Penrose, said Halloween was her favorite time of year.

She said that while the suits would normally fly off the shelves by Oct. 31, the lockdown has slowed.

“It’s been a lot quieter this year, but we’re open for contactless hiring, so we’ve had some inquiries, which is really great.

“People are still willing to dress up for their little bubble parties because Halloween is such a fun time of year, it’s a great time to get really creative in horror season,” he said.

New Zealanders are also going online for festive fun and Trade Me told Kiwis are still looking for Halloween despite restrictions.

Spokeswoman Millie Silvester said New Zealanders flocked to the site for a variety of scary costumes and decorations before October 31.

“In the last two weeks we have seen more than 31,000 searches for costumes and 16,000 searches for Halloween on the site,” he said.

Silvester said a Korean Netflix show had provided a lot of costume inspiration, with searches for Squid costumes shot since its release in mid-September.

“Kiwis can expect to see a lot of red and green tracksuits knocking on their doors or popping up on Zoom this Sunday, as we’ve seen thousands of searches for

Squid Game Costumes, “Silvester said.

Among the top ten, for the first time, were dinosaurs and inflatable costumes.

“We think some Kiwis are trying to combine social distancing guidelines with the Halloween festivities,” he said.

Silvester said that different areas of the country are pursuing their own favorite costume ideas.

Auckland locals would dress up as wolves and superheroes according to Trade Me search data, while Wellingtons planned to celebrate our national heroes, with nurses and doctors topping the costume charts.

Last year’s biggest costume quest, Harley Quinn, will return with Cantabrians alongside Darth Vader. Further south in Otago, you’ll find some more inflatable aliens and superheroes.

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