How to have a spooky Halloween on lockdown


Weekend closures and rainy weather forecasts mean Halloween will be a little different this year. Here’s how you can stay safe while being scary.

If you are in Auckland or parts of Waikato, the trick or treatment is irrelevant for this year’s Halloween.

If you’re lucky enough to be in a level two region, you can of course still go trick or treat (with masks and distancing). Even so, with weather forecasts across the country looking grim all weekend long, it might be nicer to stay home with your bubble anyway. Whatever your alert level, here are some tips to make your Halloween as spooky as possible, from the comfort and safety of your home.


One of the downsides to the trick or treatment is that a bunch of people just pass on their unwanted lollipops from the previous year. Take the opportunity this year to bypass those rejected flavors and make your own candy choices.

You could argue that no one has as much affinity for sweets as the Swedes, so why not buy a selection of Safka, who delivers or click and collect in their central Auckland store.

Or, if you want to get creative, decorate a cake with spooky lollipops like sour snakes or fake teeth to share with your bubble. If you really have a sweet tooth, consider investing in a selection of classic dairy lollipops and complete your own lollipop reviews and ratings.

Get dressed

Even though this Halloween has its restrictions, there’s no reason you still can’t dress up. Whether you get scary, weird, or sexy, have fun with it.

Ä€tea editor-in-chief Leonie Hayden hopes that a Japanese everyday cosplay trend Halloween costumes are making their way to Aotearoa. The Japanese versions include characters like “a guy who spilled coffee on his front” or “someone who has just arrived at the airport and is a little cold”. Why not get into the spirit and dress up as an everyday local character. Here are some chaotic ideas for Aucklander’s costumes before the outbreak:

  • Person pushing carry-on baggage limits for a five-day vacation in Rarotonga.
  • Someone immediately realizes after entering that this store is not his style – but politely browses for five minutes anyway.
  • Uber driver answering the question “So, has it been busy tonight?”
  • Someone returning to the office the day after a bad haircut.
  • Person queuing at a buffet.
  • Unbeknownst to him, Aucklander holding an umbrella on a rainy day in Wellington.
  • Commuter on a bus so crowded that there is nothing to hang on to keep your balance.


It feels like a rainy weekend for most of the country, so stay warm inside and watch a movie. Auckland Academy Cinema has been physically closed for months now, but it’s online streaming service is a great alternative, and means you can take advantage of the Academy’s catalog no matter where you are in the country. They have everything from spooky classics like the Scream and Rosemary’s Baby trilogy to modern favorites like Get Out and Parasite.

If you find the world scary enough as it is, Academy has a wonderfully wide selection of non-terrifying films as well.

Academy Cinema has an excellent range of scary movies


Pumpkins are a classic Halloween symbol, so why not take the time to whip up a delicious pumpkin dish? Either this pumpkin and blue cheese pasta or this pumpkin, beetroot and barley soup would make a delicious Halloween dinner.


Whether you’re doing it for yourself, your bubble, or maybe to share with friends on Zoom, compiling a Halloween-themed playlist can be a great time killer if you need some thing to keep you busy. Bauhaus, TLC, The Cure, Aldous Harding, Dusty Springfield, and Rihanna all got spooky hits to get the ball rolling. And the theme of the 1978 Halloween movie is actually kind of a bop.


If you bought a bunch of eggs in anticipation of people’s homes or cars, probably skip that this year. In fact, I’m going to declare egging officially banned at levels three and two. No one needs to clean the eggs from their windows this weekend, and the chickens haven’t done all that hard work for nothing. Quiche, scrambled eggs, custard, and pisco sour are all much better things to make with eggs.

Halloween story

This video from YouTube, fashion and film critic Mina Le takes a fascinating dive into the history of Halloween, and in particular of costumes. Tracing its European roots, the adaptations that developed in the United States, the racist implications of certain types of costumes, to Halloween relevance to queer communities.

Perhaps one of the most interesting takeaways from his video is that Halloween has been an ever-changing celebration – it wasn’t always about showing off kids and lollipops. A good reminder in weird times like this that it’s not necessarily a bad thing, and it’s certainly not unusual, that traditions change.


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