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Floridians get creative to celebrate Halloween during the pandemic

Northdale haunted Halloween house
Posted at 10:50 PM, Oct 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-01 10:11:48-05

TAMPA, Fla. -- Halloween 2020 was different than any other, but even during the pandemic, people still found ways to celebrate.

From candy chutes to bags of candy set out on tables, to outdoor movies and even a socially distanced haunted house, one Northdale neighborhood went over the top to make sure trick-or-treaters still got to celebrate and do it safely.

“We love Halloween, and we wanted to celebrate,” said Monique Guggino, a homeowner who turned her front porch into a haunted path.

When you've had a year as scary as 2020, not much will phase you. But what was inside the Guggino family's haunted house still caught people a little off guard.

“The kids are gonna walk in and there’s gonna be a couple of things that make noise and pop out and there’s gonna be a final something at the end," said Guggino.

Monique and her husband spent more than 40 hours putting together a haunted house. They left both ends open for airflow, and only let one group in at a time.

“Just because there’s COVID doesn’t mean we shouldn’t celebrate,” said Guggino.

The rest of Guggino's Northdale neighborhood got pretty creative, too!

Northdale neighborhood gets creative on Halloween
Northdale neighborhood gets creative on Halloween

Several people put together candy chutes. The homeowner would stand on one end and send the candy down the chute into the treat bag.

“We thought it would be a safe way to trick-or-treat, be able for us to enjoy it, and for the kids to enjoy it too,” said Jan Kennedy, a homeowner in the neighborhood.

And just down the street, "Hocus Pocus" was playing on a projector outside. Trick-or-treaters stopped by for the movie, and to grab a treat bag.

“It’s been a lot of fun. So far we’ve had a few kids walk by, we have a table set up so that everyone can just grab a bag and go. I’m not putting out a bowl so that everyone’s dipping their hands in it,” said Kelly Bazzle.

Others set up tables with candy set out, either going by the honor system or passing the candy with the table distance in between.

“We have a lot of new families in the neighborhood and we wanted to make sure that we’ve met all the kids around here and these families,” said Sharon Rohrer.

Whatever it was going to take, this Northdale neighborhood wanted to make sure trick-or-treaters had a happy Halloween.

Just up the road, Sheriff Chad Chronister got in on the celebrations, too. He passed out candy at the Hillsborough County District 3 Sheriff's Office.

Sheriff Chronister passes out Halloween treats
Sheriff Chronister passes out Halloween treats

“This year’s been challenging for all of us, especially for our children. We wanted to make sure they had a happy, safe, and family fun Halloween,” said Sheriff Chronister.

He also left some safety advice for all of the parents.

“Make sure that it’s brand-name candy. If the factory seal has been tampered with, if we have any doubt at all, throw it out," said Sheriff Chronister.