How families are celebrating a social-distance style Halloween

A pandemic and near-freezing temps couldn’t scare away Halloween spirits Saturday, as creative methods for contactless distribution — like candy catapults — saved trick-or-treating from cancellation on the first Oct. 31 under COVID-19.

Vince Mak and his 8-year-old son Connor created a crazy candy contraption in York County, Pa., so they could launch sweets into the bags of trick-or-treaters.

“Back in September we thought, ‘Well, what if Halloween doesn’t happen?’ So we thought we have to find a way … to at least get some candy to kids,” Mak said.

The “candypult” was a big hit. Connor, dressed as a ninja, gleefully showered his friends and teen sisters in treats in their front yard.

In Ridgewood, N.J., entrepreneurial twins CJ and Dante Torielli found a similar way to beat their pandemic boredom. They built and sold slides that keep candy-givers and kids 10 feet apart.

The tubes netted a $7 profit for each of the boys, who distributed 30 of them to neighbors.

“I’m excited to help,” Dante said.

“We are basically just trying to keep people safe and happy,” CJ added.

Mother Nature cast an icy spell on the day’s festivities in New York City, where the mercury dipped to 33 degrees Saturday morning. But that couldn’t stop costumed revelers.

In Forest Hills, kids and their families could look, but not touch, a spooky display of skeletons, goblins and ghouls galore outside Halloween-lover Frederic Sandy’s 69th Avenue home.

“It’s different because we can’t really go out and celebrate the true authenticity of Halloween, dressing up and meeting with friends and trick or treating … it’s very sad,” Eva Lokaj said while dropping off a pumpkin she and her 8-year-old son Michael carved for Sandy’s display. It had amassed 65 donated jack-o’-lanterns by Saturday afternoon.


Frederic Sandy stands in front of his Halloween creation in Forest Hills.

Kevin C. Downs


Kids trick-or-treating at Sandy’s elaborately decorated house.

Kevin C. Downs

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“I wouldn’t be surprised if we reach our 100 mark,” said Sandy, who spent $3,000-$4,000 to decorate his yard, where he distributed goody bags.

“You see a lot of negativity, [but] this has brought a lot of people together,” Sandy said.

Greenpoint trick-or-treaters were also determined to keep tradition alive.

The winning piece at the Washington Market Park 2020 Pumpkin Carving Contest from today.
The winning piece at the today’s pumpkin carving contest at Washington Market Park in Tribeca.James Keivom

“F–k the COVID, we can kill the COVID this year. We have masks, we gave hand sanitizer. We want to go trick or treat. The kids need it,” said Patrizia Belcastro, dressed as Freddy Krueger, with daughter Emma, 6, dressed as Supergirl.

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