Halloween, 2020, fright
The author writes, “As Halloween plans, like everything else this year, get upended because of COVID-19, one’s forced to ask oneself: Who even needs Halloween in 2020? In a year which has brought us a pandemic, uprisings against social injustice, electoral uncertainty and murder hornets, who needs to fake being scared? But maybe that’s the wrong way to look at it. Maybe 2020 is the sort of year for which Halloween has been preparing us.” Photo credit: Pxhere

A Rare Blue Moon Will Bring a Halloween 2020 Treat to the Skies ; Eerie Witches’ Marks Found Among Ruins of Medieval English Church ; and More Picks 10/30

A Rare Blue Moon Will Bring a Halloween 2020 Treat to the Skies (Dana)

The author writes, “In this bizarre year, another highly unusual event is headed our way. This year’s Halloween full moon will be visible to the entire world, rather than just parts of it, for the first time since World War II, astronomy educator and former planetarium director Jeffrey Hunt says. … The last Halloween full moon visible around the globe came in 1944, he said. … Want to see the Halloween full moon? It’s so bright at the full phase it doesn’t matter if you’re in a crowded city or out on the farm. And you don’t need pricey equipment.”

Socially Distanced Candy Chute Created by Ohio Man to Save Halloween (Peg)

The author writes, “As cities and towns across the country decide whether they will hold trick-or-treating events amid the coronavirus pandemic, an Ohio man has come up with a ‘touch-free’ alternative to handing out Halloween candy this year. Andrew Beattie constructed a 6-inch candy chute and attached it to his porch rail, an orange-and-black striped cardboard tube through which he can drop candy from the top of his stairs. It would then land safely in the bucket or bag of visiting trick-or-treaters.”

Morbid, Bloody Halloween Display Terrifies Dallas Residents (Dana)

From TMZ: “A morbid, bloody and frightful Halloween display at a Texas man’s home is eliciting more than gasps from his neighbors… he’s getting police visits too. Artist Steven Novak turned the front yard of his Dallas residence into a gory scene straight out of a horror movie — or several of them — using dummies, props, and more than 20 gallons of fake blood. Steve really went all out. The shocking and way-too-realistic display might take the cake for 2020’s best Halloween decorations, but it’s also prompted several complaints from locals… and cops have been called to the fake massacre location multiple times.”

Oregon Zoo Elephants Devour Giant Pumpkins in Annual Squishing of the Squash (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “The Oregon Zoo’s Asian elephants kicked off the Halloween season … with the Squishing of the Squash, an annual tradition held since 1999. The zoo’s behemoth pachyderms got to stomp, crush and devour several giant pumpkins. The largest squash was 800 pounds. The largest elephant is Samson. He weighs about 9,685 pounds.”

It’s Hard to Enforce Pandemic Health Rules on Halloween. Just Look at What Happened in 1918 (Dana)

The author writes, “The COVID-19 pandemic has already played out like a horror movie script, and yet some Americans are still determined to celebrate Halloween on Oct. 31 — trading their normal face masks for costume masks, and planning socially distant festivities. It will no doubt be an unusual holiday, but the cancellation of large costume parties and street celebrations also makes Halloween 2020 eerily similar to one earlier celebration in particular: Halloween 1918, which fell during the deadliest pandemic of the 20th century.”

Eerie Witches’ Marks Found Among Ruins of Medieval English Church (Dana)

The author writes, “Archaeologists conducting excavations at the abandoned church of St. Mary’s in Stoke Mandeville, England, discovered strange stone carvings and medieval graffiti suspected to be ‘witches’ marks,’ or protective symbols designed to ward off evil spirits. Per a statement, the etchings are among the many ‘exciting’ archaeological finds made ahead of construction of HS2, a controversial, high-speed railways set to connect much of Great Britain. Previous discoveries include the skeleton of an Iron Age murder victim, remnants of Britain’s prehistoric coastline and a prehistoric hunter-gatherer site on the outskirts of London.”

The Tombstones of 1,000 Pets Tell a Very Human Story (Dana)

From Inverse: “‘POOR CHERRY. DIED APRIL 28. 1881.’ Short and sweet, this epitaph can be found engraved on a small tombstone in London’s Hyde Park. It marks the last resting place of Cherry, a Maltese Terrier — one of 300 pets interred in Hyde Park’s pet cemetery. But while death comes for us all, Cherry was unique: She was the first pet to be interred in what is now considered the first dedicated pet cemetery in the United Kingdom. Pet cemeteries like the one in Hyde Park are not the ghoulish sites imagined in the infamous Stephen King novel. Rather, they may offer a unique insight into our own pasts, our sense of spirituality, and our evolving relationship with animals.”

Ofrendas Celebrating el Día de Muertos 2020 (Peg)

From the Detroit Institute of Arts: “In celebration of Dia de Muertos, the Detroit Institute of Arts, in partnership with Detroit’s Mexican Consulate, invites you to explore a community exhibition of ofrenda altars. In Mexico, and other Latin American countries, the Day of the Dead is the time of the year to celebrate the lives of close relatives, friends or community members who have passed away. Objects important to lost loved ones, such as favorites foods, drinks, mementos and pictures, are collected and incorporated into elaborate displays that include pan de muerto (bread of the dead), sugar skulls, candles, flowers, papel picado (paper cutouts) and other decorations. … Visit in person or online.”

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