The Daily Tar Heel

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Friday February 3rd

Pumpkin houses and DIY costumes: Students find ways to celebrate Halloween indoors

A patch of pumpkins in western North Carolina. Amidst the pandemic, people are finding ways to stay in the spooky spirit, such as by carving pumpkins.
Buy Photos A patch of pumpkins in western North Carolina. Amidst the pandemic, people are finding ways to stay in the spooky spirit, such as by carving pumpkins.

Worry not, the spooky spirit is still in the air this season. Students have found new ways to celebrate a UNC-favorite holiday while still maintaining a safe, social distance. 

Pumpkin carving is a Halloween staple that can easily be done at home. 

UNC senior Lexi Baird made a carving creation of her own.

"I made a little pumpkin house," Baird said. "I carved the pumpkin to look like a miniature home, took out a large chunk for the door and then put a tiny pumpkin inside."

Senior Sydney Davis painted her pumpkin with her roommate this year. She said she recommends everyone paint their pumpkin and explained it is a great option for college students, especially since it can be done inexpensively. 

Sydney Davis and her roommate pose with their painted pumpkins. Photo courtesy of Davis.

"I feel like I've always gone pumpkin picking but usually I carve them," Davis said. "But I've really been into painting them recently. I feel like it's easier and not as messy."

Besides painting pumpkins, decorating the house is another way to make Halloween this year feel more like a normal holiday. 

Davis and her roommates have not let the pandemic stop them from decorating, even if it will just be for themselves. 

"We made on our senior bucket list that we were going to decorate for every single holiday, no matter if anyone is going to see it or not," Davis said. 

Davis said they would usually decorate with the intent to have a party, but they recognize it is not an option this year because of social distancing requirements.

Junior Kayla Dang also refuses to let anything damper her Halloween spirit. 

"Honestly the easiest thing would be to have a Halloween movie marathon because you can do that pretty easily over Netflix party, so that way you're social distancing but still getting into the Halloween spirit," Dang said. 

She said she and her boyfriend are going to play their own Dungeons and Dragons Halloween themed game this year.

Some students are using skills they learned in quarantine to liven up the season — many have turned to baking Halloween-themed treats. 

"We try to at least once a week cook something fall-themed, like we did cookies one time and cooked some fun bread," Davis said. "It's fun and you can even do the prepackaged stuff."

While there's no mass gathering on Franklin Street to show off their costumes, students are still planning to dress up anyways. 

"Every day there is not a motivation to dress up and be something different," Dang said. "But Halloween is the one day where you can put paint on your face and spray your hair a crazy color and so I just really love that part and just getting outside of myself."

Dang said she dressed up in a different DIY costume every day of October her first year at UNC and thus she is a huge promoter of costumes.  

The costumes can be worn at virtual Halloween parties this year to make up for not being able to go in person. 

"My professor is having an online Halloween party on Thursday, and I have a small group of friends holding a COVID-safe 'Murder Mystery Party' this weekend," Baird said. "I'm trying to partake in as many COVID-safe Halloween activities as possible."


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