Celebrating Halloween During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Updated: Nov 1, 2020
WEST HILLS, CA - The COVID-19 pandemic will not stop some people from celebrating Halloween. Ryan Goldman, owner of Phantom Halloween stores, says people are not as cautious about COVID-19 like they were back in April.
“People are kind of doing what they want to do at this point,” said Goldman.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have categorized a list of Halloween activities based on the risk of spreading the virus. Low risk activities include carving pumpkins and decorating your house. Higher risk activities include trick-or-treating and going to haunted houses.
Most annual Halloween events, such as Universal Studio’s Halloween Horror Nights and Knott’s Berry Farm have cancelled their annual attractions. Other events like The Los Angeles Haunted Hayrides have adapted the experience to allow for social distancing.
“[People] say [Halloween] is cancelled, but I still want to go outside,” said Maryjane, a 14-year-old girl who still plans to dress up for Halloween.
Phantom Halloween stores have been in Goldman’s family for generations. They are open year-round. All three store locations give back to those who have helped his family.
“I have a disabled son and Children’s Hospital as far as I’m concerned saved his life,” said Goldman.
Goldman’s son was in Children’s Hospital Los Angeles for 50 days consecutively. Goldman lived in the hospital for two weeks as his son was getting treatment. His son is permanently disabled, but Goldman says the fact that his son is still alive is what is important.
Customers are asked if they would like to make a donation to CHLA when they make a purchase at any of the three Phantom Halloween store. The business has collected more than $50,000 in donations in the last three years.
CHLA is a nonprofit institution that caters to pediatric health care. The hospital relies on philanthropists to fund the services they provide.
“It’s our give back charity. It makes us feel good about what we are doing, trying to make this world a better place,” said Goldman.
Goldman says his next goal is to donate $100,000 by next year.
Phantom Halloween store’s hours will be extended to accommodate shoppers the closer it gets to October 31st. It will remain open on Halloween.
By Nikiko Burnett
With contributions from Children's Hospital Los Angeles
Photo, Intermountain Healthcare
Video, Nikiko Burnett