Hilary Turner-Parsons is taking her notorious and glorious haunted house outdoors this Hallow's Eve to keep everyone alive on the night of the living dead.
Her haunted house is well-known around her corner of Newfoundland, attracting hundreds of people to the sandy community of Eastport long after beach season is over.
This year, Newfoundland and Labrador is one of the lucky provinces allowed to celebrate Halloween, but it comes with restrictions, and that means Turner-Parsons will have to move her life-sized coffin, eight-foot monster and other tricks of the trade outside.
"This year it's going to be completely different for me," she told CBC's As It Happens. "It is sad, and I have been disappointed with it. But in terms of safety … I've decided that the haunted house inside is not going to take place this year. I just can't guarantee the disinfecting."
The provincial government posted dozens of guidelines related to handing out treats, trick-or-treating, and other events, such as a haunted house.
- Be respectful of households that are not handing out treats this year, and skip any residence that has a sign on the door.
- Make sure children wash their hands before they leave home, when they arrive home, and before eating any treats.
- Avoid entering indoor porch areas when getting treats.
- Avoid activities that pose a high risk for transmission (e.g. bobbing for apples, decorating cookies).
Businesses can organize events, like hay rides or corn mazes or pumpkin patches, but lineups have to be managed to ensure physical distancing.
The government also recommends businesses consider online bookings with timed arrivals in order to space people out.
Turner-Parsons will decorate her front lawn and do up treats for kids in individual packages for them to pick up.
The extent of the haunted house is weather dependent, since many of her ghouls and gadgets are capable of scaring full-grown adults, but could fry under a little rain.
Newfoundland and Labrador marked one full week with no new cases on Friday. The province has only one active case.
The total caseload remains stagnant at 272. In total, 268 people have recovered and there have been three deaths.
As of Friday, 40,085 people have been tested — 543 more since Thursday.
While other provinces or municipalities mull cancelling Halloween, N.L. got the green light from the province's top doctor, Janice Fitzgerald.
That's good news for eight-year-old Molly Yetman.
"I like candy, so that's what I like about Halloween," she said while fully dressed as a clown on her front lawn in late September.
"Everything is my favourite kind of candy," said six-year-old Fiona Parfrey, dressed as a unicorn.
The two girls and their group of friends and siblings were not expecting to be allowed to trick-or-treat this year, as the province has some of strictest COVID-19 rules in the country.
The ability to have Halloween may seem like a small gift, but to these kids, it's a big deal.
Ditto for Hilary Turner-Parsons.
"If it's a clear night, I will have a full-blown display outside. It will be amazing."