The candy aisles overflow with excess stock, unheeded “Sale!” signs littering the stores like so many crowded orange tombstones. Yards once teeming with inflatable witches and goblins lie empty, tattered ghosts pinned to front porches like the memories of Halloweens past. Never has a holiday, even this one, felt so dead.
Perhaps it’s the context. With 40 million people having tested positive during the global pandemic, the U.S. death toll is already over 220,000 and climbing. Trick-or-treating has been canceled in cities across the country as the Day of the Dead approaches with frightening finality. Who needs to sell tickets to a haunted house when simply shopping for toilet paper is so scary? Never has a day felt so aptly named.