Halloween is a holiday many relish with fervor—the homes and yards decked out with ghosts and Jack o’ lanterns, and families decked out in costumes taking to the streets for some trick or treating.
This year, with the COVID-19 pandemic putting a damper on many annual customs, it looked like celebrations-as-usual might be out of the question.
But for one die-hard Ohio Halloween fan, the importance of letting off some much-needed steam while making sure kids could enjoy the holiday in safety was all the incentive he needed to come up with a brilliant socially distanced trick-or-treating tradition—a contact-free candy chute.
“[Halloween] is just something I’ve always been passionate about,” Andrew Beattie said.
Even prior to the pandemic, Beattie had been toying with an idea for a candy chute prototype to make participating in the holiday easier for neighbors with mobility issues.
Having an immune deficiency himself, Beattie thought the buffer of a little extra distancing was just common sense, “especially at the time of year when people are having colds and things.”
Beattie, along with his 6-year-old daughter, constructed the chute using a six-foot by four-inch shipping tube. After spray-painting their creation orange and finishing up with a spiral of black duct tape, they were ready to attach it to the railing that runs from the family’s porch down to the street. Decorative strings of green and purple lights completed the ghoulish theme.
“This is something that the kids will enjoy and not think of it as ‘I’m doing this to prevent disease,’” Beattie told CNN. “They’re doing it to have a good time… We need that. We need the community spirit back right now.”
Within three days of posting the invention to Facebook, Beattie’s chute went viral, garnering 8,000 comments, 27,000 reactions, and 62,000 shares.
“Even if people are completely comfortable with how things are, there are a lot of people who aren’t,” Beattie acknowledged. “If they can see people doing things like this, it can give them a little bit of grace, and that it might encourage more people to get involved and get out there and get us back to looking the way we want to look.”
A BOO!tiful sentiment indeed, and not surprisingly, Beattie’s invention triggered a score of DYI Halloween enthusiasts to come up with their own socially distanced candy chute variations.