Candy Shoot: The Social-Distanced Trick-or-Treat

When the leaves turned and pumpkins filled store windows, families wondered what Halloween would look like this year and if trick or treating would be safe in a pandemic world.   

Corvallis resident Erin Moore, a Halloween enthusiast, was determined to find a way to make Halloween happen for her family, so she created a COVID-safe method for trick-or-treating: she made a candy shoot.  

The candy shoot, made of PBC pipes, spans over seven feet in length and is supported at an angle for the candy to run down. When trick-or-treaters come to her yard, she can toss candy through the shoot to their baskets without having to get within six feet of them.  

“There will be zero touching, more than six feet and just mainly stuff to look at for the most part, but you still get to come in the yard without needing any kind of extra effort to do any kind of social distancing,” Moore said. “So, it’s still adhering to the guidelines.” 

 She found the idea on Pinterest and decided to incorporate it into her slew of ornaments. She has a total 22 totes of Halloween decor and 2200 square feet of cobweb, with more coming, that she and her daughters dig through each year. All she needed to do was get the candy shoot supplies and add it to her spooky scene.   

Building and setting up decorations comes naturally to Moore. Her Halloween decorations have been infamous in every town in which she has lived. Her house, surrounded by skeletons and homespun spiderwebs, ended up in the local newspaper for six straight years when she lived in California, enticing trick or treaters across town.   

“It’s tradition. It’s important to always have art in your life and to be creative,” Moore said. “It’s kind of neat just the idea of having everyone together, dressing up in costume, which allows them to pretend to be someone else for one night.”  

When people walk through her driveway, they will see spider webs dangling from her tall archway, three skeletons that jerk back and forth as if alive, bloodied zombie’s hands, tombstones and bodiless heads. The spider webs are Moore’s specialty. She enjoys the creativity the webs require and believes they are her finest decor.  

“I’m picky with the spider webs, I have to say. Those are mine. Nobody touches them,” she said. “I love spiders and ghosts and stuff like that, but really I just love the spider webs. There’s kind of an art to it.”  

Much of her set-up is the same as it always has been—dim lighting, fog machines, fake body parts—but this year, it is COVID-approved. Families will be able to see the entirety of the Halloween scene from her driveway, so they need not walk into her yard. The bottom of the candy shoot will sit on the top of the driveway, where children can walk up and leave their basket at the bottom of the shoot, awaiting their candy to slide down.   

Though this Halloween is different from previous years, Moore has made her best effort to keep the holiday alive—and safe.  

By Jessica Goddard