These creep-tacular Halloween drive-thrus are the 2020 trend we need right now

Hilary Brueck
·4 min read
halloween drive thru pumpkin
Freeform's Halloween Road. Richard Harbaugh/Freeform via Getty Images
  • It's not safe to trick-or-treat or go to a haunted house during the coronavirus pandemic.

  • But drive-thrus are a relatively risk-free pandemic activity, as long as passengers remain only with their own households or social bubbles in the car, and keep a safe distance from others. 

  • Here are nine stunning photos of some of the spookiest, cleverest Halloween drive-thrus across the country. 

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Many traditional Halloween frights and thrills are off-limits to anyone wanting to stay safe during the coronavirus pandemic.

Haunted houses are a no-go in 2020: being crowded indoors with strangers who are screaming and shouting is a very dangerous pandemic activity.

Trick-or-treating is also ill-advised. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists handing out candy to children who go door-to-door this year in its highest-risk Halloween activity category, because of all the close up breathing, talking, and touching that can happen.

But, as long as you remain with people in your own household, and wear a mask, riding in a car for a Halloween scare is a relatively safe pandemic activity.

Check out how people are rolling through Halloween drive-thrus across the country right now:  

The Haunt-o-ween drive-thru snakes through a mall parking lot in Los Angeles, and includes this spooky tunnel.

halloween drive through haunt o ween
Visitors in their vehicles at Hauntoween. Xinhua via Getty Images

The ride lasts about half an hour, and costs $70 per car.

At the drive-thru, passengers can roll down their windows ...

halloween drive thru kid
A girl wearing a face mask takes part in Hauntoween LA, an immersive and interactive Halloween drive-thru in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, on October 15, 2020. Xinhua via Getty Images

... but only with masks on.

halloween drive through la
A girl wearing a face mask takes part in Hauntoween LA, an immersive and interactive Halloween drive-thru in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, on October 15, 2020. Xinhua via Getty Images

Actors dressed in costume along the route must stay at least six feet away from the cars. 

Individually wrapped candies are doled out using a pole-and-bucket system.

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Hauntoween LA, a Halloween drive-thru, in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, on October 15, 2020. Xinhua via Getty Images

The protocol lines up well with the CDC's trick-or-treating guidance, which suggests keeping a six-foot distance from others, avoiding direct contact, and giving treats outdoors. 

At the nearby 'Halloween Road' earlier this month, travelers were treated to performances ...

halloween drive thru entertainment
Freeform's Halloween Road, a free drive-thru experience filled with tricks and treats was open to the public from October 2-4, 2020 at Heritage Square Museum in Los Angeles, California. Richard Harbaugh/Freeform via Getty Images

... and more socially distanced treats-by-pole.

halloween_drive_thru_car TREATS
Freeform's Halloween Road, a free drive-thru experience with tricks and treats was open to the public at Heritage Square Museum in Los Angeles, California, from October 2-4, 2020. Richard Harbaugh/Freeform via Getty Images

Just 58% of Americans say they are celebrating Halloween this year, down ten points from 68% in 2019, according to the National Retail Federation.

halloween drive thru 2020
Carloads checking out Halloween Road. Richard Harbaugh/Freeform via Getty Images

According to the NRF's polling, pumpkin carving and household decorating are slightly more popular this year than they were in 2019, as those are generally COVID-safe activities, when done by a single household or social bubble.

But more people surveyed say they are abstaining from other, riskier Halloween events in 2020, like trick-or-treating, handing out candy, and partying — all activities that could easily propel the spread of the virus.  

For those who don't plan to celebrate Halloween this year, there is always the option to use drive-thrus for their more old fashioned purposes. Wendy's is doing both, and has turned one of its California fast food locations into a 3-day long "scare-thru."

halloween drive thru actual drive thru wendy's
Families experience Wendy's "Hallo-Weendy's Scare-Thru" in South Gate, California, Thursday, October 29, 2020. Jordan Strauss/Wendy's via AP Images

The pop-up scare-thru ends on Halloween, under a full, blue moon

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