I’m going to make a radical statement: I think Halloween will be more fun for kids this year, not less fun. Of all the things this year has taken from us and our kids, I am feeling a true revolt out there against the idea that social distancing will also take away the joy our kids find in this particular holiday.
Rather than simply dressing kids up so they can walk around the neighbourhood to fill a bag with lollies, parents are creating glow-in-the-dark scavenger hunts. They’re having Halloween movie marathons, stuffing Halloween-themed piñatas with candy, or trick-or-treating inside, where frankly it’s nice and warm. They’re even staking candy into the goddamn ground (don’t do this). And now — now — they’re turning their own homes into a virtual haunted house.
Because 2020 is the year that absolutely anything can be virtual, Netflix and Snapchat partnered up to create the “Netflix Haunts Your House” activity for families to do together at home. To participate, you don’t need to be a Netflix subscriber but you do need to download Snapchat on your mobile device. You’ll also need a colour printer.
To get started, go here to download the kit, which will contain the “Snapcodes” you’ll need to print and hang around your home in specific suggested locations. (Snapcodes, if you’re not up on this stuff, are images you can scan with the Snapchat camera to do different things — such as, in this case, turn your home into a haunted house.) You can go print the Snapcodes now, but most of the “creatures” inside of them won’t be released until Halloween (with the exception of Chrissy the Ghost, if you want to practice this ahead of time).
You’ll need to keep the lights on in order to scan the Snapcodes, and Netflix describes the activity as “more ‘spooky cute’ than scary,” so it should be a-ok for little kids who might not ordinarily love a haunted house.