With large gatherings and lockdowns in many places due to COVID-19, Halloween might be filled with more mischief than normal due to high stress levels, according to Libby Tucker, folklorist at Binghamton University, State University of New York.
This year people are worrying less about candy than about COVID-19 contagion, says Tucker, author of Haunted Halls and Legend Tripping. Potentially, anyone opening a door to trick-or-treaters could share this deadly disease, which has caused more than 200,000 deaths since last winter.
“Although we do not know exactly what will happen, it seems likely that there will be less trick-or-treating and fewer Halloween parties,” said Tucker. “Part of Halloween's tradition involves mischief and pranks, such as "egging" a house and soaping windows. It seems likely that subversive behavior will increase this year, because stress levels among children and adults are high; probably some of this subversion will happen online.”