When Trick-or-Treating is scary, for real

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“We were still optimistic a few months ago,” said Ms. Pierre. “But as October approached, we realized that we didn’t feel comfortable doing all of this. And it was like it wasn’t responsible for doing it during a pandemic.

Even with the celebrations adjusted, Party City and Spirit Halloween stores in Manhattan and Queens in the week leading up to the holidays were filled with energetic crowds. In some places, customers were even lined up outside and faced with expectations because the stores, allowing social distancing, had reached their maximum capacity.

And during a Spirit Halloween on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, it was evident that for some of the younger celebrants, the magic of Halloween would not be lost even during a pandemic.

Between shelves of witch’s brooms and zombie makeup kits, an eight-year-old boy ran to his mother on Wednesday afternoon with his hands full of costume bags and accessories.

“I can’t decide,” the boy, Myles, shouted at his mother, Melissa Ramon of Harlem.

After a short back and forth, the two entered the queue. “Apparently there are going to be three things for Halloween,” Ms. Ramon said with a laugh. She showed off her son’s choices: a Freddy Fazbear costume, a Captain America shield, and a slew of unrelated accessories.

Despite the limited festivities this year and a normally more selective costume budget, she said, helping her son celebrate the holidays during tough times was worth it.

Myles left the beaming store.

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