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Zoom Into Halloween!


Halloween is fast approaching, which means it’s time to forget everything Tom Ford told you about how to look beautiful on Zoom. 

Spooky season is now in full effect, and while many of Halloween’s festivities may be canceled due to the quarantine, we can still carry on the way we have been with everything else this year: on Zoom! 

The New York Times in April published a column about tips from Tom Ford on how to look your best on Zoom, but for October it’s important that you look your creepiest instead. 

While 2020 has had no shortage of scariness already, stores are still stocking up with seasonally appropriate decorations, costumes and toys in preparation for Oct. 31. Some people have been doing work calls on Zoom in a button-up shirt and tie but with no pants on; for Halloween, you only have to wear as much costume as is visible on camera. This is your opportunity to go as a Frankenstein’s monster in boxer shorts — and no one will be the wiser. 

The beauty of a Zoom Halloween is that instead of needing to decorate your whole house or front porch, you just need to decorate the area directly around your computer and within the scope of your webcam. This will save you some time and money as you only need so many skeletons, cobwebs, crêpe paper ghosts, blood-spatter clings  and paper bats to cover the necessary wall space. In fact, if you’re the type of person who saves your decorations from previous years, you can now consolidate all of them into one small area for maximum effect. 

Other guides to looking good on Zoom focus on the importance of lighting to make your skin and eyes radiant on camera and would have you put your laptop near natural light or a lamp. For October, make sure to close all your curtains and turn off your overhead. The only light you need is perhaps a lit candle or flashlight directly underneath your chin, to really accentuate the shadows underneath the contours of your face — perfect for telling scary campfire-style stories. Orange or purple string lights will also do the trick and give your face an eerie glow. 

If you’re currently sharing your quarantine with another person, you have a perfect accomplice for some Halloween Zoom pranks. Get him or her (or they) to dress up in a scary costume and menacingly wander in and out of frame behind you, perhaps carrying a machete. 

All the materials needed for your perfect Zoom Halloween setup can be found in the usual local stores’ holiday aisle such as CVS, Walgreens, Stop & Shop, the Salisbury Pharmacy, and the seasonal Spirit Halloween, which is open again in Kingston, N.Y. 

This may be a year where our creativity at getting our Halloween spooks in is pushed to the limit — but just remember: Your house is as haunted as you make it! 

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