As long as you're spending extra time at home, you might as well make it haunted for Halloween. There could be a prize in it for you.
To ensure that people still get to enjoy the season in the midst of a pandemic, Chattanooga Ghost Tours is sponsoring a Halloween house and neighborhood decorating contest.
"We did not want people to be deprived of Halloween, as they have so many celebrations this year," says company president Amy Petulla. "We came up with the decorating contest as a way to allow people to enjoy some touch-free chills while remaining safely in their vehicles."
Petulla says when she was growing up, multiple residents in her hometown of Tucker, Georgia, would decorate their homes with an assortment of ghosts, goblins and other creatures of the season. Her family made a tradition of seeking out the best displays.
"Every Halloween, we would drive around and look at all the decorations," she says. "I thought this year would be the perfect time to do that [here]. You can stay in your car and celebrate Halloween. It's not like going to parties where you're around everybody else."
Registration is free. Addresses will be listed at https://chattanoogaghosttours.com and the company's Facebook page so that area residents can ride around and find the best scares.
During the last week of the contest, the public can vote for their favorites by posting an original photo of the site on that location's entry on the Facebook page. Prizes will be awarded to both the winning house and the winning neighborhood. Prizes have been donated from local businesses and attractions, including Ruby Falls' Dread Hollow.
Participants can register a house by sending an email to email@example.com with a street address and photo of their location for public posting. Winners will be announced on Halloween.
If there is interest and entrants have a way to do so safely off the street, the company is considering having an "experience" subcategory, where participants may provide a scary experience close to the vehicle, for those who really want to go all-out, she says.
Chattanooga Ghost Tours is also offering its award-winning walking ghost tours and hunts outdoors, using social distancing and limited size to keep guests safe. There's a mask-mandatory option so guests can choose their level of safety precautions. More information and tickets are available on the website.
Email Lisa Denton at firstname.lastname@example.org.