SEATTLE — EDITOR'S NOTE: The original version of this story aired in 2020.
It’s the most popular Halloween decoration of the pandemic - the candy chute.
Melinda Haughey and her husband Ryan are building one to deliver treats safely this Halloween in their Columbia City neighborhood.
“We're going to be doing a chute from our porch out to our fence and we need to do some testing still,” she explained as she assembled her PVC tubing and orange duct tape contraption.
But Melinda wanted to do something more - she wanted to make sure trick-or-treaters knew where to find places to get their Halloween candy safely.
“And I thought well why don't we just map them out?”
So, she built a crowd-sourced Seattle Trick or Treat Map.
"I thought maybe it would take off in the neighborhood if I put it out there, but actually it exploded pretty quickly," she explained.
It started as the South Seattle Trick-or-Treat map, and people all over the city kept adding their homes, so she dropped the "South." Today, the map has more than 1300 spots. It marks places doing serve yourself treats, distanced delivery via a candy chute, and even places handing out candy old-school style from front porches - masks required, of course.
“I wanted to make sure that people could make their own decisions around what they felt comfortable with,” she explained.
And COVID is making people creative: the map has pulley systems, people planning on lowering candy from balconies, even a candy zipline!
Alan White's candy chute is on the map - it's been ready to launch treats for days, and it sends 'em zinging pretty far.
“I actually wanted to build some anticipation, I was worried that kids wouldn't think it was okay to trick or treat, and I thought if I put this out here I thought they'd think 'oh, maybe there are gonna be people who can deliver candy safely,'” he explained.
As Melinda Haughey and her husband test their chute with a little help from 7-month-old son Elliot, she admits the map is not just for trick or treaters.
“I'm excited! I hope we have visitors so we can put our chute to use!"
And she hopes her Seattle Trick or Treat Map delivers safe scares this Halloween, just as it did the last.
“It's a really simple thing that I feel like people really need right now."